Jared Coles: ***Smooth Blowfish with Bakelite Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-738-0088

A lover of pipes from an early age, Jared Coles didn't discover the world of artisan pipe making until his junior semester of college, an event that changed the course of his life, as he was subsequently obsessed with them. Obsessed with both the form and the craft, mind you, something that led to him start the J&J workshop together with John Klose, the pair cutting their teeth on the pipe making process by learning how to source materials, use their tools correctly, and make pipes that are both beautiful and functional. The workshop is now defunct, but Coles continues to make pipes of his own, influenced by artisans from around the world, including Gotoh, Tokutomi, and Jeff Gracik.

Coles' global inspiration is quite well represented in this curious Blowfish piece, the form presenting with an ever-so-slightly arced saddle stem of black vulcanite that's here been fitted to a lengthy shank extension of cobalt blue Bakelite. The shank proper is actually quite short, ebbing swiftly out of a wide transition to meet its accent and lending the entire combination a very subtle upward travel. What's curious about this shape is mainly the bowl, as it's not like most other Blowfish, though it features the same kind of slight ovoid outline that we're used to seeing. Rather than having its flanks framed on either side by a pair of asymmetrical panels, the bowl here is asymmetrically split down the middle by a single wrapping ridgeline. This ridge starts at the transition, though so subtly that it's nearly impossible to see but can be felt readily, and curves over the rim, becoming slightly more firm as it does. It remains rather soft until it reaches the fore of the bowl, and it is here that we can see the effect it has, curving toward the right just a touch before plunging into the underside and evaporating as it comes near the shank.

In effect, there's still a separation in the bowl, it's just extremely understated, something that strikes me as extremely difficult to accomplish and that, in silhouette, gives this Blowfish an outline reminiscent of a tadpole. Said bowl is dressed in a warm auburn-mahogany stain that reveals birdseye on either flank of the bowl, with cross grain wrapping around through the top and bottom, retaining the grain pattern of Blowfish we're used to, though doing so in an utterly unique form. The vibrant cobalt of the Bakelite stands out in stark contrast against the stem and the briar, keeping one's attention at the transition and allowing one to appreciate every subtle detail that Coles has included in this piece.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.27 in./133.86 mm.
  • Weight: 1.15 oz./32.66 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.45 in./36.83 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.21 in./30.73 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.73 in./18.54 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.16 in./29.46 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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