Tsuge Ikebana: Smooth Bent Apple (Kikuchi) (H) (033) (2021)

Product Number: 002-623-2556

Asami Kikuchi is a talented artisan and sculptor, one of only three pipe makers at Tsuge's Ikebana workshop. She joined the workshop in 2013, having participated in a rather formal apprenticeship to the workshop's presiding master, Kazuhiro Fukuda. This palm-filling, softly-defined bent Apple shows both the skill she learned from Fukuda and a healthy dose of her own artistic style, with a plump, ever-so-slightly conical bowl and a fluid profile.

It offers a comforting presence in hand, a pleasant weight that evokes a feeling of expectation without being unwieldy, an ambiance that pairs well with the glossy smooth finish and precise shaping to provide a certain elegance. The mark of a master pipe maker is working not just to achieve a precise shape, but shaping a pipe precisely to match the grain, and that is exactly what I see here. Vertical striations of straight grain cling to the sides of the supple figure, following the curvature all the way to the rim, while the underside is bursting with dense birdseye. Even the stem adds to the artistic composition, the base mirroring the shank's roundness perfectly before reducing to a lithe saddle configuration that completes a sinuous S-curve. A remarkable creation that will make a stunning centerpiece in any discerning collector's rotation.

- Joel Balyeat
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.54 in./140.72 mm.
  • Weight: 2.48 oz./70.31 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.94 in./49.28 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.60 in./40.64 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.82 in./46.23 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Apple
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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