Lasse Skovgaard: Smooth Volcano Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-327-0745

Lasse Skovgaard is the son of Benni Jørgensen, a renowned Danish pipe maker who made pipes for W.Ø Larsen for 25 years, going on to have a successful career of his own carving pipes of his own make. It's only appropriate that Skovgaard's own career path take a somewhat similar trajectory, as he joined Larsen at the age of 16 after a lifelong fascination with his father's work. Within three years he had moved up from carving tampers to crafting the workshop's premiere Straight Grain pieces, his work fueled by determination, practice, and guidance from Teddy Knudsen who, in 2004, urged him to make a few pipes of his own and bring them to the Chicago Pipe Show: Skovgaard sold every one of these, went back the next year, and sold out once again. From then on he dedicated himself to creating artisan pieces that bore his name, finding success in doing so, with his unique shaping style and keen eye for grain orientation showcased in this Volcano.

Skovgaard has crafted his fair share of Volcano renditions, though this particular example, I find, displays his inspirations exceptionally well, with elements of his father's own style as well as Knudsen's present in its design. I'm immediately struck by one element of this piece specifically, as it speaks to Lasse's ability to carve subtle curves amidst firm edges: the lip at the fore. Following the wrapping ridgeline from one end of the stem base to the other, we see this dipped lip urge forward out of the briar, its small arc lent a bit of extra substance which Skovgaard has elected to frame with a second ridge which manifests out of the first, magnifying its presence and enhancing the effect of the hollow carving present immediately beneath it. This detail by itself is incredibly impressive, and the hollowing here isn't the only instance of its presence, as it is extant above it as well, only this is slightly more understated, and it continues from the fore down both sides of the base until it reaches the flanks of the bowl, where it dissipates smoothly into the briar. The underside of the base features a bit of a bulge to it near the aft section of the bowl and transitional area, building a muscular look and feeding into the curling shank and stem combination to foster a stature that is equal parts elegant and imposing.

The transition here is extremely wide, creating a wealth of negative space that enables the comfortable draping of a thumb, and builds the aft of the bowl with a distinct forward urge that imbues the profile with an understated dynamism. The bowl itself is quite tall, tapering from its wide base to the flat rim, with the fore wall rising straight up after just a bit of an arc from its origin point, creating an excellent space for the fingers to wrap around, especially if, like me, you situate your forefinger directly atop the aforementioned lip at the fore. Dressing the briar here is a vibrant orange-auburn contrast stain that unveils dense striations of flame and straight grain wrapping the bowl and running through the flanks of the shank, while the vast underside is populated with chaotic swirls of veined birdseye.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.88 in./174.75 mm.
  • Weight: 3.50 oz./99.22 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.43 in./61.72 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 2.10 in./53.34 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.00 in./50.80 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Volcano
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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