Alex has fashioned this piece as a cross grain, with broad fields of blasted birdseye on both flanks and subtle inclusions of natural plateau adding deeper texture. It's wearing an ink-black stain, reminding me again of river stones, with a chamfered rim left smooth and ruby-stained for contrast. A thin brass band is inlaid in the shank face, following the ridgelines of the mini-Blowfish shape perfectly and setting a nice stage for the emergence of the jet-black vulcanite stem. Alex has taken his time with the lip button here, meticulously funneling the airway by hand to offer an excellent draw and a comfortable perch between the lips.
Alex Florov never fails to impress, the American carver bringing both a background of museum furniture restoration and a prior career in industrial design to bear on pipe making. His style is remarkably sculptural, perhaps to be expected as he carves most of his pipes completely by hand with chisels to achieve perfection, with some of his designs seeming to approach the impossible. This Ryukin, then, is not to be passed up, as it will quickly become a treasured centerpiece in one lucky collector's rotation.
Measurements & Other Details
- Length: 6.94 in./176.28 mm.
- Weight: 3.70 oz./104.89 g.
- Bowl Height: 2.44 in./61.98 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.50 in./38.10 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.81 in./20.57 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 1.77 in./44.96 mm.
- Stem Material: Vulcanite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Freehand
- Finish: Sandblast
- Material: Briar
- Country: United States