Yuwei: Partially Rusticated Volcano with Birch Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-842-0042

One of the things Yuwei Huang's work is revered for is the Taiwanese carver's ability to tease intensely beautiful grain out of a block of briar, an intuition he has used to exemplary effect in the shaping of this Volcano. Drawing strongly on both Danish design cues and a modern American shaping aesthetic, Yuwei gives us the best of both worlds with subtle elements that command appreciation. The forward edge of the mountain rises from a curved base in a subtle recurve, while the flanks fall quite straight toward an undulating ridgeline about the heel. No matter which way I turn the pipe, I see tight striations of straight grain leaping upwards in concert with the profile, like jets of lava seeking to escape. The eruption is readily apparent on the double slant of the rim, the two asymmetric aspects of which fall away from a center line peak at different angles, each resplendent with birdseye.

The peaks on the rim are mirrored at the base of the bowl, the ridgeline of the heel sweeping around in a sinuous line that both provides a comfortable index for holding the pipe and demarcates partial rustication on the underside. The flame grain of the stummel is dressed in a smooth finish and contrast stain, while the low-profile rustication of the heel wears a dark stain quite evocative of cooled lava rock. Thick walls will keep the fire contained however, transferring only a pleasant warm glow to the user no matter which of the many comfortable ways to hold the pipe is employed. The shank transition is raised and races upward toward a thin black accent ring and lighter accent of flaring birch. A standard mortise and tenon arrangement leads to a unadorned tapered stem of black vulcanite, a hand-cut fishtail mouthpiece that offers a comfortable smoke while keeping the visual focus where it belongs: on the brilliant stummel. With a myriad of visual detail and fine craftsmanship to admire and a spectacular in-hand feel, this piece will make a deserving centerpiece to any collection.

- Joel Balyeat
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.96 in./125.98 mm.
  • Weight: 2.00 oz./56.70 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.98 in./50.29 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.57 in./39.88 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.73 in./18.54 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.80 in./45.72 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Volcano
  • Finish: Partial Rusticated
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Taiwan
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