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Pipe Manufacturers
Frank Axmacher




Frank Axmacher, a craftsman and longtime pipe smoker, began pipe making in 2004. He neither had great ambition, nor did he know about the existence of freehand pipes.

But Frank Axmacher quickly learned about the manifold ways to design a pipe. After partaking in a pipe making seminar in October 2004, where he built his first plateau briar pipe with a handcut mouthpiece, his enthusiasm was sparked and has not decreased ever since.


Frank Axmacher B 08 Bent Tomato (2008)


Presently, Frank Axmacher produces about 60 pipes per year in his workshop – all of them beside his day-job as a stone sculptor, which is the reason for his particular interest in the artistic aspects of pipe making. The briar’s wonderful grain stimulates a constant search for shapes that accentuate the wood’s exceptional structure in the best way possible. Hence, for him, excellent craftsmanship and exploring the artistic possibilities are intrinsically linked to each other.



Frank Axmacher A 08 Horn Bamboo (2008)



Considering that pipes need to meet the minimum requirements of possessing great smoking capabilities and handling, one can not really work “freely.” But within the narrow confines set by the technical aspects of the pipe as a smoking instrument, there surprisingly is still a lot of room for the exploration of designs and shapes.


Frank Axmacher B 08 Bent Apple (2008)



Being a “novice“ is an advantage for Frank, because many pipe makers generously offer him their advice, in which he finds inspiration and guidance. Working with briar wood is very intricate and needs a lot of experience. This almost overwhelmed Frank in the beginning; and today he is still surprised by the complexity of the craft. And the exchange with well-established pipe makers showed him that the process of learning by trial and error has no end.
Thus, Frank sees himself at the beginning of a development that will last until he stops making pipes. He hopes this will be in the distant future, because briar wood has proved to be the most exciting and inspiring material he has ever worked and struggled with.


Frank Axmacher’s grading system:
Sandblasted freehands EB
Sandblasted semi-freehands EC
Partly sandblasted freehands EA
Partly rusticated FA
Smooth-finished freehands:
Wood / Grain ascending from D to A
Overall impression ascending from C to A
Smooth semi-freehands:
Wood / Grain ascending from C to A
Second letter always F

Copyright © 2006 by TECON GmbH
with friendly support of Frank Axmacher & Jörg Lehmann

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