Lasse Skovgaard: Partially Sandblasted Mushroom Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-327-0752

Lasse Skovgaard, like many great artisans before him including his father Benni Jorgensen, began his career in the pipe world by making pieces for the venerable W.Ø.Larsen workshop. He didn't start by making pipes, however, but rather horn pipe tampers when he was 16, practicing making pipes in his downtime until, at 18, he was finally promoted to pipe maker. He carved Larsen's Select grades at first, but moved on to their superlative Straight Grain pipes at 19, speaking to his progress in the craft. Sensing this progress, Teddy Knudsen, a revered Danish artisan himself and a family friend, encouraged Skovgaard to begin making pipes that bore his name. Taking the advice, Lasse attended the Chicagoland Pipe Show in 2004 with 12 pieces, selling out completely and setting the stage for the next year, where he sold out again. From then on, Skovgaard has focused on his own work, with this Mushroom being a wonderful example of his more evocative work, its shaping reminiscent of the work of his father.

This piece is possessed of twin flares, one up front through the rim and one out back at the shank end, both of which are quite organic and do well to balance the visual weight of the composition. The flare at the shank end strikes me first thanks to its outline, as its sharp edges and blooming, plateau-ringed silhouette bring to mind a flower, though given the name of this piece, I would suspect this is more a broad, flat variety of fungus like Chicken of the Woods. The internal area of this flare is chamfered inward, smoothing out as it creates a nest of sorts for the stem base to nestle into, or perhaps it is the result of the stem bursting out from the stummel like an expansion ring-fitted tendril that takes on a demure downturn from bit to button.

There's a slight pinch to the shank just before the aforementioned flare, almost at the transition, and this lends said transition a wideness that belies its rather concise angle, offering plenty of room to drape a thumb. On the left side of the stummel runs a sweeping ridgeline that starts at the shank end flare and terminates at the rim, upturning sooner than I'd usually expect and drawing the eye forward to the fore, its build pushing out from the rest of the briar just a bit. The rim here is exactly what you would expect in a Mushroom rendition: broad, expansive, and toadstool like, with a slight inflation to its surface that enhances the extremely organic feel of this composition. Dressed in an inky sandblast, this pipe showcases ring grain through the shank and bowl, the ripples spreading out in a sunburst pattern from the basin of the stummel, contrasting by the smooth rim and smooth internals of the shank face.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.93 in./176.02 mm.
  • Weight: 2.50 oz./70.87 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.35 in./59.69 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.88 in./47.75 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.81 in./20.57 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.00 in./50.80 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Germany
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