Ash-Glazed Salamander Effigy Pipe


Ash-glazed salamander effigy pipe


This little porcelain hand pipe was sculpted in the form of a salamander.  The ash glaze runs and gathers into random glossy patches and rivulets in the heat of the firing, and this surface is visually similar to amphibian skin.  The carburetor is the salamander’s mouth, and the bowl is thrown and added to the hand-modeled body.

Clay pipes have a very long history; examples from thousands of years in the past can be found in museums around the world.  But they are rarely to be found in the work of contemporary potters, which is a great shame, in my opinion.  High-fired porcelain is particularly well-suited to pipe making, as it is fully vitreous and is as impervious as glass to soaking up unpleasant odors.  It can be cleaned in any way that a glass pipe can be cleaned.  Each of my pipes is made individually by hand, and is therefore completely one-of-a-kind.

Each pipe comes with two high-fired porcelain screens made to fit the bowl, and these are far better for a smoker’s lungs than the metal screen often sold with commercially produced pipes. The porcelain is completely non-reactive and will not erode with use. Screens may be cleaned by soaking in alcohol or other solvent.  With care they should last a lifetime.

This piece, like all my work, contains no lead or other toxic elements, and is food-safe, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe.


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