Todd Johnson: Smooth Samurai Volcano with Ivorite (Phalanx) (Q) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-194-0154

Todd Johnson is one of North America's premier carvers, and his work is widely heralded as some of the finest in the world. For over 20 years, Johnson has devoted himself to the craft, and his years of experience are evident in every pipe he makes. But Johnson didn't come to the craft fully formed. No, even though Johnson had a background in woodworking when he first started, he spent a great deal of time studying the intricacies and nuances of pipe making. In fact, Johnson spent time with the great Tom Eltang and Lars Ivarsson, honing his skills and learning everything the Danish legends had to teach. Now, Johnson pays it forward by teaching up-and-coming pipe makers about the craft, passing down the knowledge he accrued to the next generation of greats.

Inspired by Japanese pipe making, which Johnson cites as a massive influence, the Samurai Volcano is one of Johnson's signature shapes. Johnson's Volcano boasts the form's broad, ridgeline-wrapped heel and upward-tapering bowl, but it possesses an added curvature to its build and some subtle flourishes that distinguish it from typical renditions of the shape. This particular example, for instance, possesses a towering bowl that tapers upward from a wide heel to a sloped rim that favors the fore over the aft. The narrow rim's asymmetrical shaping, when considered in relation to the expansive heel, gives the entire bowl the appearance of an undulating wave. The base's ridgeline, likewise, is unique, as it meanders around the heel and comes to a pointed crest just under the transition, drawing attention to the high-climbing shank-and-stem arrangement. The shank and stem provide a comfortable smoking posture from which to enjoy the bowl's sizeable chamber and offer an extra touch of gesture to the overall composition. Dressed in a warm, traditional smooth finish, the stummel displays beautiful wisps of flame grain as they rise across the flanks of the bowl to the rim. An Ivorite accent, expertly incorporated into the saddle stem, really ties the whole piece together and illustrates why Johnson thought this piece was deserving of his Phalanx Q grade.

--Davin Hylton
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.33 in./160.78 mm.
  • Weight: 3.15 oz./89.36 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.48 in./62.99 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.97 in./50.04 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.74 in./18.80 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.27 in./57.66 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Volcano
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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