Dasha Florov: Partially Sandblasted Morta Fish

Product Number: 002-797-0013

For their entries into the 2018 American Pipemaking Exposition, Alex and Dasha Florov decided to both work in the same medium: 6,000 year old Ukrainian morta. It's the first time either carver has experimented with the semi-petrified wood, and the decision afforded them the opportunity to collaborate, as father and daughter, on pieces from the same stock — albeit with markedly different results.

Dasha's entry, as you can see, is simply stunning: a compact, Sleeping Fish that belies its name with a sense of tight-knit yet dynamic energy rippling across its various fluting lines, fins, and curves. Being semi-petrified, morta is extremely hard and can be quite difficult to shape, yet Dasha's lent the piece a surprising degree of complexity, and done so with a sense of effortless and deliberate grace — merging traditional Japanese asymmetry and organicism with an easy, ergonomic feel in hand.

What's more, despite having never worked with the medium before, Dasha oriented the block perfectly, arranging the morta's fine, striated grain vertically, allowing it to flow and undulate across the form's complex surface. Well-defined waves pulsate from front to back, as if being gathered and absorbed by an ebb current, feeding into the swelling momentum of the cresting shank. Dasha's highlighted that tidal theme even further by lending the shank face and underside a smooth, aqueous polish, leaving it like a great billow rushing towards the shore.

- Andy Wike
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.36 in./136.14 mm.
  • Weight: 2.88 oz./81.65 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.11 in./53.59 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.32 in./33.53 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.04 in./51.82 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Morta
  • Country: United States
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