Sam Adebayo: Bakelite Calabash Billiard Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-750-0030

While Bakelite has seen a resurgence in pipemaking in recent years, few artisans have embraced the material as both an accent and a core medium quite like Sam Adebayo. Simply looking through his portfolio, you're likely to the material in more myriad hues than you are traditional vulcanite or cumberland. It's not surprising, then, that Sam chose Bakelite as his alternative material for this year's American Pipemaking Exposition; what is surprising is what he's done with it.

Crafted entirely from Bakelite with a removable briar chamber cap, Sam's entry this year is a Billiard-shaped Calabash — the first of its kind I've ever personally seen. While the Billiard shape itself is a standard every pipe maker has in their repertoire, I'm still stunned Sam was able to pull it off completely in this medium. Bakelite is insanely difficult to work with, and while shaping an accent from the material wouldn't take that much time, turning an entire bowl from it becomes a triathlon of precaution, precision, and patience. Eventually Sam did cross that finish line, however, and the results are just stunning. The Billiard shape itself is downright classic, leaning more on the Lovat end of the shape family with its saddle stem and slightly elongated, rounded shank. Contrasting that timeless form, the palette is exiting and vibrant, bright neon fuchsia against light canary yellow and golden briar.

Aside from overall aesthetics, the choice to make this a traditional Calabash was genius as well; Bakelite is quite heat resistant by design, allowing it to serve well as a condensation chamber and meaning the bowl should remain fairly cool in hand when smoked. All in all, I'm blown away by what Sam's accomplished here. Using such modern materials to create the most iconic of classic shapes, and then outfitting it with traditional Calabash engineering — it's just a striking confluence of modernity and classicism. And really, that's what American pipemaking is all about.

- Andrew Wike
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.68 in./144.27 mm.
  • Weight: 1.63 oz./46.27 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.75 in./44.45 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.35 in./34.29 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.30 in./33.02 mm.
  • Stem Material: Other
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Billiard
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Other
  • Country: United States
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