Wojtek Pastuch: Smooth Shield with Masur Birch (1103)

Product Number: 002-811-0085

Like the Sphinx and Elephant's Foot shapes, the Shield is an artisan design that's often carved to maximize cross-grain orientation, with the bowl's fore broadly splayed to reveal birdseye — that fore shaped in the outline of a shield, hence the design's name. Apart from those aspects, though, the Shield affords artisans a wide range of creative ability when fashioning the pipe's other elements. In the case of this Shield rendition from Wojtek Pastuch, the Polish carver has opted for a very compact example, measuring not even four and a quarter inches in length and weighing less than 30 grams. Such a diminutive, portable piece, though, doesn't lack in intricate detail — the smaller size making such detail even more impressive when regarding craftsmanship. The bowl resembles an Acorn in profile, the heel coming to a spur below the transition, and while the shaping of the bowl is more ovoid, the flanks don't bear the crisp ridgelines often exhibited by other Shield designs. Instead, the rim's steep chamfer and the pointed heel are the only rigid aspects of this shape, the shank-and-stem combination offering a serpentine gesture behind the bowl. Said shank is primarily composed of masur birch that Pastuch shaped in an upward curl to match the angle of stem's downturn and with a slightly rounded, outward flare at the face to transition into the stem's domed base. The bright, natural hue of the masur birch contrasts elegantly against the ruby stain of the stummel, while still retaining a woodsy, naturalesque palette, and the grain orientation of the bowl fits well with the Shield's typically convention: cross grain descending the flanks and swirling birdseye populating the fore.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.21 in./106.93 mm.
  • Weight: 1.00 oz./28.35 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.61 in./40.89 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.04 in./26.42 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.52 in./38.61 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Poland
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