Processing of a pipe

A nicely grained pipe with a
bone platelet.













Frank Axmacher is a member of the "new generation" of German pipemakers who want to make their long-standing passion for the profession since the international breakthrough of the first "young lion" Cornelius Mänz about 5 years ago.

For about one and a half years he has employed himself for the pipe making more intensively now. From his proper profession, he is a stonemason and sculptor. For that reason, he have got a very good background in design and technical skills and disposes patience and meticulousness. He has acquired his knowledge for pipemaking predominantly as an autodidact and enlarged his knowledge during several "workshops" with Bertram Safferling. Later, he was invited to work together with the famous carvers Rainer Barbi and Tom Eltang. In the meantime (2007) he made a great progress either related to beautiful shapes of it´s own and finishwise.

After the first attempts which were marked of stylistic experiments in all possible directions, what is often to be observed, Frank has considerably gained profile in the meantime. His current pipes are very attractive partly of a clear, strict lines (e.g. very attractive Vulcanos) partly of sweeping elegance. Frank has astonishingly beautiful Bruyere. The stems, handcut predominantly from Ebonit or Cumberland stand out due to clean processing and a pleasant bite. In the meantime, Frank disposes beautiful precious materials like horn and mammoth ivory and he starts to check out, how these matrials will pronounce the beauty of a pipe. Frank himself is highly impressed by the outstanding pipes of Kei Gotoh.

Until spring, 2008, the pipes were stamped as follows: An apparently rectangular frame contains at first one very big "F" between the dashes "AX". Below the second dash of the "F" is some place for four additional tiny stamps. The first letter (ascending from F to A) indicates the quality of the pipe (grain, flaws, finish), while the second letter indictes the personal judgement of the pipe by Frank himself. The last two types are left for the date. Although the stamp was nice it was very complicated to work with and, sometimes, not very crisp and not easy to read.

For that reason, novadays, Frank is using a circular stamp so as many carvers do, and the grading system is also more simple now.

Either smooth or blasted pipes are graded from A to C, outstanding pieces are stamped with AA.

Blasted pipes are finished in brown or black.

C (always black): minor spots also following the blasting procedure; mediocre or average grain

B, black: Beatiful grain but minor spots also following the blasting procedure.

B, brown: No spots following the blasting procedure but only average grain

A (always brown): Very beautiful grain AND free of any spot

That means, a black-blasted pipe can be either C or B, a brown-blasted pipe can bei either B or A.

The pipes are delivered in a beautiful leather bag. The signature of the pipemaker as well as an outline of the pipe is presented on the bag. A very nice idea!


Gorgeous Twin Pipes Made From One Huge Briar Block


See Some More Beautiful Axmacher Pipes

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A Smooth "Orca"
This can become a signature shape

A Semi-rustic "Orca"