In the late 1960s, a young man of the age of 15 walked through the streets of Copenhagen to his job at a local newspaper, where he worked alongside numerous pipesmokers in the graphics department. Both at work and in the various shop windows he passed each morning, he began to notice more and more Freehand shapes appearing in collections and showcases; these complex, sculptural designs of the Danish Freehand craze fascinated his youthful and creative mind. This fascination sparked something in the boy, a passion for creation which he would carry for the rest of his life. The boy in question was Poul Winslow.
After several years of working for the newspaper, that spark resurfaced when Poul came across a job ad for Preben Holm. Having acquired several of pieces of the Danish Fancy style and built up a colleciton of his own, Poul saw the opportunity to become an active participant in the making of the very pipes he so treasured and admired; naturally, he applied. He rode his motorcycle out to the factory for an interview, and despite the overwhelming number of applicants, he not only got the job, but was invited to start the following week.
Given his high expectations, his first few weeks were met with a period of initial disappointment. He discovered that his duties weren't those of a skilled and respected craftsman, but the first levels of a traditional apprenticeship. Nevertheless, Poul paid his dues, sweeping up the shop and assisting other artisans primarily responsible for crafting Preben Holm pipes — always with that passion clear in his mind. Soon his enthusiasm and work ethic paid off, however, as Winslow demonstrated his raw talent for woodworking. He quickly became one of the marque's most prominent carvers, helping grow and stimulate the brand by crafting Danish Fancy freehands during the very period in which they began to see rapid popularity both within Denmark and abroad. Poul, along with the workshop's other artisans, crafted each pipe by hand, one at a time, with each piece different from the last.
His time at Preben Holm ended when the factory closed in 1985, but Poul knew his pipe making journey was far from over. He acquired much of the machinery from the factory and set up his own workshop, nestled in the garden behind his home in Hvidovre, Denmark. Using the very same tooling and processes he had used and followed at Preben Holm, Poul began work on his own private line of briars, again crafting each one by hand using many of those same principles.
After 32 of honing his craft, Winslow pipes are now some of the most recognizable pieces on the market. Over time, Poul has adapted the Danish Fancy style so popularized by his former employer into the realm of Danish neo-classics, applying varying degrees of asymmetry and flourishing lines to traditonal base forms to create novel and striking adaptations. What's more, he's continued to build his toolkit, having spent much time learning how to cast his own accent materials and shape his own sterling silver accents. Together with his beautiful contrast stains and intriguing partial rustications, this accent work has come to define the Winslow aesthetic — an artistic and energetic approach to the craft which is still just as alive and well today as it was all those years ago.