Former: Smooth Blowfish Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-017-0409

The Blowfish is an artisan pipe shape defined by grain structure as much as overall form. Its roots date to Danish artisan pipe making in the 1960s and '70s, but it evolved dramatically thanks to the aesthetic visions of Japanese carvers like Hiroyuki Tokutomi. Most simply, the Blowfish showcases flanks of birdseye with a central panel differentiating cross grain, and early Danish renditions often revealed a more reserved and subtly asymmetrical style, with perhaps one of the flank paneled, but overall resembling a bent Egg or bent Apple. By contrast, the Japanese Blowfish — or Fugu, as it's translated — displays a more organic, literal approach to the shape: often revealing a sinuous posture when viewed from above and a more dramatic use of asymmetry.

Compared to other Blowfish renditions we've seen from Hans "Former" Nielsen, this particular example caters more to the Japanese Fugu version. The grain orientation of cross grain and birdseye remains conventional, but the central panel curves over the bowl and toward the right, following the path of the grain and extending through the shank for even further facets and structured style. It's a rather hearty rendition; however, the muscularity is endowed with plump curves and a dynamic stance in profile, the downward curve of the stem leading into the upward curl of the shank and informing the bowl's forward cant. Former has maximized the grain of this briar block beautifully, as each side reveals dizzying birdseye while the central panel frames the cross grain. The stem, however, instead of continuing the stummel's panels as many renditions do, hearkens to vintage Danish pipe design with a flaring, domed base that mimics the bowl's plumpness while also honoring the tradition of Danish artisan pipe making — of which Former has become an iconic figure and curator.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.46 in./138.68 mm.
  • Weight: 2.59 oz./73.48 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.98 in./50.29 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.49 in./37.85 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.80 in./45.72 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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