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Poul Winsløw - pipe maker
A Visit To Poul Winsløw’s Workshop
 
In August 2007 I visited Poul Winsløw in Denmark. After a nice drive through Denmark, crowned with brilliant sunshine, we arrived at Poul Winsløw’s house in the late afternoon.
Poul had called us at least ten times during the drive to ask us for our current position.


So it did not come as a big surprise that Poul and his wife were standing on the street, beckoning, as we arrived in the little suburb of Copenhagen, where they live.
 
After a hearty welcome with coffee and cake I could take a look at their property.
 
First and foremost, my interest was sparked by Poul’s workshop.
 
 
The house of Poul and Jette is located in a small housing estate with wonderful one bedroom houses.
 
 
His workshop is on the side of the house, being an extension of the carport.
 
 
 
The first thing you see in the workshop is the staining station.
 
 
 
On the right is a small storage.
 
 
 
Stained pipes waiting to be finished.
 
 
 
This is Poul’s brother-in-law working on pipes.
 
 
 
Because the Pipe Exhibition in Dortmund was around the corner, the production was in full swing.
 
 
 
Turning left at the entrance, you enter the real workshop.
 
 
 
The workshop is a cozy little room with a maximum capacity for three people.With three people inside, the room is cramped. To be able to work together for the whole day under these circumstances, you should definitely have a good relationship to each other.
 
 
This clearly looks like a workplace, and you really do not know where to look at, because everything looks very interesting and impressive.
 
 
The only permanent employee and Poul Winsløw’s right hand man.
 
 
 
Poul Winsløw was born in 1951, and apprenticed to pipe maker Preben Holm at age 17.
 
 
Soon, fancy pipes became his preferred object.
 
But his master urged him to learn the basics of the craft first, to have a strong foundation for developing a distinctive style later.
 
 
Poul was very talented, learned eagerly, and quickly became a master himself. He had worked with Preben Holm for seventeen successful years when he decided to become self-employed and opened his own workshop.
 
 
He left Preben Holm as a well-trained and widely experienced pipe maker. Poul established his workshop in 1987, and a hard time began – right from the beginning he was confronted with a declining market for freehand pipes.
 
It was not easy to establish his workshop and introduce his own line of pipes, but Poul eventually succeeded with several courageously shaped freehand pipes.
 
 
All pipes from Poul Winsløw are freehands, sometimes referred to as handcuts, made from the best briar from Corsica and other Mediterranean countries.
 
All of his shapes are exceptionally harmonious, and each pipe has a special character, expressed by the combination of shape, size and remarkable finish.
 
 
Poul Winsløw permanently tries to set new accents through extraordinary rustication, or flamboyant applications made of acrylic or other materials. He finishes his pipes using a special coloured stain to emphasize the grain of the briar wood, while silver bands add to the overall beauty and harmony of it.
 
One can say that Poul Winsløw’s pipes are created for the individualist.
 
 
Soon, his unconventional and distinct variations of classic pipe shapes became famous all over the world. Winsløw’s trademark: two silver nails – a smaller and a larger one – next to each other in the mouthpiece.
 
 
Winsløw pipes come in five gradings, marked E to A.
 
Group E consists of the least expensive pipes. Most of them come rusticated or sandblasted because the briar wood displayed no impressive grain.
 
Group D comes in flame grain but may have minor sandpits, but the quality is good. The grain of Group C is more interesting and Group B designates another step in quality and beauty.
 
Only pipes marked as Group A have near perfect straight grain.
 
The most beautiful pipes are equipped with ornaments of gold, or even with precious stones. However, all of his pipes have equal, i.e. excellent, smoking capabilities.
 
 
There’s another small shed at the back of Poul’s garden.
 
 
 
It is used for his second passion, painting.
 
 
 
Proudly he presents us his current work in progress.
 
 
 
Of course, pipe production is not neglected over painting. Here, the “boss” makes sure everything is in perfect order.
 
 
The two days with Poul Winsløw were very impressive. But could someone please stop that telephone from ringing every minute…
 
Having hit the pubs of Copenhagen that night, we left Poul Winsløw with a heavy heart on the next day – after all, we had planned a visit to Stanwell on our way back to Germany.
 
Many thanks to Poul & Jette for the great time.

Copyright © 2007 by TECON GmbH

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