On a sunny day in July, I was sitting in my car heading for Gothenburg or, more specifically, Partille, situated in the northeastern part of the city. There, the latest addition to the number of Swedish pipemakers, Henrik Boustedt, has his workshop. The workshop is located in an industrial hotel, where a number of smaller firms are operating. No sign or anything else outside tells us that this hotel also houses a pipemaker.
A great interest in antiques
Henrik Boustedt (* 1974) was born and grew up in Kungälv, a small town situated a few miles south of Gothenburg, but after finishing school he moved to Gothenburg. In school he had studied economics, but that did not become his profession. Instead he devoted himself to a great interest of his, antiques. Not very surprising, as his parents had (and has) an antique store in Gothenburg. So since childhood he had been surrounded by antiques.
In 1999 he got a job at Bukowskis, a big auction company, and his specialty was valuing Chinese ceramics, antique furniture and handicraft products. Since then he has changed employers several times but for some years now, he has been working for the Gothenburg Auction House.
Renovations became the start
Henrik smoked a pipe in the youth, but then he stopped for a long time. When he a few years ago turned 40, he however felt that it was time to resume the habit. The interest to make his own pipes was awakened, when a customer gave him some old and well used pipes. They were not in a very good condition, but Henrik decided to renovate them. That feels familiar, it is not uncommon that a pipemaker starts his career by renovating old pipes.
Having started to make his own pipes, Henrik put some of them on Instagram and got much praise there, and he has also sold some pipes that way. With the help of a good friend, who is knowledgeable about websites, he expects to have a website of his own in the near future.
A while ago, Henrik sent some photos of his pipes to Broberg’s Tobacco, a firm that has shops in our three largest cities. They became interested and wanted him to come and show his pipes. Henrik did so and Broberg’s immediately ordered 20 pipes from him. That is the pipes Henrik was working on at my visit and some of them are shown in this article.
As mentioned initially, Henrik’s workshop is in an industrial hotel in Partille. It is small, but fully adequate for one person and contains the necessary equipment, neither more nor less. Henrik has visited Jonas Rosengren in Halmstad and Vollmer & Nilsson in Malmö and says that he has got many valuable tips from these experienced pipemakers. During his last visit to Jonas, he also bought a number of briar blocks from him. Previously he had bought his blocks from Mimo in Italy.
Henrik works half-time for the auction company and the rest of his time he can devote himself to pipemaking. He says he is never as happy as when he is making pipes – or playing chess, another of his great interests.
Henrik calls his pipes “Note-pipes” and he stamps them with his initials and an eighth-note. He has plans to stamp some pipes with a sixteenth-note, but that will be reserved for the very best. So far, none of the pipes he has made has qualified for that, he says.
When I visited Henrik, he had just finished a course in silver-works, so in the future it is likely that we will see some adornments from silver on his pipes. He is also considering putting a musical note in the stem of his pipes, preferably in silver.
We wish Henrik all the best in his pipe-making hoping to have reason to return to him many times in the future.