Ryan Alden: Sandblasted Bent Apple (Queen of Hearts) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-777-0126

Texas-based Artisan Ryan Alden holds an unabashed love for the traditional forms of pipe making, taking much of his inspiration from classic Anglo-French designs, though he still maintains a wholehearted respect for Danish design, something reflected in this bent Apple. Alden has crafted pipes similar to this before, though this example strikes me as being especially unique, as not only is it just an excellent profile, but it's one of the few time's we've seen him utilize a half-saddle stem, and the first that's not been attached to a Volcano. The effect of this is something quite intentional: By keeping the bottom half of the stem a consistent taper, it creates a consistent undercurve, effectively magnifying the fluidity of this pipe's lines and highlighting the supple rounding which each portion of its anatomy has received.

The undercurve also carries with it some momentum, as we see the sweep into a lifted heel terminate at a diagonally-oriented waistline, the slight cant in the line acting as the terminus for a great deal of visual potential energy, making this an active piece without having to exaggerate the smooth sense of line that makes it a modern classic. From out of the transition the shank starts a gradual taper that carries through into the stem base, with the underside continuing its diminution, downturning for comfortable smoking, the transition leaving plenty of room to drape a thumb. Up front, the bowl is lifted through its heel, pushing it into a prominent position and allowing one to appreciate all of its curves that much more, with the fingers easily able to wrap around its arcing walls. A traditional dark sandblast dresses the briar here, revealing cascading ring grain rippling through the bowl, while undulations continue through the shank, all in line with its curve, creating both a lovely look and a pleasing texture.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.92 in./124.97 mm.
  • Weight: 1.50 oz./42.64 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.62 in./41.15 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.29 in./32.77 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.85 in./46.99 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Apple
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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