In 1969 at the age of 16 Tonni Nielsen started working for the W.O. Larsen Pipe Company in Copenhagen, Denmark. After only 3 years at W.O. Larsen, Tonni was making the high grade Larsen Fancy and Straight Grains of his own design. Tonni worked with many of the top pipe makers in Denmark during his time at W.O. Larsen, and he instructed quite a few as well. In 1978, Tonni started out on his own, and sold his pipes around the world under his own name and to W.O. Larsen for the Straight Grains and Pearl Grades. Then in 1983, Tonni moved to The United States with his wife and two children. With an extensive workshop in his basement, Tonni is able to produce pipes at home, and he gets out of the house on occasion to professionally instruct tennis.
All of Tonni's Pipes are produced from the finest of Corsican or Grecian briar. Ebonite, Cultured Amber, and Boxwood are used for his ultra-thin, comfortable, hand-cut stems. Many materials including exotic woods like boxwood, zebrawood, coca bolo, ziricate, ebony, tagau nut, and other materials are used for adornments to the pipe between the stem and bowl. Tonni believes that the mouthpiece is as equally important as the bowl. The stem has to balance with the pipe by bending it, shaping the mouthpiece to 4mm thin, and finishing it.
Tonni demands perfection on all grades of his pipes whether they are straight grains or sandblasted. Over the years his technical skills have improved, and he is confident to be able to follow through with new ideas. Tonni's inspiration comes from nature ranging from rocks and shells on the beach to roots and trees in a forest. The grain in the briar guides many of his extraordinary creations. Tonni Grades his pipes from 1-10 with 10 being the highest. Tonni reserves the "Viking" Stamp for his exceptional pieces.