Brad Pohlmann's Favorite Pipe Designs
When you've been in the game as long as American master Brad Pohlmann, you're bound to end up with at least a few favorite forms. Whether they're standard shapes that one explores over and over again, or experimentations that end up becoming signature shapes, it's these repeated exercises that truly define a pipe maker's body of work. In honor of today's update, we've asked Brad to give us some insight regarding some of his favorite, and most popular designs. Here's what he had to say:
Brad: "A fun shape with so many possibilities. Drilling the bowl always takes careful consideration so as to leave enough briar at the bottom of the bowl."
Brad is particularly known for his two distinct versions of the Dublin shape: the "Tulip"-like variety (pictured above), which features a more gestural, floral style of rim, and the powerful Danish/American hybrid (pictured below).
Brad: "I was never much interested early on in my pipe smoking days with roundish bowls. After smoking one of these I quickly became a fan of round bowls! The shape performs magnificently through the course of a smoke, and never gets too warm in the hand. I chose a dome-shaped shank cap because it reminded me of a meerschaum with a cherry wood stem I had seen in an old oil painting I found some time ago, and thought it mirrored the bowl shape in a pleasing way."
Brad: "Always a shape that is never really set in stone, and the wood usually will dictate the final outcome. I was in a peculiarly rebellious mood when I made this one! (pictured below)"
Partially Sandblasted Sitting Dublin with Spalted Tamarind (2010) [Brad's "rebellious" take on the shape]
Brad: "My current long-shanked version had its genesis back in 2007, and has evolved from there."
Brad: "I made my first Bulldog, because the shape intimidated me, and I wanted that feeling gone. My first John Bull was an attempt at marrying the English and the Danish aesthetic. This shape is one that for me is constantly evolving in subtle ways. Elegance is always the goal in mind."
Tagged in: Behind-The-Scenes Brad Pohlmann Interview Photography Pipe Makers Pipe Making
Gorgeous! Just curious, since 95% of us will never own one of these beautiful works of art, even as estates, due to cost, do you smoke one of his pipes, or is it just for show? If you smoke it, is there special tobaccos you smoke to break it in, so as not to risk charring the bowl (Perhaps something like, Dunhill's Gentle Baby's Bottom Blend). I certainly would never clinch one, or ever cant it on an angle for rear of rim darkening. By volume, I figure the stem alone to be worth several hundred $'s.
@Va/Per-Izor All pipes are made to be smoked and in my experience, pipe makers love to see customers enjoying their work as it was intended to be enjoyed. Personally, I do smoke Brad's pipes, and I smoke the hell out of them! I also happen to be smoking one of his Bent Dublin designs as I type. It's not even coincidental, considering how often I smoke this particular pipe... I break in my more expensive pipes the same way that I do my less expensive ones: by smoking carefully!
Thanks, Mr. Ireland. When your done, "smoking the hell," out of out of one of Mr. Pohmann's beauty's, throw it my way. I've got about $200, before the wife starts signing divorce papers. But, I sure envy you.
@Va/Per-Izor I'll certainly keep you in mind, although it's not likely that I'll ever be done with any of these Pohlmann pipes! ;) Just keep your eyes on the estate section... you're bound to get lucky eventually!
I just started and wanna get lucky either! Own a nice simple matte bent ball and want my second pipe to be somewhat special.
@Ottoman Well if you want something special Brad is a great place to be looking.