|Kent Rasmussen, pipemaker, Århus
Kent about himself:
I was born in 1961 in a town called Randers located in Jutland, Denmark
When I was a boy I was often making drawings and small sculptures in clay. My brothers and I were also very occupied down in my fathers hobby workshop making knifes, swords and miniature sailing boats in wood. We learned how to use the tools from my father (he is a handy man who can build and fix almost anything) and I think that´s the main reason why I have the skills I have now.
In 1981 I finished my education as a technical assistant in the construction business (assistant for architects and engineers).
In 1988 I started working as a self-taught modern artist. I made paintings, photos, sculptures and some combinations between paintings and sculptures, a kind of reliefs. I also made some objects to hang on the wall in wood with a very high finish.
The combination of making drawings, clay sculptures and working with hand tools in my childhood together with the years as an artist has made it possible for me to make the quality pipes I make today.
In 1997-98 I kind of lost interest in modern art - or should I rather say I did not feel that I could contribute with anything new, and it didn´t help that it was impossible to make a living as an artist.
I made my first pipe in 1994 as a hobby thing, inspired by a friend who had made his own pipe. I was a real amateur - pre-drilled briar and so on. I only made a few and didn´t make any pipes for the next 4 years.
In 1998 I started again and this time I got serious! When I found out that I was actually pretty good making pipes I had kind of "found home". In February 1999 I met Teddy Knudsen and experienced that pipes can be real art, and that you can even make a living out of it. Since then my skills and ambitions have rised considerably.
I mainly work with Corsican and Greek briar. When I start making a pipe I always begin to look at the grains: How do I get the at most out of this briar with these grains? The form of each pipe is essential. As I work on the pipe the shape changes slightly along the way - the pipe almost never turns out to be as I planned it to begin with. The pipe hidden inside the briar kind of takes over.
I consider pipes as small sculptures. It´s the aesthetic that interests and really drives me and I try to make each piece a work of art. I´m inspired by some of the great "old" pipe makers and by modern designs in cars, furniture etc. Many of my pipes have sharp, curved or straight lines repeating themselves in the bowl, shank and stem.
My designs often have concave surfaces which requires the use of my Proxxon (it´s similar to a Dremel) followed by a lot of filing and sanding by hand. All my stems are handmade out of vulcanite, cumberland or art amber. I pay a lot of attention to the drillings in both stem and pipe because it´s essential for the smoking quality.
The pipe must be a pleasure to smoke!!
Thank you for your time