In No. 87 of this magazine we started a series called “Det Svenska Undret” (The Swedish Wonder). The title was chosen due to the grand evolution in Swedish pipe-making during the last 20 years, when so many new pipemakers have started and also got an international reputation. We have written about all of them when they had just begun, but now we want to follow this up and ask and answer the question: “What happened then?” In this issue we meet Bengt Carlson in the city of Lund and Lars Jönsson. The latter is using the trade name Lomma Pipes, named after the place where he lives. The beautiful pipe on the cover is made by him.
The pipemakers Vollmer & Nilsson have arranged a training-course in pipe-making and four members from our club are pupils. One evening a week they are very busy creating their very first pipe and the enthusiasm is obvious. We visited them one of these evenings and some pictures are showing their efforts. In the next issue we will hopefully be able to present the final result.
The cover shows some tools and a pipe made by the talented Swedish carver Jungfru Sophia Isberg (1819 – 1875). She made pipes from a special kind of birch growing in the very northern part of the Scandinavian countries. The small statuette to the left is a self-portrait. These things are found in the City Museum of Motala, the town where Sophia spent most of her life. Recently, at an auction, Johan Hedborg found a pipe made by her and went to the museum to have it verified as a genuine Isberg product. And of course it was. A picture of that pipe and an article about his visit in Motala is found in this issue.
A new exclusive cigar and pipe shop, Mellgrens Tobak, was opened in Gothenburg shortly before Christmas. Of course we took part in the inauguration and give you a complete review of the event.
Two events took place in Stockholm at the end of last year. The Tobacco & Match Museum opened a new smoking room, furnished in an oriental style. That style was most popular for smoking rooms here in Sweden in the second part of the 19s century. The other event was that a new local pipe club was formed in our capital. We have a report from that club’s second meeting, which took place in the beginning of this year.
The pipe on the cover, with an exquisite blasting, was made by the pipemakers Vollmer & Nilsson. That pipe is part of a 7-days-set, a most unusual set as all the pipes are not only in the same shape but also in the same finish.
We start a new series of articles called “The Swedish Wonder”. 20 years ago pipe-making was about to die in Sweden, as there was only one active pipemaker left. And no one seemed willing to follow in his footsteps. But then, quite suddenly, something happened and one new pipemaker after another entered the scene. So it is no exaggeration to call this evolution a wonder.
Many of the new pipemakers were presented in our magazine when they started making pipes, but since then our readers may not have heard very much about them. So in a series of articles we ask and answer the question: “What happened then?” We start this tour with two pipemakers living in the city of Halmstad, Lars-Göran “Gurra” Markunger and Jonas Rosengren.
The cover shows some pipes in a series called “Julpipor” (X-mas pipes) made by the pipemakers Bengt Carlson and Sara and Love Geiger. The pipes were ordered by Quality Briar in the USA and in an article Bengt tells us all about how the came true.
Annually our club is arranging a pipe auction and last year this auction took place in the beginning of November in Malmö and we can show you some pictures from that event. As told in earlier issues of our magazine, we have had a lottery among our members for the Jubilee pipe that last year was made by nine Swedish pipemakers. The draw in that lottery took place at said auction and we are happy to show a picture of the lucky winner, Bengt Fahlstedt, enjoying his first smoke in that very special pipe.
One of our members, Percy Eriksson, spends a month now and then in China – not curious as he is married to a Chinese woman. In an illustrated article he gives us an initiated picture from that large country and the situation for pipe-smokers there (and how difficult it may be to find ordinary pipe cleaners!).
The well-known pipe brands Hilson and Big Ben are made by Gubbels pipe factory in Roermond, Holland. Last year, when the World Cup in pipe-smoking was arranged in Holland, two of our members, Mikael Petersson and Sten Klang, met the manager of that factory and were invited for a visit. A report with many pictures is found in this issue.
Assens is a small Danish town on the island of Funen and has a long history of tobacco-manufacturing. In 1864 a tobacco factory was founded in the central part of the town, housed in a building that is now a museum. In 1991 a new factory was built, and that factory is not only the biggest but also the most modern factory in the world for pipe tobacco. And today it is a center for pipes too. The new manager of Stanwell, Frank Holst Christoffersen, has his office here and here are the Stanwell pipes stored and get the final inspection on their way from the factory in Italy to retailers around the globe.
We visited Orlik Tobacco Company last October and spent a thrilling day there. First we visited the section of the factory, where the blends in the series My Own Blend are made. All tobacco in this series is blended by hand and the register of customers’ blends has passed 45,000 by now. And the blender Lasse Berg made a new blend for our club, called SP 3.
The department for My Own Blend may be called a tobacco factory in miniature, but the rest of the factory certainly is not. We started our tour in the gigantic store room, where 5,800 tons of tobacco are landed every year. All tobacco here was in bales with one exception, Perique from Louisiana that was fermenting in big barrels. A lot of pictures showing the process are found in this issue.
The Jubilee Pipe: There will be a lottery among our members for that very special pipe, made by nine Swedish pipemakers. Every member is allowed to buy one lottery ticket and the price is 100 SEK. The draw will take place at our Pipe Auction in Malmö on the 12s of November. A pipe-stand, a tamper and a leather bag is included.
The Club Pipe: For the first time our club-pipe is made by a Swedish pipemaker, Lars Jönsson. So far Lars is not known as an individual pipemaker, but despite that he is very experienced, as he for many years has been helping Tom Eltang to make the Sara Eltang line of pipes. But this is the first time Lars makes pipes signed by himself. The name he uses is “Lomma”, which is the name of the place where he lives. That name is also deeply connected to pipe-making, as it was there the legendary Sixten Ivarsson was born.
The pipes are available in two finishes, smooth and sandblasted, and every member is allowed to buy one of each. Apart from Lars’s logo the pipes will be stamped “SP 20 år 2011” and numbered, the smooth pipes and the sandblasted separately. A smooth pipe is pictured on the cover and there are more pictures inside this issue.
The price is 825 SEK for a sandblasted and 1100 SEK for a smooth pipe. If you order one of each they will cost 1850 SEK. Postage is included. Only members are allowed to buy the pipes.
The Pipe Auction: Our annual pipe auction takes place on the 12s of November and pictures of the pipes are found on our site www.svenskapipklubben.se
Bids from members may be sent to the secretary (email@example.com) at the latest on the 10s of November.
The Pipe Club of Sweden is now celebrating its first 20 years and we wanted to celebrate that in a special way. So at the end of March nine Swedish pipemakers gathered in the workshop of Vollmer & Nilsson with the aim to make a pipe together, a very special pipe—a Jubilee pipe for our club. The result may be seen in this issue but in August a Jubilee magazine will be published, showing step by step how this pipe came true. The pipemakers also made a stand for the pipe and a tamper. All of it will be sold later this year and further information on that will be published in said Jubilee publication and here at our site.
Earlier this year Tom Eltang was visited by the Japanese pipemaker Kei Gotoh. The visit lasted for 10 days and those days were filled with work. Some of the nine pipes they made are shown in this issue and they are really pieces of art.
The cover of this issue shows a pipe made by Kai Nielsen, one of four pipemakers in a little Danish town called Faaborg. Your editor visited this town twice last summer and paid all of them a visit. In an extensive article you may meet these pipemakers and see pictures of quite a lot of their pipes. Foreign members of our club get a full English translation of the article.
In December last year two of our members visited the annual international pipe-show in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a vivid article, illustrated with a lot of pictures, they tell us about their experiences during this memorable event.
It is always a pleasure to meet a skilled craftsman. This time we are honored to present a master in the art of building splitcane fishing rods, rods often referred to as the Rolls Royce in its field. Lennart Persson is a long-time member of our club, he is a devoted fly-fisherman and is regarded as one of the very best in his craft. (more…)
The pipe on the cover was made by Love and Sara Geiger. This pipe, and a lot more, was exposed at the World Championship in Pipesmoking, which in the beginning of October took place in Estoril, Portugal. Among the other pipes was a set inspired by the Yang and Yin, figures so important in Chinese mythology and religion. That set was sold and has now found a new home in England.
Last September we were honored to take part in the opening of a new pipemaker’s workshop in Lomma, just outside the city of Malmö. Lomma is a place with a reputation when it comes to pipe-making, as Sixten Ivarsson, the most famous Scandinavian pipemaker during the last century, was born there. Lars Jönsson, the owner of the new workshop, has during the last years helped Tom Eltang to make the Sara Eltang-pipes. But hopefully Lars will now start making pipes under his own name as well. He has been working with wood for all his grown-up life, and he made the cabinet for the “7-days set”, produced for our club in 2008, so he really has a solid background. The event was attended by a lot of people and among them several pipemakers from Sweden and Denmark. (more…)
In this issue we bring you the third and final part of our series about the Ivarsson family. The first article in that series was about Sixten Ivarsson, who just after WW II laid the foundation for modern Scandinavian pipe-making, the second about his son Lars and this time we have a presentation of Sixten’s granddaughter Nanna and her work.
We have visited the Swedish importer of the well-known Savinelli pipes and tell the history of this famous Italian factory. We also show a lot of their pipes, all of them found here in Sweden.
The artist Alf Andersson makes paintings with humorous, sometimes a little burlesque, motives. And many of them pictures pipe-smokers. We have visited one of his exhibitions last Easter and have the pleasure to show some of his paintings. (more…)