Ash-glazed Viper Effigy hand Pipe



This little pipe with a pulled stem and modelled head fits the hand perfectly.  Even though this is an effigy of a snake, I added three little legs so the pipe would sit up and behave when set on the table.  The ash glaze spills and clots into glossy streams of deep blue on a pale matte blue-gray background, and like most ash glazes is very pleasant to the touch.

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.

This is a dry pipe, not a water pipe.  It was inspired by the many effigy pipes made and used by native cultures in the Americas.


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