Jody Davis: Smooth Tomato with Mammoth (Cardinal) (A23) (16) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-718-0068

Jody Davis is among the most renowned American artisans active today, and certainly one of the most well-respected, but he is not only that, he is also a member of Grammy-nominated rock group Newsboys, who have a cumulative four gold records under their belt. Davis is a man of many talents, that goes without saying, but his journey as an artisan began as many do: with a passion for pipes and smoking. After Davis made his first piece and showed it to a friend and colleague, he was put into contact with legendary Danish artisan Jess Chonowitsch who showed him some of his methods and shared his sources for materials. At this point Jody began to immerse himself in carving, dedicating himself to the craft and later working with J.T. Cooke in Cooke's Vermont workshop, all of which contributed to his incredible depth of knowledge and refined his eye for detail.

Pump, pert, and full-bodied, this Tomato from Davis is hearty in the hand, though it comes in at just a touch over five inches long overall. This relative trimness in length lends the overall composition here a tightly-knit appeal and a sense of intentionality construction-wise. Outside of its fairly compact build, this pipe additionally boasts a strikingly large bowl compared to the shank and stem, coming in at nearly two inches wide and resting atop a gently lifting heel. From here, the bowl's walls expand outward just a touch, reaching a low-set waistline before slowly arcing upward, tapering until they reach an inward-sloping rim that's sat at a slight forward slant. As these walls grow upward, we can see Davis' especially supple style of carving, lending the bowl itself a comfortable feel in hand which belies the impressive girth of its construction. Given that the bowl is as large as it is, the fore of this pipe maintains nearly all of the visual weight, affording the pipe a jocular neoclassical air that yet maintains a timeless quality.

A wide transition gives way to a low-lying, softly uplifted stretch of ovoid shank which tapers gently as it reaches toward the saddle stem. Said stem is a trim stretch of jet-black vulcanite that's been lent a ginger downturn at its sleek bit, and its base has been accented with a broad band of mammoth. The easy fluidity of the shank and stem combination affords the bowl a sense of balance while keeping the reach of this pipe rather short, suffusing its relatively compact outline with a wealth of substance and maintaining its heartiness. As a Tomato, the proportions here are lovely, and its focus on the bowl keys in on arguably the shape's most recognizable feature, and the soft plumpness which this focus fosters keeps both the hand and the eyes engaged. Dressing the stummel here is a vibrant, auburn-tinged contrast stain that unveils a wrapping pattern of flame and straight grain pushing through the flanks and around the bowl, guiding the eye to twin basins of dense birdseye at both the rim and underside.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.04 in./128.02 mm.
  • Weight: 2.11 oz./59.87 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.60 in./40.64 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.28 in./32.51 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.81 in./20.57 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.92 in./48.77 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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