David Huber: Partially Sandblasted Flounder (5821)

Product Number: 002-755-0075

David Huber has been obsessed with the art of pipe making since buying his first pipe in 2006, spending the proceeding years collecting even more pieces and studying various design schools, with a focus on the Japanese and Danish aesthetic. During this period, Huber worked as a freelance designer for live theater productions, and ordered his first blocks of briar in 2010, carving the shapes and holes entirely by hand, spending two entire years refining them before they were finally finished. By the end, he was dedicated to the craft. In 2014 he began to carve pipes full time, his progress furthered by tutelage from artisans such as Jeff Gracik, Tom Eltang, and Nanna Ivarsson.

This Flounder is perhaps one of the best examples of the immense talent that Huber possesses, as the shaping that is on display here never ceases to impress me, looking like something of a portmanteau of the Fish and Blowfish shapes, all flattened out as a nod to its eponymous inspiration. The shank is lenticular and ridged at its face, with a small, wrapping strip of briar lifted just a touch and then stepped down, encircling the entirety of the shank face. The three ridgelines, one at the top, two at the bottom, that the shank initiates, continue through the rest of the shape, with the topmost line dipping on the left flank to meet the transition and implied in the lift to the rim. The bottom two ridges completely outline the curvature of the briar, its bow giving the shape a palpable sense of motion, as if the fish the pipe is meant to represent was caught and trapped in the medium mid-swim. Not only this, but the pair also frame a perfect cross-grain structure, capturing the striations in the most striking fashion possible before reaching the dipped, chamfered rim which continues this grain pattern. The stummel is divided into two halves, with the left flank receiving a smooth, mahogany-stained finish and the right a dark, low depth sandblast. The left flank presents with some of the most incredible birdseye I have ever seen, the briar acting as a giant canvass to display the dense, swirling pinpricks with the utmost prominence, while the right's blasted birdseye is fine and textural, with growth rings seen at the very top of the stummel. Overall, this is a fantastic piece from an immensely talented artisan, a piece that puts his various talents on full display and makes me giddy with excitement to see what Huber does next.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.31 in./134.87 mm.
  • Weight: 2.70 oz./76.54 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.28 in./57.91 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.66 in./42.16 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.51 in./38.35 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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