John Crosby Freehand

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Dec 12, 2007
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This is a pipe I acquired from John Crosby. This smooth reveals densely packed and very even birdseye on the bottom of the shank. Ruler-even straight grain evenly segments the shank from bowl to stem; it is an exquisite piece of briar.

The bowl to shank proportions of this pipe took me some time to get used to. The bowl seems small for the shank, but when you look at the swooshing line defining the shank to bowl line, it all seems to make sense.

The shape is further complicated by a twisting ridgeline that runs from the top right of the bowl to the bottom left of the shank. The second image shows in some detail how John set the birdseye off by accenting its organic distribution by juxtaposing it against the long transverse diagonal. The overall effect is modern with slightly retro overtones.

The bowl profile, as read from the side, is very prince-like. Typically, ridge treatments like this show up on Danish eggs. The very long wasp-like shank seems a nod to Wolfgang Becker, but the sharply defined ridge line and teardrop shank shape are uniquely John's.



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Dec 10, 2007
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Chestnut, IL
John does outstanding work. That is a very nice example.

I have a similar, but different piece that was sandblasted. Has a ridge down the left side. I love the shape. Being a fairly shallow bowl, I didn't think it would fit me, but it's superb with everything I put in it.