The History of Kai and Viggo Nielsen - Viggo Nielsen, A master and legendary pipe artisan is considered to be one of the most influential forces in the evolution of the Danish Pipe. Born in 1927, Viggo began making pipes in 1945 at the very young age of eighteen. Viggo's love and passion for the art of crafting pipes inspired him to study and work long hours to perfect his skills. His dedication and hard work helped Viggo reach a level of expertise that has gained him the repect and admiration of discriminating pipe connoisseurs throughout the world.
During the early 1940's in Denmark, briar was scarce due to World War II. At this time most Danish Pipes were made from "Local Wood". In 1951, Viggo Nielsen received his first shipment of briar blocks. In this year, Viggo received another great arrival - his first son, Kai.
Viggo selects only the finest briar available, most of which is Corsican, to hand craft his pipes. These aged briar blocks are air cured over time to provide exceptional smoking qualities. Viggo handcuts the mouthpieces from acrylic and cumberland stock. This painstaking process produces a mouthpiece that is both beautiful and very comfortable. Viggo's flair for design and skill in the art transforms briar into a pipe that is stunning to the eye, wonderful to the hand, and well-balanced in the mouth.
Viggo Nielsen's pipes are offered in the following grades: Old Briar, Flame Grain, and Straight Grain. Now at the age of 75, Viggo has been crafting pipes for over 57 years. He has been making pipes longer than anyone in Denmark. He has gained a reputation that is deserving of his skill. Viggo's production is limited to approximately 50 pipes per year.
Kai Nielsen, Viggo's oldest son, was born in 1951 in Vordingborg, Denmark. When he was a teenager, Kai worked for "pocket money" at the Bari pipe factory. At this time, the Bari factory was owned in part by Viggo Nielsen. In 1972, at the age of 21, Kai began working full time at the factory. The factory was sold in 1975 and shortly after, Viggo, Kai, and Jorgen (Kai's younger brother) joined forces and began making pipes together. Kai studied and learned the "art of pipe making" under the careful eye of his father, Viggo. Kai's hard work and love for the craft was evident in each pipe he made. His designs and skills were soon noticed and admired by many.
Today, Kai and Viggo work together in a studio located on the island of Fyn. Jorgen is making pipes in his own studio. Kai, like his father, selects only the finest aged briar, most of which is Corsican. He also air cures the briar to provide exceptional smoking qualities. Kai's handcut acrylic and cumberland mouthpieces are works of art. His attention to detail and creative designs are overwhelming.
Kai Nielsen pipes are available in the following models: Kai Nielsen and Niels Bro. His pipes are offered in the following finishes: Smooth and Sandblast. There are five grades available: V,VV,VVV,VVVV, Jewel of Denmark C, Jewel of Denmark B, and Jewel of Denmark A. Kai's production is limited to approximately 450 pipes per year.
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