Clark Layton: Sandblasted Brandy with Bamboo

Product Number: 002-781-0031

A sleek and svelte piece, this Brandy from Clark Layton is beautifully simplistic yet checks off all the boxes that define a well-made, compositionally coherent, bamboo-adorned pipe. It's one thing to simply attach a section of bamboo onto a briar stummel, but it's much more aesthetically pleasing when carvers integrate the organic material naturally and artistically into the overall design — an approach pioneered by the Danish tradition and readily utilized and riffed off of by American artisans. Clark has deftly executed said approach in his entry into this year's American Pipemaking Exposition.

The bowl itself is squat, tapered, and Prince-like, but what truly defines this piece is the seamless movement that ties together the pipe's three seemingly disparate elements — stem, shank, and bowl — all fashioned from three completely different materials: vulcanite, bamboo, and briar, respectively. Layton has merged these elements through an expert understanding and realization of visual momentum. Said dynamism is most evident in the even spacing between the four knuckles of bamboo, but Clark has extended that rhythm into the rest of the piece. The saddle portion of the stem is perfectly spaced between the first knuckle to maintain the rhythm, and the American artisan has even slightly undulated the stem base to further its knuckle emulation in profile. At the bowl, the rhythm of the stem and shank is thrust forward into the canted bowl, the heel protruding and lifting dramatically, while the top of the transition curls uninterrupted from the final bamboo knuckle and into the aft line of the bowl. Finally, it's dressed in one of Clark's iconic, extra-textured sandblasts, and his choice of natural stain keeps the color palette bright and complementary all around.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.75 in./146.05 mm.
  • Weight: 0.96 oz./27.22 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.27 in./32.26 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 0.98 in./24.89 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.72 in./18.29 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.54 in./39.12 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Brandy
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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