It has been just over a month now since the 2010 Chicago Show occurred. In the intervening month I have given a lot of thought to a question that is, for me, one of the most important questions any collector considers: “Where is pipe design and shape language going next?”
Over the last five years there have been any number of fashionable movements inside the artisanal pipe world. Since Kei Gotoh’s initial inspiration, we’ve seen a plethora of bamboo-pierced pipes with shapes ranging from flowers to sea creatures.
We’ve seen a number of variations on Bo-Nordh themes, too – nautiluses, horns, Ramses, sphinxes, and lately Swedish tomatoes. Likewise, as Jess Chonowitsch pipes have become scarce and precious, a number of artisans have borrowed his shape language, and signature flourishes, as well.