The Pipe Maker
My name is Sabina Santos and I'm a pipemaker based in Portugal.
I'm married and a mother of a boy.
I have a Communication Degree but I used to work in Finantial area.
Working with numbers gave me useful skills as concentration, accuracy and focus on details.
But I always missed an activity in which I could express my criativity.
I usually dedicated 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 universe, I started to find it very interesting and I fell 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 three years I was a self-taught pipe maker. But it was not enough for me and I felt the urge to learn more.
To achieve that I spent 8 weeks in Denmark in a journey to improve my skills in pipe carving, studing and visiting some of the greatest danish pipe Masters, including Tom Eltang, Kai Nielsen, Joao Reis and Kurt Balleby.
With them I got another view of design and engeniring.
I also spent an entire week with Hans "Former" Nielsen, studing the importance of details and the Classic aesthetics.
In the last 4 years 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 34 countries.
More than a useful object, for me a pipe is 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 but 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, never forgetting that they are 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.
My pipes are stamped with "Sabina" and some of them got in addition the stamp "G", reserved for the greatest pipes and is a tribute to my son Gil.
The birth of a new pipe is an exciting process.
Each pipe is unique and hand carved at my workshop in Arruda dos Vinhos, Portugal.
The base for the design is the grain orientation in each briar block. I just follow it and let the wood drive the aesthetics.
I always pursue the balance between each element of the pipe because it determines the overall look of the pipe.
When using another material for decoration, such as stabilized mammoth, each piece is carefully selected as I always seek the perfect composition.
The superior smoking experience of my pipes is ensured by a rigorous engineering process.
Being adept of natural components I use an 100% organic coat in the tobacco chamber of my pipes.