J. Alan: Partially Sandblasted Flowing Volcano (1952) Tobacco Pipe
Product Number: 002-376-0387
Jeff Gracik is the American artisan behind J. Alan pipes, and his achievements have made him one of the most easily recognizable, well-regarded carvers in the United States, if not the world. His journey into pipe making began with a pair of briar blocks purchased while he was studying for his graduate degree, hand-carving them to make use of them himself and fitting the two stummels with preform stems. This first step ignited within him a passion for the art of carving, leading him to study under some of the world's most talented artisans, laying the foundation for his current career as an artisan.
Gracik has crafted a myriad of different Volcano renditions throughout his career, though none are more well-represented in his portfolio than his Surfing Volcanoes: a take on the shape that displays his keen ability to subtly alter lines and, in doing so, imbue his work with an understated dynamism that keeps the shape low-slung and sleek. This Flowing Volcano is the first of its kind we've encountered from Jeff, an iteration of the silhouette which keeps the bowl and shank fairly low-slung, though the shank itself lifts and flicks toward its face, flaring appreciably out to a broad end. What sets this piece apart from other versions Gracik has made, as well as most other Volcanoes in general, is its gentle asymmetry through the base, something that melds with asymmetry at the shank end and rim to create a truly enthralling piece.
The base here is broad, and most of its circumference is rounded by a pair of ridges that frame a chamfer into the base itself, lending the walls of the shank and bowl a little extra body in these areas. These ridges continue their travel; though as they make their way toward the right side of the base, they taper to a point and stop abruptly, leaving most of the right side rounded by a single, low ridge. At the shank face, we see the pair of ridges maintained on the left side, lending it a look that's nearly identical to the silhouette of the bowl from the smoker's perspective, offering a massive dose of intrigue that keeps the eye locked on its wealth of details. The most immediately arresting feature of this pipe is that of its namesake, as the undulating rim dips on the right, a pair of ridges descending down its flank of the bowl and outlining an area that's treated with a crisp sandblast and slightly hollowed to resemble the look of a volcano's lava flow mid-eruption. The rest of the stummel is dressed in a warm, auburn-hued contrast stain which unveils a wealth of flame grain around the rest of the stummel, while the underside is awash with rich birdseye.-John McElheny
Measurements & Other Details
- Length: 5.42 in./137.67 mm.
- Weight: 2.30 oz./65.20 g.
- Bowl Height: 1.74 in./44.20 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.27 in./32.26 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
- Stem Material: Vulcanite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Volcano
- Finish: Partial Sandblast
- Material: Briar
- Country: United States