Adam Davidson: ***Smooth Blowfish Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-437-0159

Outside of his extremely important job here at Smokingpipes as our Estates Manager, which sees him evaluating, restoring, cleaning, and pricing the vast majority of our estate pipes on-site, Adam Davidson is also a celebrated artisan in his own right. With a degree in industrial design from Purdue University, his portfolio includes pipes as well as office products, furniture, and cars, giving him a massive breadth of experience which has lent him a unique shaping style. His tutelage from Todd Johnson advanced his skills quite a bit, and has imbued him with a meticulous approach to carving that prioritizes perfect smoking properties and accurate shaping in every pipe he produces, limiting his annual production to around 75 pipes a year.

A fair few of his stylistic influences can be seen in the shaping of this Blowfish, a pipe that, additionally, seems to be a riff on one of his own designs. Outside of this, I detect hints of Florov, J. Alan, Gotoh, and, of course, Todd Johnson, though this is a distinctly Davidson design, with an emphasis on smooth curvature and finely rendered lines. This comes across especially at the aft portion of the stummel, as we see the shank take on an aerial, upward-flicking posture that immediately strikes me as being akin to the tail of a fish, the active disposition lifting at the right side and imbuing it with a kind of twisting momentum thanks to the expanse of briar at the top. In addition, this shank is framed by ridgelines on all sides which magnify the shape of its triangular face, the ridge beneath sweeping through the underside of the stummel and solidifying the outline of the briar as a whole. Each flank of the shank has a pair of these lines, the first, nearest the stem, frames the face, while the other set plunges downward, curling through the bowl and crating the panels that are iconic to the shape.

The underside ridge is my favorite of this trio, not just because it puts more emphasis on the silhouette of the stummel, but because it actually meets the right's travel through the bowl at the rim, combining the two into a single, wrapping ridgeline that is an excellent display of Davidson's talent for precise line work. The asymmetrical build of the bowl harmonizes with the asymmetry present in the shank, offering an overall look that, while still extremely dynamic, is concise, compact, and deftly rendered in its unapologetic organicism. A warm auburn-mahogany stain dresses the stummel here, revealing wide whorls of birdseye pinpricks on either panel of the bowl's flanks, with the strip of burl wrapping the top and bottom possessing a beautiful cross-grain pattern which runs through the shank fantastically.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.30 in./134.62 mm.
  • Weight: 1.44 oz./40.82 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.82 in./46.23 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.51 in./38.35 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.41 in./35.81 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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