Abe Herbaugh: Smooth Freehand Volcano Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-614-0172

Abe Herbaugh is one of the most accomplished young artisans in America, and is one of my absolute favorites in the pipe making world, not the least because of his start in the craft. For much of his adult life, ten years to be more specific, Herbaugh built electric guitars, though he was inspired to begin carving pipes early in his childhood, thanks to pipe-smoking members of his family. Music runs in his family too: His first several pipes were carved in his father's fiddle workshop.

We've seen a number of different Volcano renditions from the American artisan in the past, embodying myriad stylistic variations that each showcase a different facet of Herbaugh's expertise: from compact, highly dynamic pieces akin to the Japanese school, to lengthy, lifting imaginings reminiscent of the Danish school. This particular vision of the shape is similar to a piece that Herbaugh sent us for the 7th annual American Pipe Making Exposition in 2021, in that it is intensely dynamic and rich with fluid curves. The uniquely active outline of this pipe infuses it with a lively organicism which not only ensures that the eye is drawn toward its form, but builds a powerful sense of momentum that reinforces its organic elements.

What captures one's attention most readily here is the impressive stem that Herbaugh has fitted to the stummel, lifting out of a trim, tapering, upswept shank and flaring as its base extends to curl around the fore and drape over the aft half of the pipe. The stem base comes to a point above the left flank of the stummel, where the black vulcanite is carved with a fluting channel that wraps around the back and underside of the stummel before dissipating at a distended, rearward-slanting heel. This heel is positively belly-like, given its impressive rounding, and from its lowest point begins a gradual flare outward to a wrapping ridgeline which surrounds the flanks of the bowl and shank. From the central ridge of the stummel, the briar begins to taper upward on all sides, forming a rather squat bowl that yet retains a bit of a forward cant and whose rim is dipped at the center and chamfered into the chamber. Dressed in a warm, auburn-tinged contrast stain, dense flame grain wraps the left side of the stummel, while the rest of the stummel, and especially the expansive underside, displays a vast ocean of swirling birdseye.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.40 in./111.76 mm.
  • Weight: 1.70 oz./48.19 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.36 in./34.54 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.05 in./26.67 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.72 in./18.29 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.95 in./49.53 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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