Hans Former Nielsen

former.jpg I have been a great admirer of the master pipe carver Hans “Former” Nielsen from Holme Olstrup Denmark for over three years now, and this past year has been one of enlightenment with regards to not only being able to spend quality time talking and learning from the man (which was better than meeting Santa Clause as I remember) but also experiencing his pipes and coming to understand his philosophies on pipe construction and pipe maintenance.

Hans has been making some of the most sought after pipes in the world now for over forty five years, during which time he has instructed pipe carvers who have used what they have learned from him to propel themselves to the forefront of the Danish freehand movement. This is no mere accident as I can attest to the mans encyclopedic knowledge of every aspect of the gentle art of pipe smoking and pipe carving.

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An evening with an S. Bang

In early 2006 I obtained this fine pipe carved by one of the two owners and manufacturers of the very famous Danish pipe shop S. Bang: Ulf Noltensmeier or Per Hansen. It is a lathe turned half sandblast that shows the briars wonderful straight grain beneath the rings of the sandblast which are actually growth rings formed as the briar grows beneath the Earth. The slanted rim of the pipe is smooth and sports a glorious birds eye pattern all the way around the entire top of the bowl, truly a work of art. Where the shank meets the stem is a wonderful sterling silver band and the German Vulcanite stem is perfectly cut making the bit extraordinarily comfortable to hold between the teeth.

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