It was over 30 years ago that Rainer Barbi decided to quit his law studies
and become a pipemaker instead. In the meantime he has risen to the top five
of international pipe performers. With his breathtaking talks and elaborate
publications he has shed light on the darkness of pipe production and thus
conveyed to many a smoker interesting knowledge about the subject of pipes.
"We all have the same spirit in us, wrestling with Nature in the pursuit of
harmony in design and perfection in technique. Thus we fight for this alone:
our identification, and the attempt to breathe our spirit into the
material." Rainer Barbi is not cagey about his philosophy. After all, his
willingness to help in matters of pipemaking is well known throughout the
community, so that many a young pipemaker, at home and abroad, was able to
acquire or perfect their skills with Rainer Barbi's support.
In spite of the wide range of shapes available, a pipe by Barbi is
unmistakeably a Barbi, emanating an elegance of its own. In the 1980s, he
introduced the following grading, in ascending order: CC, CB, CA, BC, BB,
BA, AC, AB, AA, C, B, A, A0, A1, A2, etc. The date of production is
indicated as follows: codes from Z to M, in descending order, designate the
month of production. Z stands for January, M for December: Z, Y, X, W, V, U,
T, S, R, P, N, M. The years are stamped in ascending order from A (1997), B
(1998), etc. Starting at approx. EUR 400 (as of 2006).