Note: Rich Esserman reported in his article appearing in the October, 2021 edition of The Pipe Collector that Søren Refbjerg Rasmussen has passed away.
Søren Refbjerg Rasmussen founded a company in 1969, which employed an average of 8 - 12 craftsmen in the 1970's. The semi-freehands they produced were traded under his prename Søren. Rasmussen himself finished only the very best pipes. So his way of pipemaking closely resembled the ways of Preben Holm, Karl Erik Ottendahl or Erik Nørding. Altogether more than 1,000,000 pipes were sold.
Today he works alone as Refbjerg and manufactures only a small number of pipes in his workshop in DK-2860 Søborg, which are considered to be tremendously precisely executed. The dimensions mostly range from small to medium sized, corresponding to his personal preferences. The shapes adhere to the classical models, but often he gives them a touch of Danish flair. Refbjerg accepts minor faults but never uses any fillings. "Straight Grain" is the only grading, used for his very best pieces. He likes stem decorations made of exotic woods or metal rings.
As Rainer Barbi once stated, Refbjerg uses only briar from Corsica, and, more than that, he's the one and only to import it from there. At least in Europe. He's supplier to the vaste majority of the Danish makers.
Seconds: Danbark, Soborg
Obviously the Danbark line was restarted some time ago. To be found at Frenchy's Pipes and we quote from there:
"A note from the carver:
I am very proud to introduce my new (!) series of hand-carved Danbark Pipes by Søren. These pipes are crafted from the finest Corsican and Grecian briars. I take a great deal of pride in crafting the Danbark Pipes to be highly functional and so they will provide the smoker with many years of dedicated service. The Danbark Pipes by Søren are available in several different styles and finishes with my personal touch and inspirations.
At this time I favor making classic shaped pipes with a slight touch of my own hands and feelings. I do not produce many pipes today but the pipes that I do make available are individually crafted from the finest Corsican and Grecian Briars available to me. I still make free-hand pipes but not as many as I once made.
For the past 35 years I have always tried to make good smoking pipes in my workshop located near Copenhagen, Denmark. I have always tried to craft my pipes in such a way as they will be long lasting and best friends with the owners. I take great pride in the shape of my pipes, the drilling of the pipes, and the overall dimensions of the pipes.
I enjoy spending my spare time on the very long, rugged coasts of Denmark. I derive much relaxation from being on the coast while angling for Sea Trout with my own hand-tied flies. I find this environment is a great inspiration to me for making pipes. Many times I think to myself, “Inspired by nature, made by me”.
Happy puffing, Søren"
Smooth Straight Bulldog, courtesy Smokershaven.com