The Whale is not a shape you will find on the classic shape charts. It's not even a shape that's comparable to such designs, as say the Blowfish can be pointed out as an evolution of the bent Ball. The Whale is, however, certainly a shape that's well established in its own way, being a theme many highly regarded makers have worked in. From the abstract interpretations of Alex Florov or Tsuge Ikebana, to the typically more life-like depictions of Lasse Skovgaard and (as you can see here) Peter Heding, Whales may not be common shapes, but they certainly do get attention where it most counts.
With this Diamond grade Peter definitely went in the life-like direction, to the point where you could take a pretty good guess at the specific species that inspired it — clearly one from the baleen branch. The blue whale would be the most obvious guess (being the largest animal known to have ever existed, the blue whale is good at being obvious), but I would say the pygmy right whale might be more in the right (no pun intended, seriously) direction. That is because this Heding creation is unusually handy for a Whale shape.
Whales as a rule are grand creatures, and Whale-shaped pipes as rule tend to be pretty grand in scale as well. Even when the latter aren't greatly weightier or longer than this Heding interpretation (though they often are), the designs tend to be such that they at least seem to take up a great volume, thrashing or leaping through a considerable amount of negative space. This latest of Peter's Whales is not only far more serene in nature, but also I would say concentrated. It's all long easy lines, yet those flow through a fairly short distance, and the height of bowl is no greater than that of many Billiards, nor the breadth greater than that of many Pots or Apples. Finally, driving that sense of the concentrated home, there is simply the grain, which both in terms of birdseye and flame is thoroughly tight.
- Eric N. Squires
The pipe you see is the pipe you receive. Click here to see our photography process.