Ryan Alden: Sandblasted Madrone Burl Tomahawk Cavalier with River Cane (Ace of Spades)

Product Number: 002-777-0013

I had never heard of the madrone tree before encountering this exquisite piece from Ryan Alden. An evergreen native to the Pacific coast of North America, madrone compares similarly to the woodworking characteristics of hard maple and tends to exhibit a pinkish brown color with dark red patches across its surface of swirling grain and tight-knit knot clusters. Said texture is vividly evident in this Cavalier's bowl, rendered from madrone burl, with dense grooves and sporadic whirls of birdseye popping from out of the sandblast.

A fully functioning Cavalier, the end cap and shank are fashioned from giant river cane, a hollow reed that Ryan has filled with briar to enhance stability and make for a more consistent airway. The end cap even features a small dot on its underside that matches an identical dot on the stummel. Ryan has added these dots to ensure that the cap lines up flush with the madrone end. For a final touch of visual texture, the tip of the end cap and the stem are made from pale cumberland. The swirling hues of olive and rust on the cumberland pair naturally with the river cane's unique, spotted surface, resembling the visual texture like that of a speckled bird's egg.

On a more symbolic note, Ryan's piece is a testament to American history. Made from American wood and cane, it's shaped like a Tomahawk, with subtle nods to the Native American calumet pipe. All in all, it's a lovely homage to indigenous Americans and their historic culture, a respectful gesture that fits right into this year's American Exposition.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 9.40 in./238.76 mm.
  • Weight: 3.55 oz./100.70 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.52 in./64.01 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.60 in./40.64 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.87 in./22.10 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.86 in./47.24 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Cavalier
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Other
  • Country: United States
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