Lars Jönsson is a passionate sailor and actually that interest made him a pipemaker. During a sailing tour in 1998 he decided to spend the night in Taarbeck on Zealand. In the evening he went to a restaurant, located close to the harbor, where he met a cheerful and talkative Dane. The two were sitting in the restaurant for several hours, and when Lars heard that his new friend was a pipemaker, he was surprised—he did not even know that any existed today. As Lars had been working with wood all his life, his interest was awakened. The two decided to meet the following morning so that Lars could see his friend’s workshop, which was situated close to the harbor. That workshop belonged to Tom Eltang.
The following morning Lars arrived at Eltang’s workshop and was fascinated by the beautiful things Tom created. A new world opened before his eyes, but at the time he had no idea that, one day, he would be a part of that world.
Rustications – a start
After that first meeting, Lars and Tom got together frequently and among other things they used to sail together in the summers. One time when Lars was visiting Tom’s workshop the telephone rang. It was Tom’s friend Per Billhäll. Tom said to Per that he had a lot of pipes that needed to be rusticated, and he had some problems with that because of pain in his shoulders. Per, who knew Lars, said: “Why don’t you ask Lars to do it?” Tom thought it was a good idea, and having thought about it for a while, so did Lars.
Making rustications was Lars’ introduction to pipe-making. Tom was pleased with Lars’ work, and, step by step, he was given more tasks, and in that way Lars learned all the various operations it takes to make a pipe. He also got much help from Hans Former Nielsen. Lars states how happy he is to have been taught the craft by two of the very best in the profession.
Lars has mainly been working with pipes on the Sara Eltang series, but lately also with pipes in a new series called Former-Eltang. That last series is a result of a cooperation between those two pipemakers.
In 2011 Lars was asked to make a club pipe for the Pipe Club of Sweden. Lars was hesitant at first, but after a while he accepted. He made a prototype that immediately was approved by the members. A hard time began as no less than 58 pipes were ordered.
But it was an important step—it was the start for Lars as an independent pipemaker.
A name with a history
Lars lives in a village called Lomma, located just north of Malmö. That name has a grand history when it comes to pipe-making, as the legendary Sixten Ivarsson was born there. Lars is the fourth generation of his family to live in Lomma, so it was natural for Lars to call his pipes by the name of his hometown.
The earlier mentioned club pipe was the first that Lars designed and made all by himself. Since then, he has started to create new shapes and I am confident that in the near future, we will hear a lot more about pipes stamped Lomma Sweden.