Jess Chonowitsch: Sandblasted Tomato with Bamboo

Product Number: 002-367-0121

It's shocking to think that Jess Chonowitsch almost wasn't a pipemaker. Were it not for the closing of the veterinarian school he was attending, requiring him to find work while it relocated, the pipe world would perhaps have never met one of the industry's most renowned and skilled artisans. While a world without Chonowitsch pipes would be a tragedy in and of itself, even more devastating would be a world without the Danish master's influence — Jess's fingerprint on modern pipemaking is indelible and deeply intertwined with many other carvers, making him a father, of sorts, to the current style and quality of artisan pipemaking today.

Jess still makes pipes, boasting 40 years of superlative pipemaking experience, though his annual output consists only of around two to three dozen pieces. Once such pipe is offered here in the form of a compact, Danish-style Tomato. The form is reminiscent of a Brandy we saw previously from the Danish carver — both relatively squat and tapered of bowl, sandblasted, and fitted to a bamboo shank extension. By comparison, this Tomato is noticeably more squat and rounded of design, and the bamboo consists of only two knuckles, keeping the overall length short and convenient. Like the aforementioned Brandy, this piece also displays a heel that droops slightly below the transition — such a cue both continues the rhythm of the bamboo and accentuates the bowl's rotund nature.

In true Chonowitsch fashion, it's dressed in a conservative color palette, the pale bamboo presenting the only bright hues. The dark sandblast is of low-profile, Danish style, and the rim supports this aesthetic with its smooth, contrasting texture. Defined by the craftsmanship and expert shaping that has made Jess' pipes so desirable, this piece is a beautiful example of his work, from form to finish, to internal engineering to choice stem work.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.83 in./122.68 mm.
  • Weight: 1.20 oz./34.02 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.28 in./32.51 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.01 in./25.65 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.69 in./42.93 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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