Bruno Nuttens Pipes5 Total
Originally from Belgium, Bruno Nuttens studied literature at university before working in publishing and as a freelance developer in France. In 2018, he transitioned to crafting pipes full-time. Nuttens' foray into pipe making grew naturally out of his extensive experience as a restorer of estate pipes. In 2012, he purchased a collection of estate pipes, and while he only had eyes for one specific piece, he thought it a waste to discard the others. Instead, he restored the others and resold them, leading to a prolific side business as an estate restorer. For the next six years, Nuttens restored over 7,000 pipes, developing a discerning artistic eye and a keen understanding of quality craftsmanship.
Through his induction into the Confrérie des Maîtres Pipiers de Saint-Claude in 2013, Nuttens met pipe maker Pierre Morel and was inspired to start making pipes, not only restoring them. He spent time in Morel's workshop in 2014, training on pre-turned stummels to solidify his sanding, polishing, and staining techniques. The following years saw Nuttens supplement his pipe-restoration business with a series of pipes until he transitioned to making pipes full-time in 2018.
In 2019, Nuttens' pipe-making career was catalyzed further when he met Tom Eltang and was invited to Eltang's workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark. The experience helped Nuttens expand his pipe-making expertise, adding freehand pipe-making skills to his familiarity with the mass-production techniques he had learned from Morel in Saint-Claude, France. He's visited and studied under Eltang several times since, and Nuttens leverages these two pipe-making traditions and techniques into his own portfolio, offering a diverse range of options.
For his Heritage and Bing's lines, Nuttens champions the production model of traditional French factories, as he learned from Morel, hand-finishing factory-turned stummels and fitting them with pre-form stems of vulcanite or acrylic that Nuttens then modifies and improves. Every cumberland stem, though, on a Heritage or a Bing's pipe is completely hand-cut by Nuttens. The Heritage series offers a wide array of shape-chart classics in traditional French style, while the Bing's series entirely comprises the iconic Bing's Billiard shape in a variety of finishes.
For his handmade pipes, Nuttens relies on the Danish artisan techniques he learned from Eltang, featuring stummels and stems entirely crafted by hand. They express his creative side and are completely individual, with Nuttens citing inspiration from iconic artisan pipe makers like Sixten Ivarsson, Gert Holbek, Tom Eltang, and Paolo Becker. These pipes are his finest work and are offered either in sandblasted finishes or in smooth finishes graded in ascending order: A, AA, or AAA. They utilize Italian briar and are sometimes accented with horn, boxwood, or spalted beech that Nuttens sources himself from the forest around his home.
Nuttens resides in a small village in southeastern France, in a house built in 1781 that he and his wife completely restored themselves. An avid pipe smoker as well, Nuttens most enjoys straight Virginia blends and is still enjoying his favorite McClelland tobaccos that he has cellared away.