Hiroyuki Tokutomi: Freehand Pipe Maker

Hiroyuki Tokutomi interested in carving art from wood and others materials since he was childhood.

Hiroyuki Tokutomi practices carving wood from the materials that he found or purchase, from that he maintaining his talent.

He carving a small animals and Buddhist artifacts and also pipe from ivory.

Hiroyuki Tokutomi has a small workshop near Tokyo where he explores his talent.

In 1976-1977 Tokutomi studied carving tobacco pipe from Sixten Ivarsson in Denmark, along with Lars Ivarsson, Bo Nordh and Jess Chonowitsch, that they are the first tier of the Sixten School.

All four have gone on to achieve great things.  Each has formed his own interpretation of Sixten’s style.

Jess Chonowitsch has developed a fairly conservative design that Sixten’s influence is still visible.

Bo Nordh creating radical variations of Sixten’s style but the basic of Sixten’s influence is still present.

Lars Ivarsson has a style closest to his father with his own imagination. And, Hiroyuki Tokutomi, he has his own style, he adopted the fundamental Sixten’s style combine with Japanese culture.

Hiroyuki Tokutomi

Hiroyuki Tokutomi Pipe Maker

With Hiroyuki Tokutomi brilliant design and shape, the function of smoking instrument keep in line, that the function of the pipe remain smooth and the smoking qualities superb, that is not what has yielded this excitement.

At the beginning, Tokutomi only has a rough sense to carving a block of briar wood, not like the other skilled carvers that they already have a concept of specific idea to work.

Most of the carvers already have a sketches drawing concept.

Tukotomi works with his idea on his head that may have a general idea about what he want to achieve with the block of briar wood. Then he got a rough shape of what he wants to achieve, so, he has flexibility to carving his design until he got the end of the shape.

Most of Tokutomi’s pipe showing a beautiful shape that almost wildly asymmetrical and the influence of Japanese art, without reducing the function of the pipe itself.

Until 2003, not less than 190 pipes has made by Tokutomi that most of that with rounded bowl shapes – variations on Apples, Billiards, Dublin’s bowl, etc.

In the Tokutomi asymmetrical style, it showed a natural and the influences of Japanese art culture. Pipe possesses a sense of movement that is very different from that of his Danish colleagues.

Tokutomi might carve a hard edge, but then bend it in an unusual way. It combined convex and concave surfaces, complex, undulating surfaces and complicated edges, Tokutomi pipes have a sophistication that is simultaneously natural looking and extraordinary difficult to execute.

Some of pipe stummel of Tokutomi’s pipe is extra ordinary shape, some of the whole stummel and some is only the bowl, and the design is not likes a classic shape, but that is carving to an ethnical shape.

It can imagine how to work in the finishing detail of the shape, it is extremely difficult. And later it should harmonize with the stem, that finally it has a beautiful shape of pipe.

That is Tokutomi accomplished every pipe he makes.

In the Tokutomi’s pipe, the stem is always the hardest part to connect visually with the pipe. The material is different from the stummel/shank; there are obvious visually break.

To finish these parts, of course it needed a special attention and more focus in the finishing works that finally the pipe has a balance and beautiful composition.




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