Tsuge Ikebana: Smooth Bent Apple (Fukuda) (L) (085) (2021) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-623-4684

Tsuge's Ikebana line is crafted in a small workshop by three individual artisans, each of whom represent 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. As a student of Sixten's, Fukuda often crafts pipes of Danish influence, and that's certainly the case with this bent Apple, whose soft curves and easy fluidity hint at his roots in the artisan pipe-making movement.

The shank and stem here are rather unique, in that they garner a good bit of the visual weight, drawing this away from the bowl and creating a silhouette that keeps the eye wandering over its myriad contours. The stem itself is a trim, demurely curved saddle of black vulcanite which meets a shank face that's recessed at the mortise to allow the stem's base to nestle into it. The rest of the face is domed and expansive, the result of a striking flare at the shank's end which broadens its high-kicking shape. Further underscoring the presence of this flare, a broad, soft ridge wraps around the shank end, lending it firmness and solidifying its presence, as well as matching the flare of the stem's expansion ring.

A slightly compressed transition leads to a plump bowl with ample curves, sitting atop a broad, rounded base before its walls arc upward and taper slightly to the gently chamfered rim that's possessed of a dip in the middle. Much of the bowl's thickness is altered, shifted when looked at aerially, as the flanks are slightly compressed. This compression additionally brings the width of the bowl in line with that of the shank at its widest point, a shaping detail which I was thoroughly impressed with. Dressed in a warm, vibrant, mahogany stain, the stummel here showcases dense streaks of flame grain wrapping around the flanks of the shank and encircling the bowl, while the underside reveals a beautifully defined wealth of birdseye.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.02 in./127.51 mm.
  • Weight: 2.90 oz./82.21 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.88 in./47.75 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.42 in./36.07 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.83 in./21.08 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.85 in./46.99 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Apple
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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