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23 August 2013

Pipe Precis

       -Posted by kathryn-

Pipe by Maigurs Knets- Photography by

This week has seen some beautiful pipes and some broken pipes, a strange combination I know. It's also been busy, so here's a quick recap in case you've missed anything. Monday's update included showstoppers from Michael Lindner and Maigurs Knets, among many others. Our photography team produced a great number of beautiful images for these, for more of them check out our Facebook and Tumblr pages. 

Pipe by Michael Lindner- Photography by 

Of course, we have so many promotions and special events, they sometimes get muddled together.

~15% off all estates (even Monday's update)-Active four more days

~Coming soon: Tobacco selections from Drew Estate

~20% off select Savinelli pipes

~All Lane Limited bulk tobacco is on sale through August

~FREE cigar cutter with select boxes of CAO cigars

~Now available: McClelland Holiday Spirit

Estate sale at Coming soon to new tobacco from Drew Estate 


We undertook a pretty significant mission this Tuesday, hints of which were dropped on Instagram, which resulted in over 300 broken estate pipes being hung from the ceiling in the Marketing Department. We created this short video to explain why, show you the process, and the most entertaining part: capture the reactions of our employees who didn't know! Give it a watch. 

Secrets brewing at

Dennis also wrote a blog post about his thoughts on the matter yesterday, which delves further into the motivation and meaning of the display.

Pipe by Lasse Skovgaard- Photography by 

For Thursday's update, we were blown away by the work of Lasse Skovgaard and Alex Florov. Again, the photos Chris and Katie produced for these pipes are pure art. If you haven't seen them, do yourself a favor and follow a link to one of our social media pages below. We recieved some pretty colorful compliments (of course, beautiful subjects make beautiful photos).

Pipe by Alex Florov- Photography by 

Social Media pages for

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Kathryn Mann: Social Media Liaison Kathryn Mann: Social Media Liaison

Posted by kathryn at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

26 March 2013

Tuesday Therapy

       -Posted by kathryn-

Tuesday isn't particularly important for the Smokingpipes team. It's a graceful point in the week after the stress of Monday's update melts, and before the stress of Thursday arises. It's the hour of orange glow between night and day. It's a moment for us to slow down and recollect ourselves. For some, this could be turning the music up a little, or shooting rubber bands at one another. For many, it is an opportunity to pull out some nice tobacco and have a long smoke. Whatever your Tuesday therapy may be, there is something else to add to that routine, starting today: YouTues! (YouTube Tuesday) Today we bring you a video tour of Lasse Skovgaard's workshop, and a conversation between Sykes and Lasse about his first experiences with making pipes. There is more to this interview, which will be making its way to YouTues soon, along with many others from Eltang, Heding, and our recent visit with Michael Parks. We will post most of them here, but don't forget to follow our channel to stay up to date. So, without further delay, Happy Tuesday, and Happy YouTues! 



Kathryn Mann: Social Media Liaison Kathryn Mann: Social Media Liaison

Posted by kathryn at 11:20 AM | Link | 2 comments

25 July 2010

Video: Lasse Skovgaard Shapes a Horn
 The Young Dane at Work

       -Posted by sykes-

I'm now back in South Carolina (which is so terribly hot that I'm already ready to go back to Denmark, or perhaps move the entire business to, say, Edmonton), and I've been working on getting some videos, photos and written bits and pieces from the trip together for a series of blog posts over the next few days. In no particular order, I hope to get a whole bunch of fun stuff up on the blog over the coming two weeks.

Kicking it off is a long video of Lasse Skovgaard at work. For various camera reasons, the video quality isn't as good as the others we've been doing lately, but I decided to run with it anyway: watching the lathe work is particularly interesting here.

Posted by sykes at 4:46 PM | Link | 0 comments

18 July 2010

Danish Chronology; Trip Overview, Part 1
 Linear travelogue is challenging...

       -Posted by sykes-

Chronology, the cornerstone of the blogging world with its reverse chronological organizational structure, can be terribly challenging while traveling. I haven't had nearly as much time to write about the visits as I'd hoped and I'll be putting up bits and pieces over the next few days as I can get videos and pictures edited and some thoughts on paper. This is my eighth visit to Denmark during the past six years; it is always a particular treat to be here. So, as I'm working on that, here's a quick overview of each visit.

Kevin Godbee, of, and I arrived on different flights from the US, but within a few minutes of each other. After taking care of airport necessaries and a quick stop at the hotel to clean up, we set out for Peter Heding, who lives and works in a small town near Roskilde. Peter holds a PhD in biology and until a few years ago worked in diabetes research. Deciding that wasn't the life for him, he became a full time pipe maker in 2006. Today, he's making some amazing pipes and we got to see a couple of stunning diamond graded pipes that he had just completed, plus got to spend some time watching him work and generally chatting about goings-on.

That afternoon, we swung south on Sjaelland to Praesto, where we met Lasse Skovgaard Jorgensen at his new workshop. Lasse grew up in this beautiful part of Denmark, so this is actually near where I visited him when we first started working with Lasse's pipes in 2005. Lasse has been playing musical workshops lately, in large part because he rented space from Stanwell a couple of years ago, and then Stanwell shuttered that factory this spring. For now, he's using some space near his grandmother's home, not far from where he grew up. Officially, he's on vacation right now, something that Lasse takes particularly seriously, so he met us at the workshop and he hadn't been there in a couple of days. With a spread of perhaps a dozen beautiful pipes (most of which will arrive at sometime soon) on the table, we set about playing around in the workshop and he shaped a pipe while we took a little video and shot some pictures. We went out to dinner, but I was so tired and jetlagged by then that I was a bit hazy, I think we had a really nice time.

The following morning (yesterday), we got up and drove up to north-eastern Sjaelland to visit Lars Ivarsson. I've already mentioned this some in my one previous trip post, so I won't delve into again here, except to again say that Annette's (Lars' wife) lunch was amazing. Given that Lars smoked the fish (that sounds like something pipe related, but he smoked a literal salmon, which we literally ate!) and shot the deer, perhaps he should get a nod for his culinary contributions too. We also spent a bunch of time talking about Sixten's early career, as well as Lars'. I'd heard all of this before, but in bits and pieces but never felt like I had the story coherently. I recorded the conversation and I'll turn it into something readable sometime soon. Five hours visiting Lars and Annette sped by in what felt like about an hour. I could (and have on a number of occasions) simply listen to Lars talk about pipes and pipe making in Denmark in the 1960s and 1970s for hours.

That evening, almost on a lark, I called Tom Eltang while we were driving back towards Copenhagen from Lars'. Tomorrow, we'll spend the whole day with Tom in the workshop, so last night's visit was very much on a whim. Tom gave Kevin the grand Eltang workshop tour, which never ceases to be fun for me too, though I've probably seen him give it a half-dozen times. Then I showed Tom my wounded soldier, one of the new Tubos pipes that I'd been smoking since Chicago that I had unceremoniously bitten through the stem of during a particularly intense meeting one afternoon (for the record, smoking a pipe in a meeting makes you seem smarter; biting through the stem and spitting out bits of vulcanite does not). In classic Tom fashion, he whipped out a new stem for me and I was smoking it again an hour after I showed him the problem. We'll see Tom again tomorrow.

This morning we set out at a little after 9am to visit Peder Jeppesen of Neerup Pipes. Peder makes about 2,500 pipes a year, so the whole structure of his workshop and his methods are rather different from those we're seeing elsewhere on this trip. Given that he makes about ten pipes a day on average, he must work with speed and efficiency, making excellent pipes available at reasonable prices. With the closure of Stanwell and the distribution of its production to various countries, Peder is the last factory-shape pipe making in Denmark, and he is indeed something of a one-man factory. I got some great video of his various processes, so I'll get that up in the next few days also.

Jess Chonowitsch has not made pipes since mid-2006, when his wife Bonnie fell ill; he has spent his time in the past four years caring for her rather than making pipes. I last saw him in 2007, and while I've called periodically and suggested we have coffee now and then when I've been in Denmark, it's been so difficult for him to get away that we'd not been able to make anything happen. This trip, I was delighted to be able to finally see Jess again. I've always enjoyed my time with both Jess and Bonnie. Jess has a quiet gentility that is so evident in his pipes. And he has such a rich history in the pipe world that simply being able to sit with him and pick his brain about pipes or pipe making is a very special experience. So, we sat in the garden for an hour and a half and just chatted. Jess is starting to get to where he can make pipes again, having spent time cleaning and organizing his workshop properly for the first time in a long time. I am very excited to see what he does over the next year or so. There's been much speculation as to whether he would start making pipes again; I'm quite confident that he will.

So, tomorrow, on to Tom Eltang's shop for the day. That should be a lot of fun. On Tuesday, we're headed to Mac Baren in Svendborg in the morning and to see Peter Heeschen in the afternoon. Wednesday we go to Orlik in Assens, then to Kent Rasmussen in Aarhus. On the last day, we'll head up to the tip of Jylland to visit Mogens Johansen (Johs) in Frederikshavn, then on back to Copenhagen. To misquote Tom Eltang, "It's good to be a pipe seller!".

Posted by sykes at 9:22 PM | Link | 1 comment



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