Wandi Riyadi: Smooth Tomato with Bamboo Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-922-0015

The only pipe maker I know of from Indonesia, Wandi Riyadi was born in Tasikmalaya, West Java in 1984, and he was inspired to begin crafting pipes after he saw people smoking them as a youth. In 2011, he began smoking himself, and his drive to carve was enhanced as he learned of the creative freedom and artistic nature of handmade pipes, leading him to start his career as an artisan. Being one of Indonesia's few artisan carvers, Riyadi turned to the internet to educate himself on carving, and his shaping style is influenced by historic masters of the craft, such as Bo Nordh, Sixten Ivarsson, and Hiroyuki Tokutomi. Regardless of the influence he takes from other artisans, Riyadi boasts a design language all his own, and this unique perspective offers refreshing takes on nearly every shape he carves.

This Tomato is a delightfully organic take on the shape, balancing the impressively rotund presence of the bowl at the end of a comparatively slender shank and stem combination. The shank is a trim length of briar that curls smartly out of a wide transition, tapering slightly as it reaches toward a slim band of black vulcanite that marks the start of a two-knuckle stretch of bamboo. Another black vulcanite band frames the aft side of the bamboo, and this ring marks the junction to a demurely curved saddle stem made from more matching black vulcanite, the base of the stem showcasing an understated flare before dipping into the bit: mirroring the rhythmic flow of the bamboo's knuckles. Though the shank and stem combination is quite slender, it's also remarkably organic, with a stylized and reservedly sinuous outline that keeps this piece visually intriguing from every angle. Up front, the bowl stands atop a sweeping, lifted heel and grows remarkably thick walls, these walls making a richly curvaceous expansion to a low-set waist. This waist offers a profoundly expansive substance in hand, imbued with a reassuring physical weight that coincides with the composition's visual center: the plumpness of the fore's build keeping the eyes held at the bowl. Squat and thick, the walls of the bowl rise with a slight taper toward a vast rim that's dipped at the middle, its slightly slanting angle speaking to the bowl's dynamic forward cant. Dressed in a warm, rich stain, the stummel showcases a wealth of lovely grain, with flame wrapping around the bowl and a basin of birdseye at the rim and underside: the grain at the bottom interrupted by a smattering of plateau near the transition.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.07 in./128.78 mm.
  • Weight: 1.50 oz./42.52 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.27 in./32.26 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.07 in./27.18 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.77 in./19.56 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.00 in./50.80 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Indonesia
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