New handmade tobacco pipes maker
Matt Van may be a newcomer to handmade tobacco pipes, but he has instincts of a wood crafter in his blood.
Matt Van first began working with wood as a young boy at his father’s side. When he was 12-years-old his father invited Van into his workshop and began teaching him about safety and how to cut patterns. A few years ago, when Van’s father passed away, he inherited those original tools. Today he uses them to carve unique and distinctly Florida-bred tobacco pipes from fine briar.
A year later, when he was around 13, he and the neighborhood boys started cutting bamboo down by the ditch near his home. They would use it to carve out pipes and then scavenged aromatic tobaccos from around town. He’s been smoking a tobacco pipe off and on ever since, but it would be almost 25 years before he started making his own.
Florida has been Matt Van’s home since birth. He was born a city boy in St. Petersburg and moved to Sarasota County in his teens. He now lives near his wife’s family in Chokoloskee, Florida. There he creates his favorite pokers and billiards primarily in a small workshop with his two children in tow. A small town off the Gulf Coast, Chokoloskee slowed-down island pace is an idyllic setting for raising a family and creating a craftsman.
American made tobacco pipes
Van’s vibrantly colored tobacco pipes may come to life in a small old florida town, but they are thoroughly modern pipes. Inspired by the tobacco pipes community on Youtube, Matt says he first began carving after he bought his first artisan pipe. That was when he realized he wanted to use the skills his father taught him to make pipes for himself. It wasn’t long before the photos of his work on Instagram sparked interest and he was making smoking pipes for others collectors too.
We’re proud to be the first retailer to share Matt Van Pipes with the world and we expect to see spectacular things from him!