From pipe smoker to pipe maker
Born in Saarland, Axel Reichert, who is working as a full-time engineer, now lives in the small town of Merzig, near the border to Luxembourg.
When he started pipe smoking he had not even remotely thought about ever becoming a pipe maker. Actually he would have laughed off anyone who predicted that development.
But first things first:
Having become an avid pipe smoker, Axel often went to his local tobacconists to buy more pipes, but was soon disappointed by the limited choice he was offered. This experience spawned the desire to design and build a pipe according to his ideas.
Briar blocks with pre-molded mouthpieces, which he had used at first, were very restrictive to the creative process, and did not deliver satisfying results.
Then he attended several pipe-making seminars held by Rainer Barbi, and got an impression of Rainer’s unlimited knowledge and skills. This was a definitive highlight, and a crucial experience for his further development as a pipe maker.
It had become clear to him that he had to buy raw briar blocks to unleash his creativity.
He found out the address of a coupeur in Tuscany, got in touch with him, and eventually visited him. What he saw there seemed to him like the land of plenty: a plethora of briar blocks, from which he could select the most appealing ones – this place is the source of his briar to this day. There the briar blocks are carefully cured, which is a fundamental step in the production of a great tasting pipe.
Axel exclusively uses selected plateau briar blocks of the highest quality.
The mouthpieces are made of ebonite or cumberland, predominantly for use without a filter. For his applications he uses exotic woods, bamboo, mammoth ivory, or horn.
By now, the growing demand for his pipes has almost turned his hobby into a second job. Yet, this does not impede his creativity or love of pipe making.
Indeed, Axel Reichert produces only a limited amount pipes per year. His innovative shapes and creative ideas constitute an insatiable source of fascinating pipes.
What does he say about his extraordinary pipe shapes?
By using a great variety of shapes, Axel tries to address as many suitors as possible – pipe collectors as well as a younger crowd in search of something fancy. He strives to build high quality pipes that stand out, attract attention and are, last but not least, great smokers.
Copyright © 2008 by TECON GmbH
with friendly support of Axel Reichert