Peter Heeschen Pipes
I bought my first Heeschen pipes, a pair of beautiful little Bulldogs, from a shop in Denmark (FF Piber) in early 1999. I was immediately impressed with the wood, the workmanship, the artistry, and, most of all, the remarkable smokability. Being, at that time, a lover of smaller bowl sizes, these two pipes really spoke to me. I began to research him, to find some history, and no one could tell me anything at all about the maker! Some even went so far as to speculate that the pipes were a “Second Line” from some other well-known maker. I continued my mad search for more of these wonderful pipes. Finally, months later, Peter joined the on-line world via a web site a friend of his had constructed for him.
I bought a couple more equally impressive pipes directly from Peter. We began to correspond a little, then a little more, and after a while, I timidly asked if he would allow me to represent him in the US at the 2000 Chicago show, and beyond, depending on how things went. Though he'd been making pipes for many years, his work was all but unknown outside of a few shops in Denmark.
This was my entrée into the world of pipe importing, and I had no idea what the hell I was doing, or what to expect. Peter and I didn't really even know each other. Talk about nerve! He agreed, and sent me two boxes filled with some of the most beautiful pipes I'd ever seen.
The Chicago debut of Peter's work was a success. I took 38 pipes to the show with me, and returned with only a couple. The reports of those who purchased them were overwhelmingly positive; the secret was out, and quite a few new people were now enjoying Heeschen pipes. (I even got mail from a customer in China, who was thoroughly enjoying his!)
I spent the next couple of years serving as Peter's North American ambassador - it's a more accurate term than distributor. I designed a couple of shapes for him, including the saucer and his volcano. It was always been an honor to work with him, and the friendship that developed is an enduring one. He's selling pipes through many retail channels, now, and I'm deeply happy for him and his success, and proud that I was able to help in the beginning. He's not only a fantastic pipe maker, he's got amazing integrity, and is one of the kindest human beings I've ever had the pleasure to call friend. Needless to say, my own collection of his pipes has grown a bit, and I love every one of them.
Visit Peter's page for more.
The Nautilus was originally crafted by the legendary Bo Nordh. Here's a beautiful example by Peter - my first example of this extraordinary shape.
A dazzling display of straight grain, and the birdseyes on the bottom of the Volcano, second from the top on the right, are amazing! The Saucer has a special story.
Grain, grain and more grain...I never get tired of looking at beautiful wood, and these pipes can keep my eyes busy for hours.
Here are some of Peter's first forays into the world of bamboo shanks, and one natural sandblast, just because it's so cool.
These pipes are a little special. The two on the top were cut from the same piece of briar, and are as identical as two pipes can be. These are special "Tasting" pipes that I use when comparing similar blend prototypes. The bottom pipe is one I made in Peter's shop while visiting him in 2002.