Ryan Alden: Smooth Long Shank Pot with Boxwood (Ace of Spades)

Product Number: 002-777-0045

It's no secret that artisan carvers reserve smooth finishes only for briar that's particularly well-grained. It's for this reason that artisans produce more sandblasted pieces than those with smooth finishes — smooth-worthy grain is simply more rare. Ryan Alden is one such carver, and often favors finishing a pipe to showcase an exceptional sandblast rather than a smooth that would be considered "average" by smooth standards. For this reason, we don't see too many smooth pipes from Ryan, while his stunning sandblasts dominate his portfolio.

Now, if smooth-worthy blocks of briar are rarer than those of good sandblasting quality, naturally stained smooth finishes are even more few and far between, requiring flawless briar and exquisite grain orientation. In fact, this is the first natural-stained smooth we've ever received from the American artisan, and it doesn't take long to see why Ryan chose not to sandblast this piece — an oval-shanked Pot, the shape is divided perfectly by a band of cross grain, leaving the flanks defined by vivid birdseye. Shape-wise, it fits in well to Alden's portfolio of classic shape chart standards, this one clear in its Danish influence — the oval shank streamlining the form and the bowl slightly rounded and forward-canted. Keeping with the natural color palette, Ryan paired the pale stummel with a sand-and-caramel-hued vulcanite stem and yellow-toned accent of boxwood. Well deserving of his highest grade designation: Ace of Spades.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.14 in./130.56 mm.
  • Weight: 1.40 oz./39.69 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.59 in./40.39 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.35 in./34.29 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.59 in./40.39 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Pot
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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