It's been a long time since we saw a Benni Jorgensen "Swan" grade in a lighter finish; not since 2009, to be exact. Granted, given Benni's substantial and sweeping style of shaping pipes, this is understandable, as when you have this much surface on display darker colors or bolder contrasts tend to help the briar's surface keep up with the visual interest of the design itself. A lighter finish can still work, however, just as long as there's a good bit of contrast, and just the right grain. In this case, there is both, and how.
- Eric N. Squires