Misc. Estates: Michael Parks Sandblasted Volcano (IV.7)

Product Number: 004-008-7937

Michael Parks is a highly accomplished Canadian artisan that has been shaping briar for nigh on 20 years now. In addition to his wealth of experience, he possesses a deep appreciation for both classic English shapes as well as sculptural, architectural profiles that are equal parts art and smoking instrument. Of course, the latter is most apparent and well-represented in this Volcano, something that he is quite adept at crafting, but that we have never seen before from the Canadian artisan. Additionally, this is a kind of Volcano that I've never really seen before, as it eschews the usually squat, low-profile silhouette we've come to know in favor of a much taller bowl and high-reaching shank and stem combination that not only brings the total length to over six inches, but gives the pipe a poised, gracile element.

Gracile is a good word to use here especially, as, not only does the shank and stem lift in its travel, but the shank itself tapers rapidly to meet the stem, which is quite lithe, giving the entire rear end an acrobatic elegance. The resulting transition is quite wide, more than enough room to drape the thumb, and parabolic, as it rises at a languid angle to the rim, working in concert with the fore of the bowl to create an upper body that tapers to a dramatic diminution of its original breadth. Speaking of which, that breadth is best seen, of course, on the underside, where the briar is curved in a basin-like manner and framed with a firm, ovoid ridgeline, with the center dipping down to its lowest point. At first glance you would be forgiven if you thought, like myself, that there is no way this pipe would sit. You, like myself, would be wrong, however, as Parks has managed to balance this piece so well that, if sat on the rear portion of its base, sits supremely sturdily, so much so that, if the stem is pushed down to a flat surface, it will bounce back up to a resting position. A ruby sandblast dresses the briar here, handsomely contrasting the jet black tapered stem and revealing a quavering, expanding growth ring structure that seems to ripple down the rim to the heel, as if the Volcano itself were leaking magma.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

Minor Rim Darkening

(pipe logo stamp)
  • Length: 6.07 in./154.18 mm.
  • Weight: 1.92 oz./54.43 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.52 in./64.01 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 2.01 in./51.05 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.72 in./18.29 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.39 in./35.31 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Volcano
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Canada
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