Frank Axmacher
It is since 2004 that F. Axmacher from Solingen has been making pipes. He was inspired by Safferling, Barbi, and Mänz, in developing unusual but esthetically very appealing shapes, and in creating his own style from early on. A visit to Tom Eltang's workshop in the summer of 2006 helped him, among other things, to perfect the technical aspects of his pipe making.

His pipes are stamped with the stylized initials, FAx, as well as a pair of letters and a pair of numerals. The numerals denote the year of production (with 05 standing for 2005). The first letter (in rising order from F to A) stands for halfway objectifiable features such as the pattern, density and evenness of the grain, as well as the number and size of spots, if any are present. The second letter gives the maker's subjective over-all impression of the pipe, e.g. the harmony between the briar and the stem. The grading system is currently undergoing a thorough revision. In the future, for example, sand blasted pipes as well as semi-freehands will be recognized in the grading. At least for the freehands, the mix of objective and subjective criteria in the grading is going to be maintained. As of 2006, prices start at approximately EUR160.00.



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