Tsuge Ikebana: Smooth Bent Dublin Sitter (Ohi) (M) (253) (2017) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-623-4636

Tsuge's Ikebana series is crafted in a small workshop by three individual artisans, each of whom represents some of Japan's foremost talent in pipe carving. Headed for decades by Sixten Ivarsson-trained Kazuhiro Fukuda, the Ikebana name directly translates to English as "living flowers," earning their work the title of "the flowers of the pipe world" and, when one sees their work, it's not hard to see why. This bent Dublin sitter was carved by Yoshirou Ohi, the newest addition to the workshop, whose experience includes the design and manufacture of precision car parts, award-winning ceramic art, and, yes, award-winning pipe carving. With a background not only in working with briar, but in art and precision design, it's no wonder he was able to create something as striking as this piece.

The entirety of the composition here is centered around its point of balance: a rather petite flat of briar which extends below the bowl and past the transition to form a sure-sitting foot. This platform is a unique one, having been carved with an angled lip at the aft side, creating a smaller, separate panel which allows the pipe to rest in a rearward cant while resting on the shank. Both sitting configurations are stable and easy to rest on a desk or flat surface, and the pointed pedestal itself pulls the eye toward the fore of this pipe. The visual weight here, then, is centered almost entirely around the bowl, though Ohi has taken care to offer a bit of balance through the rear half of this pipe. From out of the flattened foot panel, the bowl expands in dramatic fashion, canting forward and blossoming into a vast rim crowned with dense plateau and chamfered into the chamber. A wide transition leaves plenty of room to drape a digit and gives way to a curling shank that's slightly compressed at the flanks and flares out to an asymmetrical face, the shank end carved with a slight hollowing just before reaching the face. Said face slopes toward the left flank, with this slope covered in its own wreath of plateau and emulating the look of the bowl in both texture and silhouette. Paired to the shank is a demurely curved saddle stem of jet-black vulcanite, one which is fitted with a stylized expansion ring that mirrors the outline of the shank end, creating a stylized area of negative space that wrests some of the visual weight away from the bowl. A warm, contrast rich stain of deep walnut hues dresses the stummel, revealing wrapping flame grain around the bowl and through the flanks of the shank, with a small basin of birdseye showcased on the flattened heel.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.64 in./143.26 mm.
  • Weight: 2.06 oz./58.51 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.46 in./62.48 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.66 in./42.16 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.81 in./20.57 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.79 in./45.47 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Dublin
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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