Todd Johnson: Partially Sandblasted Erotique with Bakelite (Phalanx) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-194-0161

American artisan Todd Johnson is as much an artist as he is a pipe carver and, in the time since he began to make his art in the spring of 2000, he has advanced to the upper echelons of the craft. True, his background in woodworking has helped him to achieve what he has to date, but the man himself credits Tom Eltang, who, in the winter of 2001, took the young Todd under his wing and showed him the ways of shape first, drill second freehand work. Additional training with Lars Ivarsson further honed his skill set and deepened both his understanding of and appreciation for classic Danish shaping. Now, Johnson possesses a shaping style that is all his own, resulting in striking interpretations of modern classic shapes: exemplified by this Erotique.

Originally conceptualized by Danish artisan Jørn Micke, the Erotique is an explicitly anatomically-inspired shape that's inspired a variety of interpretations. I'm struck here by just how tall the bowl of this pipe is, as most other takes on the shape have offered consistently squat silhouettes, its walls resting atop a spurred and pointed heel before flaring to an inflated, Pear-like rim. From the heel spur, a single ridgeline rises across the fore wall, its fluted edges lending the ridge itself a pronounced presence that does well to define the bulbous bulges at the top left and right flanks of the bowl. The ridge here is interrupted by the chamber, though it continues through at the aft side and dissipates just before hitting the transition.

The transition itself is also rounded by a ridgeline, firmly defining the separation between shank and bowl and highlighting the disparate finishes which dress the stummel here. Lifting out of this wide transition, the shank takes on an aquiline curvature immediately reminiscent of the Hawkbill, possessed of a gentle taper as it makes its way toward the junction. Said junction is defined by a broad band of horn-hued Bakelite and is married to a demurely curved half-saddle stem that's slenderized on the underside, the top maintaining the curvature of the shank in a novel manner. A partial sandblast covers the stummel here, the shank receiving the inky stain and and rich texture of the blast, while the bowl has been stained a rich auburn that reveals a wealth of handsome grain: the impeccable shaping and lovely display of grain earning this pipe the coveted Phalanx grade.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.80 in./147.32 mm.
  • Weight: 3.80 oz./107.73 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.29 in./58.17 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.49 in./37.85 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.83 in./21.08 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.73 in./69.34 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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