Peter Hedegard, born in 1951, has to be ranked among first-class freehand pipe makers with the likes of Poul Ilsted and Jens Tao Nielsen for example. Peter Hedegaard started his pipe making career at W.O. Larsen, where he worked together with Tonni Nielsen and Phil Vigen. Until the end he was one of the craftsmen producing pipes for W.O. Larsen’s “Straight Grain” series.
Peter Hedegaard OP1
In 1979, he took the step to self-employment, which meant working many years in the Danish Zealand, in a quite grim environment apparently, and to some extent under emotionally trying circumstances. It was only a few years before his early death on 8 April, 2007 that he moved to an airy and friendly workshop in Jutland.
Hedegaard’s pipes can roughly be sorted into two categories. On the one hand are classical Danish models, which are not easily recognizable as “Hedegaards”, although it is possible. These often delicate pipes enjoy great popularity in Scandinavia, and many of them were awarded as prizes at Scandinavian smoking contests.
Peter Hedegaard with Poul Ilsted
On the other hand, and much more exciting, are his distinct “free” shapes with a high recognition value. Hedegaard has developed a characteristic bowl-to-shank-relation which makes the bowl (often in a spherical or trumpet-like fashion, sometimes comparable to a bulldog) look as if it were separated from the shank. But actually the connection is very fluently executed, and frequently the bowl is slightly slanted. His pipes often have a squat, compact look, and can comfortably be held in the mouth day after day.
Peter Hedegaard with Ulf Noltensmeier (S. Bang) and Peter Heeschen
Hedegaard sparingly used applications made of several materials, seldom horn and bamboo, and from time to time you can see wooden rings or shank extensions. He produced sandblasted, smooth, and rusticated pipes with either standard or 9mm-filter bore. The ebonite or synthetic amber mouthpieces come with a very flat but wide (22mm) bit, which makes the pipes easy to hold between the teeth. Admittedly, Hedegaard’s mouthpieces oxidize quite quickly, either due to the material or processing he used.
Peter Hedegaard and Poul Ilsted
Since 1981 Tsuge sold his pipes in Japan. Kei Gotoh, who then worked for Tsuge, remembers that Japanese pipe makers were clearly impressed by both Hedegaard himself and his pipes.
Peter Hedegaard OP 3
In recent years, Hedegaard experimented with his designs, partially coming close to the now very popular Japanese models. This can be considered an unnecessary experiment, because the original Hedegaard pipes had already been unique in their own way.
The pipes are graded as follows (ascending): sandblasted, FP 1 – 3, OP 1 – 3. Sporadically, especially brilliant pieces are stamped B, A, or AA. Pipes for the Scandinavian market are frequently ungraded. The pipes are stamped: “PETER HEDEGAARD” and “HANDMADE IN DENMARK”, with the grading above the stamp most of the time.