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Meet Matt Van Pipes: Florida Handmade tobacco pipes

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Matt Van PipesWe’ve mentioned recently how much fun it is to work with new makers. When Matt Van, a Florida-based tobacco pipe lover like us happened upon us, we considered it serendipity.

A family legacy

Matt Van may be a newcomer to handmade tobacco pipes, but he has been carving and working with wood since his pre-teen years, where he first took to the hobby at his father’s side. He still keeps the banana box full of his father’s patterns close at hand. On a given evening, you could find one of his three children asking to work with him, choosing a pattern from the box. In this way, Matt’s father lives on with his son and grandchildren.

Each of Matt’s thoroughly modern handmade tobacco pipes have a generational history that seems to infuse every aspect of their design. Matt says, “When I’m in my shop making a pipe, I’m talking to my Dad in my head. I show him the design and the grain of the wood. My Mom even stays connected to him in this way. She wants to know all the details of every pipe and which tools were used.”

Tobacco Pipes, Florida Style

The tobacco pipes coming out of Matt Van’s workshop are made with another shadow lurking at the artist’s side. Matt lives and works in Chokoloskee, Florida--the island home of Totch Brown. Totch Brown, known as the Everglades Outlaw wrote a famous book about life in the Florida Everglades which enshrined him as one of the great Florida authors. Although Totch passed away in 1996, we can’t help but think he would be proud of his Chokoloskee neighbor.

Matt enjoys using vibrant colored stains, swirled stems and organic designs that are clearly influenced by a lifetime on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Socially-friendly tobacco pipe culture

Youtube, Facebook and other social media outlets have become an exciting source for new and talented makers to find an audience. Before we connected with Matt, he was already making waves on Youtube and has firmly established himself as not only a talented artisan tobacco pipe maker, but also a giver and friendly compatriot. Follow Matt on Youtube to watch his process.

Thank you for partnering with us Matt! We’re excited about your future and watching you grow!

Welcome Matt to the TobaccoPipes.com community in the comments below!

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