Lasse Skovgaard: Partially Sandblasted Mushroom Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-327-0715

Lasse Skovgaard comes from a pipe-making pedigree, a second-generation carver whose father is Benni Jørgensen. Enamored with the work of his father from a young age, Skovgaard began his journey into the pipe world the way many young Danish artisans did: by working at the prestigious W.Ø. Larsen workshop. Though, rather than starting with pipes, Lasse began by crafting the Danish workshop's buffalo horn tampers at 16 years old, slowly honing his craftsmanship skills until he was promoted to pipe carving at 18, and then entrusted with Larsen's high-grade pieces at 19. Encouraged by Teddy Knudsen, a friend of his father, Skovgaard debuted pipes of his own make at the Chicago Pipe Show, selling out his stock and starting his path as an artisan. It's been nearly two decades since Lasse began to carve in earnest, and he's made a name for himself in that time, blooming into his own with a unique shaping style that sets him apart from othes, favoring an overtly naturalist style that values fluid lines, clean compositions, and blossoming, floral elements, all of which are clearly visible in this Mushroom rendition.

The closest thing I have seen to this piece in Skovgaard's portfolio is this stylized bent Dublin, which is similarly possessed of a large, wavy, Calabash-like dome atop its bowl, though this piece strikes me as much more reminiscent of the Calabash, with a sinuous fluidity about it that hearkens back to the gourd examples of days past. However, this pipe is certainly a Mushroom, and the most mushroom-like of all of the Mushrooms I have ever seen, as the domed cap perfectly encapsulates the look of its fungal forebear, though this one has been given a touch of lift to its aft side that works in concert with the parabolic transition not just to create an eye-drawing negative space, but to make the area the rim overhangs an impeccable rest for the thumb.

The stummel is possessed of a consistent flare to its body, even throughout its sweep upward to the rim, making the immediate, stark expansion that takes place when it reaches that point that much more dramatic. This sweeping, fluid curvature additionally allows the shank to be angled upward quite a bit, giving the stem a fantastic posture for both jaw hanging and sipping smoke while held. Balance is key here, so as not to take away emphasis from the shank and stem's graceful poise, and Skovgaard recognizes this, mirroring the flare of the rim in the slight expansion present in the stem base, keeping the entire composition quite harmonious in nature. The briar here features a dual finish, with the large domed rim kept smooth and stained a warm auburn, displaying some handsome birdseye in the process, while the majority of the stummel showcases a crisp sandblast, with striations of flame grain and quavering growth rings radiating out of the heel in a lovely sunburst array.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 7.40 in./187.96 mm.
  • Weight: 3.20 oz./90.72 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.62 in./66.55 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 2.35 in./59.69 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.83 in./21.08 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.08 in./52.83 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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