Micah Redmond: Sandblasted Lars Blowfish with Paper Micarta

Product Number: 002-774-0042

The theme behind 2020's American Pipe Making Exposition sees artisans paying homage to those who have influenced their personal style or inspired them as carvers. When Micah Redmond first ventured into the world of artisan pipe making, he was, like many others, taken by the work of Lars Ivarsson — perhaps one of the greatest artisans ever — and Ivarsson's Blowfish design in particular captured Micah's attention.

Unlike the Japanese-style Blowfish (or Fugu), which often features intricate ridgelines and panels and prioritizes cross-grain orientation, Lars' Blowfish (or Fish, as it's sometimes called) makes simple but effective use of one main design cue: a shank of teardrop cross section that poises a ridgeline, referred to as a "teardrop line," that travels down the side of the shank, often sweeping up the bowl toward the rim. What struck Micah most about this composition was the subtle asymmetry created by that teardrop line and how it requires the smoker to observe the form from all angles to fully appreciate the carver's intended composition. Furthermore, the firmness of the ridgeline adds accenting contrast against the supple curves of the more Egg-shaped bowl, informing the pipe's undercurve in silhouette. It's a shape that speaks to artisan pipes as artistic sculptures as well as functional smoking instruments.

Other esteemed Danish artisans, like Nanna Ivarsson and Jess Chonowitsch, have put their own personal spins on Lars' original design, and here Micah pays tribute to that tradition with his version. Redmond has done well to showcase the form's defining features — primarily the teardrop line and the rest of the stummel's supple curves — while simultaneously imbuing it with his own style, most evident in the slightly more muscular transition and the domed base of the stem echoing the shaping of the bowl. It's all dressed in a conservative sandblast, as Lars would have done, and accented with a contrasting piece of paper micarta, a composition material that here emulates the yellow hue of boxwood.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.65 in./118.11 mm.
  • Weight: 2.30 oz./65.20 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.98 in./50.29 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.63 in./41.40 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.77 in./44.96 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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