Brad Pohlmann: Smooth Fibonacci

Product Number: 002-381-0147

While pipe makers certainly use mathematics to fashion their pieces, requiring exacting measurements and necessary when considering proper proportions, I wouldn't consider pipe carving to be inherently mathematical. However, this "Fibonacci" from Brad Pohlmann challenges my assumption. The Fibonacci Spiral (also called the Golden Spiral) is a geometric manifestation of the Fibonacci Sequence, which lists numbers that increase by the sum of the two preceding numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc. When rendered on a graph, the resulting spiral becomes consistently tighter and tighter, like the coiled pattern of a nautilus shell.

In this number, Brad has incorporated this spiral into the piece's outlining silhouette. Starting at the rim's fore, the underside curls consistently, tightening gradually as it flow through the shank's flanking ridgelines and up into the top near the transition, pointing back toward the bowl. Following the implied trajectory, one can see how the spiral would continue to curve inward. It makes for an incredibly active design; however, unlike other pieces whose momentum is thrust forward, the kinetic movement here is more internal, the overall shape being rather static while its active lines add dynamism that's still contained within the outer boundaries of the design.

We've seen this use of the Golden Spiral before in a Boris Starkov piece from 2016, the curve apparent from an aerial view instead of in profile, as Brad has done here. Shape-wise, this piece most resembles a bent Egg, the bowl bulbous in hand and tapered toward the rim. Bringing out some gorgeous straight grain and stunning birdseye, Brad's dressed it in a warm contrast stain, allowing the concave rim and the sweeping lines of the shank to act as the only needed accents, the face of the shank-end flowing smoothly into the underside. It's an elegantly organic piece from Pohlmann, testifying to the American carver's deft carving hand as well as his secret skills as a mathematician.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.27 in./133.86 mm.
  • Weight: 2.27 oz./64.41 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.09 in./53.09 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.33 in./33.78 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.82 in./46.23 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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