Hiroyuki Tokutomi has had an interest in creating objects of art from wood and other materials since he was a young child. He grew up carving from pieces of wood that he found or purchased and over decades of practice, he developed and honed his inborn talents.
Tokutomi's work is unlike that of any other. In his small workshop near Tokyo, he carves approximately 120 pipes each year, plus tiny animals and Buddhist artifacts from ivory. His work in ivory has been featured in exhibits in Japanese museums and is noted for its incredibly detailed, delicate workmanship.
Hiroyuki Tokutomi studied under Sixten Ivarsson in 1976-77. He is one of a few carvers who trained directly with the man who was primarily responsible for the change in mindset that yielded the Danish Revolution in pipe making during the 1960s and 1970s. His creations have captured the imagination of astute collectors in the United States and Europe. Though his pipes are often beautifully grained, that is not what has ignited the passion of those that collect and love Tokutomi's pipes. While his engineering is perfect and the smoking qualities superb, that is not what has yielded this excitement. Quite simply, Tokutomi's sense of design and shape is brilliant. Tokutomi is an artist whose medium happens to be briar, whose self-imposed constraints are the limitations imposed by the necessary functioning of a smoking instrument.