Hiroyuki Tokutomi may be a master pipemaker, but he isn't stuffy about it. No, fact is, he gets up to some very curious things in the course of creating his pipes - and this is one of them. Up front this Volcano is classic Tokutomi, all flowing asymmetry and balanced yet organic form, with a good dose of beautiful birdseye, fine ring grain, and tight-packed natural plateau. It's out back where he appears to have had a bit of fun, carefully turning, carving, and polishing a boxwood shank extension into an accurate likeness of four compact knickles worth of bamboo. It's not like Tokutomi lacks access to bamboo, and shaping this detailed accent from boxwood certainly wasn't saving him either time or money (ditto and doubly so, his framing it between two pieces of mastodon ivory). So why did he do it? My guess would be because he damn well felt like it. And since it came out beautifully, kudos to him I say.
- Eric N. Squires