The Pipe Maker
My name is Sabina Santos and I'm a pipe maker based in Portugal.
I have a Communication Degree and professional experience in the Financial sector.
Working with numbers gave me useful skills such as concentration, accuracy and focus on details.
But I always missed an activity in which I could express my creativity.
I was used to dedicate my free time to projects of wood craft. Working with hands always gave me a peaceful and fulfillment feeling.
When my husband, a long time pipe smoker, began to explore the pipe makers path, I started to find it very interesting and I felt in love with the pipe carving process.
In 2013, I had the opportunity to carve my first pipe and it was the beginning of my journey as pipe maker.
During the first three years I was a self-taught carver, but it was not enough for me and I felt the urge to learn more.
Then I spent a total of 8 weeks in Denmark in a journey to improve my skills in pipe carving, visiting and studding with some of the greatest Danish pipe Masters, including Joao Reis, Kai Nielsen, Tao, Tom Eltang and Kurt Balleby.
With them I got another view of design and engineering.
I spent an entire week with Hans "Former" Nielsen, studding the importance of details and the Classic aesthetics.
I attended several International Pipe Shows in Chicago and in Las Vegas (USA), in Chengde (China) and in Tokyo (Japan).
My pipes are sold worldwide and can be found in the finest and most prestigious Shops around the world.
Till now I already exported to 35 countries.
More than a useful object, I consider the pipe as a piece of art. It's a statement of style, both from the carver and the smoker.
The design of my pipes have a strong Danish influence. I enjoy the classic shapes with a modern twist.
Despite I pursue the best aesthetic, when I'm carving a pipe, my main focus is always in a rigorous engineering and drilling execution in order to ensure a superior smoking experience.
I seek for beautiful high grade pipes intended to be smoked.
To carve my pipes I just use the world's finest materials, including the best graded Italian and Algerian Briar.
All my pipes are featured with hand cut mouthpieces, made out from German ebonite.
I use other natural materials for extensions and accents, such as Bamboo, Horn, Exotic Woods and Stabilized Mammoth Tusk and Molar.
Having our Planet's sustainability in mind, I also use recycled plastic bottles for decorative inlays. Reusing plastic allows me to use trash as Art with a powerful voice.
My pipes are stamped with "Sabina" and some of them got in addition the mark "G", reserved for my greatest pipes, a tribute to my son Gil.
Those special and unique pipes are signed by hand after each piece is finished. I use the same cursive "G" from my son's own signature.
The birth of a new pipe is an exciting process.
Each pipe is unique and hand carved at my workshop in Santarém, Portugal.
The design of each pipe is decided according with the grain orientation of the briar block. I just follow it and let the wood drive the aesthetics.
I always pursue the perfect balance between each element of the pipe.
When using another material for decoration, such as stabilized mammoth, each piece is carefully selected as I always seek for the best composition.
The superior smoking experience of my pipes is ensured by a rigorous engineering process.
I use an 100% organic coat in the tobacco chamber.