How individual images of cigar bands are made
Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ
Normally, I dedicate a picture to a certain theme. The world of cigars is so manifold that it always inspires me to new ideas: the history of a brand, the manufacturers of a cigar country, or the transformation of a company logo. Once I have decided on the theme I combine historic vistas with cigar bands; or maybe I use modern cigar bands to compose the head of a Latin American Indian characteristic of Cohiba or the three T representing the Trinidad cigars. If a customer has specific ideas I will discuss with him how to make them come true.
Good question. The pictures are really pieces of art, each one unique – I even sign them. Yet, I’m not a painter who out of his innermost creates new colours and worlds. I use prefabricated parts for my pictures – as many modern artists do. The work on my picture to me is a mixture of creativity and craftsmanship. It takes a lot of patience, aptitude and experience to work the delicate vistas and cigar bands into motifs, so beautifully and strongly composed that you want to look at them again and again.
Mainly I use cigar bands, vistas, tobacco leaves and cedarwood sheets, that are sometimes placed as a bofeton or cover on top of the cigars inside a box. Acid-free paperboard serves as a base to most of my work – call it my canvas. Even the different glues have to be adapted to the material, to prevent cigar bands or vistas from discolouring or staining their surroundings.
At last a picture needs a frame. Here I advise collectors depending on the motif and the room in which the picture is going to be placed.
Historic vistas once decorating the lids of cigar boxes enthuse collectors worldwide. Often these colourful illustrations consist of old lithographs that have been embossed in places and powdered with gold or bronze. Manufactures have glued real pieces of art to their cigar boxes to promote their brand: angelic figurines smile graciously; the Count of Monte Christo poses beside a treasure trunk in front of a sailing ship; tobacco plants grow in a lush wilderness – an incredible variety!
Modern cigar boxes are also decorated with vistas. So in principle it should be easier to get hold of a new than of a historic example. Yet, it takes up to fifty trials to remove a single contemporary vista undamaged from a cigar box. But it’s worthwhile: Vistas are my favourites and often form a centrepiece within my pictures.
For my pictures I only use bands of cigars that have actually been smoked. As I only smoke for pleasure, I cannot meet the requirements myself. A network of private individuals and specialty retailers provide me with fresh supply. Yet, sometimes just shortly before finishing a work a single band is missing. Then I rush to a tobacconist’s to buy a cigar for its band only. Most smokers just smile at that. But for me it’s important to use only real, i.e. smoked cigar bands. They have character, have listened to many conversations, could tell a story, if only they weren’t so discrete …
Sure – just browse the online gallery on my website to find out which motifs you like most. And if you’re really interested in a picture, do get in touch to make an appointment.
Naturally, I’ll advise you if you have specific ideas for your personal picture. If you have collected the bands of your favourite cigars I can work them according to your wishes. Maybe we could even complement them with a historic vista from my fund to perfectly present your collection.
That depends on the size, the material employed and the working hours involved. Prices vary between a few hundred Euros and high five-digits amounts.
The origin of the cigar is female! Originally it was Latin American Indian women who smoked crudely rolled-up tobacco leaves. Over the years the rolling technique was refined and between the 1870s and the 1930s numerous Cuban manufacturers lived through their heyday.
Women inspired many traditional cigar brands, such as Campanella. Today there are ladies who evidently smoke cigars. I always feel enriched when a woman takes part in one of these almost confidential conversations that regularly evolve around smoking cigars. And women who like cigars are often also interested in my work.