To declare that this Volcano is something of departure from what I have come to know as the Satou shaping aesthetic would be an egregious understatement. Over the past few months, the legendary carver has been focusing a good deal of attention on his Volcanoes; a shape which, while certainly part of his regular repertoire, previously represented a fairly small part of his work. Initially, that focus resulted an accelerated oscillation between his more formal and more modernist (for Satou) interpretations, with the last one I had the honor of describing representing a huge leap towards the latter. Compared to the Volcano now on my desk (and presently on your monitor), in hindsight, that aforementioned leap forward now seems closer to a toddler-step.
Whether through the use of subtly flattened profiles, fore-canted bowls or minimization of curvature, Satou-san has created some intriguing speeders in the past, but, universally, they were all based on a subtle tweaking of a form which was readily identifiable as – well, Satou. If this study in implied motion were to be held out of my reach (a quick open, followed by a peak at the amazing tenon and beautifully polished mortise would be a dead giveaway), I don’t think there’s a chance that I would have correctly identified the carver. The shape is, admittedly, highly intriguing, and this briar feels crazy-good in the paw. It might take me a bit to get used to it, but I’m pretty sure that I will.
-- R. ‘Bear’ Graves