Kurt Balleby: Smooth Elephant's Foot with Horn Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-294-0086

Though Bo Nordh's iconic Elephant's Foot shape is always recognizable, every rendition is slightly different, and most every carver has tried their hand at the design, riffing off of it in their own way. For Kurt Balleby, his versions are few and far between, the Elephant's Foot being a rather rare shape from the Danish carver. In this specific one, he takes a different approach to the shape than most other artisans have and would. The general form is most readily defined by the striking panels vertically oriented across the flanks, and most carvers focus on accentuating the cross grain there by keeping the panels rather broad and noticeable. Here, though, Kurt has done the opposite: the defining panels are incredibly trim and slender, cascading down from the rim in a crisp taper. There's certainly cross grain there, but for Balleby, it's not the focus. Instead, the front and back sides of the bowl are what Kurt brings to the forefront, with 3/4 grain blending seamlessly into vivid birdseye at the fore and a bursting flair of 3/4 grain erupting from out of the transition at the aft. It's all dressed, then, in a vibrant contrast stain, made even more so by the fact that Balleby stains his piece up to 16 times, ensuring a durable, long-lasting finish. Accented with a generous and elegantly flared horn mount, this is a gorgeous testament to how Kurt is able to stay within the confining boundaries of a particular shape while still improvising in his own artistic way.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.72 in./119.89 mm.
  • Weight: 1.66 oz./47.17 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.35 in./59.69 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.49 in./37.85 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.87 in./47.50 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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