Todd Johnson: Partially Sandblasted Asymmetrical Calabash (Phalanx) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-194-0165

Already a skilled woodworker, Todd Johnson tried his hand at fashioning his first pipe in 2000 and quickly took to the craft. Influenced initially by Trever Talbert, Johnson broadened his horizons with stints learning under both Tom Eltang and Lars Ivarsson. Therefore, the Danish style is readily apparent in much of Johnson's work; however, formal studies in Aesthetics at Samford University and Yale gave Johnson a more comprehensive perspective on art, igniting his unique, genre-breaking style. Although shape-chart standard Billiards and Dublins do appear in Johnson's portfolio, much of his work showcases imaginative Freehands that range from familiar to one-of-a-kind. Furthermore, Johnson constantly experiments with finishing techniques and accenting materials while also putting a premium on internal engineering, ensuring each piece is a superb smoker.

Traditionally, the Calabash shape was fashioned from a calabash gourd and fitted with a meerschaum or briar cap. This Calabash by Todd Johnson is crafted from briar but retains the inherent organic qualities of the shape, primarily due to the asymmetric shaping. Asymmetry is readily apparent in each element of the shape, from the inflated briar cap that peaks at the right fore to the saddle stem that subtly bends to the left as it emerges from the stem base. However, the asymmetric construction is most pronounced throughout the stummel. The bowl gently tapers from the broad rim to the sweeping transition, but leans gently toward the left as it descends. In contrast, the shank slightly arcs to the right as it rises to the stem, creating a sinuousness, not just in profile, but also along the vertical axis, giving this piece an extraordinarily natural appeal. Moreover, the asymmetric composition also utilizes multiple finishes, pairing the silky texture of the chestnut smooth finish on the cap to the craggy tactility of the sandblast on the stummel. Furthermore, the sandblast highlights undulating growth rings and streaks of flame grain in a jet-black stain, while a starbust pattern of straight grain and birdseye on the rim shine in warm, chestnut hues.

--Zach Podl
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.75 in./146.05 mm.
  • Weight: 2.20 oz./62.37 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.70 in./43.18 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.35 in./34.29 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.07 in./52.58 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Calabash
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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