Hans Nielsen “Former” began his piping career as so many legendary pipe carvers do, slaving away for pennies as a pipe repairman. However Former’s history is also quite unique and absolutely riddled with appearances from celebrities in the Danish Pipe Hall Of Fame!
At 15 Former got his first job at Poul Rasmussen’s pipe shop in Copenhagen. He was there for 2 years where he learned all the intricacies of works by carvers from all around the world. He then got a job with Sven Knudsen where he began developing his carving skills. He had to leave Knudsen’s factory to serve in the army for 16 months, but when he came back he thanks to his old friend Poul Ramussen, Former was put in touch with W.O. Larsen’s factory manager Sven Bang, who gave Former a job as a professional pipe carver at the Larsen Factory. Former spent 10 years at the Larsen factory growing his skill and working alongside carvers like Teddy Knudsen and Tonni Nielsen. Eventually Former was contacted by Emil Chonowitsch, father of Jess Chonowitsch, because they were so backed up with orders that they asked Former to start carving 15 pipes a month for them. Former’s work was well received and so he went out on his own and began carving pipes under his own name and has been doing so for several decades now. His pipes are considered to be some of the highest grade pipes in
the world and rightly so!
___ Ben Crasnean ©

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