Yuwei: Smooth Fugu Tobacco Pipe
Product Number: 002-842-0061
Yuwei Huang is a Taiwanese artisan whose work follows in the traditions of both the Danish and Japanese schools of design, crafting pieces with both impeccable attention to detail and a keen eye for organicism. It comes as no surprise, then, that he would favor the Blowfish shape and that the profile would make regular appearances within his portfolio, the modern classic realized across multiple styles. This Fugu, however, is quite a bit different from his Blowfish renditions, despite the two shapes being closely related: Rather than maintaining a structured look throughout, this piece pairs structure with pronounced curvature at opposing sides, the silhouette created unlike any we've ever seen from the artisan.
The outline of this pipe is immediately reminiscent of a teardrop, or perhaps one half of of a Taijitu, with a pronounced rounding at the fore that tapers through the aft before lifting and coming to a point past the stem. The left flank of the stummel is thoroughly rounded, curving to the right at the fore and aft ends and pushing out softly throughout, its expansive surface area offering ample space for the fingers to appreciate its rich curvature. From its crisply defined edge on the left, the stummel tapers toward the right at its midsection, sloping swiftly into a paneled face at the bowl. Said face is rounded by a wrapping ridgeline which comes to a point at the lower aft side, with this point defining a fin-like peak of briar that adds not only a bit of implied momentum, but offers further texture in the hand.
The shank area has received the same middle taper, and from its high-reaching peak another ridge starts, curving around the outline of its innermost side and plunging down to meet the aforementioned fin-like protrusion at the bowl's panel. The flicking stance of the shank, especially at the right side of the stummel, and the implied momentum that this shaping offers lends the pipe an active stance in hand and an alluring figure that keeps the eyes locked. Dressed in a warm, walnut-hued stain, the stummel here is positively drenched in an ocean of birdseye on the left flank, with the midsection striated by cross grain that follows the shape of the stummel excellently. The stem here is a brindled saddle of green and black vulcanite that arcs out of the shank at an angle that promises easy jaw-hanging, especially given the sub-five-inch length of the composition. A beautifully realized piece, this pipe showcases Yuwei's powerful grasp on shaping and reinforces his immense talent as an artisan.-John McElheny
Measurements & Other Details
- Length: 4.81 in./122.17 mm.
- Weight: 1.87 oz./53.07 g.
- Bowl Height: 2.07 in./52.58 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.29 in./32.77 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.81 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 1.55 in./39.37 mm.
- Stem Material: Vulcanite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Blowfish
- Finish: Smooth
- Material: Briar
- Country: Taiwan