Uwe Jopp Pipes

(NB--Please scoll to the bottom of this page to proceed directly to the pipes)

Uwe Jopp hails from the outskirts of Dresden, the former capital of the Kingdom of Saxony. Prior to World War II, Dresden was regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and a center of art and culture. The controversial fire bombing of Dresden by the Allies in World War II, popularly commemorated in the US by Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Slaughterhouse Five," all but destroyed the city, and killed thousands of its residents. But in the intervening years, there has been substantial restoration of some of its most important buidings. And following reunification some twenty years ago, Dresden has regained its status as a cultural, educational and economic centers of Europe.

I cannot help but think that this history informs Uwe Jopp's remarkable work. Like Rainer Barbi, Uwe is largely self-taught, and belongs to no particular school of pipe making. The consequence of this is that his work is highly original. What I find most intriguing about it is that he combines cutting edge esthetics with superb technical capabilities. Thus, for example, he became fascinated with curved air passages, both because they permit new formal elements to be introduced to his shapes, but also because as he argues they permit more moisture to precipitate out of the air stream, thus making for a drier, sweeter smoke. But since neither the French nor the Italians will reveal their technology, he had to commission new equipment from some of Dresden's extraordinary machine shops and mechanical engineers to achieve the desired results. This is but one element of his thorough understanding of what I call the internal engineering of pipes, which encompasses the size and orientation of the drillings, and the smoothness of the airflow from bowl to lip, both of which are critical to a great smoking pipe.

I find his shapes both challenging and delightful. They clearly depart from the classical, yet remain first and foremost smoking instruments. Moreover, his curves and edges are deeply informed by baroque and neo-classical designs, with the result that no matter how imaginative, his pipes have a rightness about them, and are comfortable to hold. His materials are top notch, as is his finish work and staining. It's my belief the Uwe is making a significant contribution to the comtemporary evolution of the smoking pipe.

Uwe has an excellent web site in both German and English which describes his background and approach. It is worth visiting.