Silver Gray: Smooth Canoe with NAP Stem Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-775-0066

A former accountant with three decades of pipe-making experience, Silver Gray came into the pipe world by way of her partner, artisan pipe maker Brad Pohlmann. Her fist carvings made use of briar scrap, before working her way up to discarded stummels, and finally raw burl, honing her aesthetic and learning the equipment around her until finding herself at a level of mastery. Gray's Canoes are defined by lenticular shaping, similar to that of the old school Opera design, with a pronounced bisecting ridgeline running down both the fore and aft from the lens-shaped rim, continuing through the transition and terminating above and below the shank at its end. The supple curves and soft shaping contrast the rigid, hard lines in this piece, the juxtaposition strikingly appealing. Dressed in a smooth, rich contrast stain that emphasizes some windswept vertical grain along with handsome birdseye along the lower bowl and shank underside, this piece is topped by a brindled saddle stem of tan and green colors. The unique configuration of the mouthpiece modeled after Peterson's intriguing NAP stem.

One of Charles Peterson's most iconic patents was for the P-Lip design in 1898, still used today across Peterson's portfolio, but what many don't know is that he also patented another mouthpiece design six years later: the NAP stem, which appeared in Peterson's 1906 catalog only to fade into obscurity and eventual discontinuance in 1928. An almost forgotten innovation, the NAP stem featured a unique button that distributes smoke across the palate via five individual slots from the airway and a "clamshell" design with vents at each side and a horizontal gap at the front. Such engineering won't allow the stem to pass a pipe cleaner, but the idea behind the NAP stem is that, unlike the P-Lip which orients smoke upward across the roof of the mouth, smoke is distributed evenly across the palate. Silver has been fashioning NAP stems by hand since 2019, revitalizing the design, and detailed accounts of her process and of the results can be find at Mark Irwin's renowned Peterson Pipe Notes blog. Cutting such a stem is a time-consuming process and involves a great deal of hands-on work: a wonderful addition to this Canoe which further emphasizes the uniqueness of its silhouette.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.56 in./141.22 mm.
  • Weight: 1.38 oz./39.01 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.66 in./42.16 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.35 in./34.29 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.69 in./17.53 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.52 in./38.61 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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