Todd Johnson: Sandblasted Long Shank Stack (Hoplite) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-194-0150

Todd Johnson is an American carver with a well-earned worldwide reputation built on over two decades of crafting highly sculptural and artistic pipes with impeccable attention to detail. Formally instructed in aesthetics with a masters degree from Yale, Todd has also studied all the greats of pipe making, including traveling to Tom Eltang's workshop in Denmark to learn firsthand from Danish masters including Anne Julie. He has since incorporated an incredible array of influences into his own unique design style and inspired an entire generation of younger American carvers. He treats each piece as a special conversation between the briar and the state of the possible, and the most exquisitely artistic pipe in my personal collection is one of his creations. While many of his pipes offer quite gestural, curvaceous, and organic cues, the sculpture here is one of precise, straight architecture, an incredible straight Stack over eight inches in length.

The Stack is not a shape I see often, and I can confidently say I have never seen one this long, the tall, slightly rounded bowl perched neatly on a very muscular, arrow-straight shank-and-stem combination. Cheeking at the transition and a softly inflated rim nod to Danish shaping traditions, while the shank feels very much to me iconic of modern American pipe design.

A medium-depth sandblast and rich, earthy stain put the briar's dense cross grain pattern on full display, a feat accomplished in uniformity not just on the bowl but all the way up the elongated shank. The rim has been left smooth and stained lighter for contrast, matched by a bespoke stem base of briar. A split stem is a unique touch that few artisans attempt, but Todd incorporates it so seamlessly here that it creates a visual trick: when my eye travels up the shank, I think the accent is part of the stummel, but when I come from the lip button it is clearly part of the stem. This is one heck of a fine pipe, a striking example of Todd's mastery of the craft that will turn heads from across the room, or, given its impressive dimensions, the parking lot.

- Joel Balyeat
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 8.26 in./209.80 mm.
  • Weight: 2.72 oz./77.11 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.79 in./70.87 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 2.35 in./59.69 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.45 in./36.83 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Chimney
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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