Woman Artisans of Tobacco Pipes

Among the famous male crafter of artisans of pipe-makers, actually there are many female pipe-makers artisans that also popular as their male match.

In Denmark that is one of the first female pipe-maker crafter, Else Larsen, she came from the famous Denmark pipe-maker company W.Ø. Larsen.

As the big and famous tobacconist and pipe producers, W.Ø. Larsen also employed and hired the best pipe artisans that Else have learning from them about detail of tobacco pipe and how to make it.

 Isberg pipe crafted

Else Larsen is a daughter of Niels Christian Larsen and Karen Rasmussen that started joint the workshop of W.Ø. Larsen shortly after it had been started with great Sven Knudsen as foreman.

When Knudsen left in 1963, she continued working under Hans Jonny NielsenFormer for a couple of years. Else Larsen passed away in 1997.

In 1963, Else began working for Øle Larsen as a house cleaner, but she able showing her talent for making a tobacco pipe.

She eventually opened Elses Pipe Repair Shop behind Øle’s establishment, and began making some pipes, but she was more concentrate for her repairs and for fabricating those stylistic Larsen horn and amber pipe tampers.

The Jocker by Sophia Isberg

Others famous female pipe makers or artisans are; Anne-Julie (widow of Poul Rasmussen, she also learning carving pipe from his husband), Nanna Ivarsson – grand-daughter of the legendary Sixten Ivarsson, Manduela Riger-Kusk, and Else Larsen are anomalies in a trade dominated by male, but they are not the only women pipe carvers from Scandinavia who have ever had a retinue of admirers.

In the mid-to-the late of 19th century there is also a phenomenon on female pipe carvers. Carla Nielsen (probably Danish) and Maddalena Bianchi of Venice, have received slight mention in the annals of pipe history, but the record is absent significant details about them, such as the mediums in which they worked, or how productive they were.

 Armellini pipe

In Sweden that is Sophia Isberg that mention in the book about a French meerschaum artisan Charles Harnisch.

According to Isberg biography, Jungfru Isberg och hennes verk (Jungfru Isberg and her work), Helena (Lena) Sophia “Jungfru” Isberg born in 1891, the daughter of a wood carver, Johan, and his wife, Magdalena.

She start carving when she was 11 years old, she and old brother Jacob, began whittling, making toys for their own pleasure.

She become an expert in carving at 19, applying her talents to carving urns, tableware, goblets, clocks, napkin ring, tobacco boxes, snuffboxes, and pipes.

The tobacco pipe made by female carvers also has similar shape and quality as the male carver or artisans do.

Nowadays, the women artisans have involve in the pipe business and they also participate in the exhibition. Silver Gray pipes is the American made, from Oregon.

She has a studio workshop for carving a high-end quality pipes, he sharing that studio with her mentor Brad Pohlmann.

Her unique shape and aesthetic looks like a combination of Danish and American style.

 Pipe carver Silver Gray from Oregon

From Japan that is a young woman Asami Kikuchi, she is a high-grade pipe maker. His pipes have a unique shape and the quality is prime.

Her path has been unusual, a serendipitous road to a career she never existed, let alone longed for, a few years ago.

That is also a Singaporean young woman pipe carver that she joint the event of Chicago Pipe Show 2015, and she demonstrated her capability in carving a tobacco pipe, but unfortunately she does not want to give her name.

She learn making pipe from the world class pipe maker such as Michael Butera, Lee von Erck, Rad Davis, Jeff Gracik, Rex Poggenpohl, etc.

From Italy that is Wilma Armellini, She take over tha Armellini pipe business from her parents after the father passed away. Today almost 20 years she running Armellini pipes and she knew exactly the quality of Armellini pipes.

Tobacco pipes made by women are not so popular in the market, but for a collector’s community they are well known, and most of their products are looking by them.

We believed there are still many women tobacco pipe artisans in the world with their prime quality of products.  Most of them are not mentioned in the literature, but sometimes it found in the exhibition or trade show.

Pics: Silver’s Top Photo/Jocker-Sophia Isberg/


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