J. Alan: Smooth Boxwood Tomato with Horn (1468)

Product Number: 002-376-0266

The challenge for 2018's American Pipemaking Exposition was alternative materials. In response, Jeff Gracik presents us with this fetching bent Tomato made from a block of boxwood he received from Nanna Ivarsson. The shape is one we've seen from Jeff before — a low-waisted squat Tomato (as opposed to his other iterations that wear their weight a bit higher up the bowl) — but the materials used are anything but typical.

Steeped in the Danish school of shaping, this piece displays a wealth of smooth lines and supple curves that mimic the sweeping grain of the boxwood. Apart from the chamfered rim, there's not a hint of rigidity along the stummel as the shank flows seamlessly into the heel and displays only the slightest hint of cheeking at the transition. From an aerial vantage point, the bowl's waist forms a perfect circle; however, due to the forward cant of the bowl, the chamber is positioned more toward the fore when viewed from above. Such a forward urging disposition fits in well with the overall Danish aesthetic and makes this piece a delight both visually and ergonomically.

As if using one alternative medium wasn't enough, though, Jeff topped the shank-end with a subtly flaring mount of genuine horn, fitted with a brass ring encircling the mortise. The brass accent adds just a touch of flash while also blending well with the horn's cream and coffee tones. Overall, the piece is incredibly balanced in every aspect, from form to color palette, and it even sits quite nicely on its rounded underside, able to spin unprecariously thanks to its low center of gravity. Excellent work from Jeff, showcasing his talents as a carver while also pushing the envelope of what's considered traditional.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.34 in./135.64 mm.
  • Weight: 2.02 oz./57.15 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.50 in./38.10 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.16 in./29.46 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.74 in./18.80 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.99 in./50.55 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Other
  • Country: United States
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