As early as 1967 Ingo Garbe began to make pipes professionally and therewith he is the first German freehand pipemaker. In 1972 he fell in love with the rural solitariness of the Danish Baltic Sea island Laeso and in consequence he settled down there.
Garbe hates the term "design" - his pipes are classical. "For me a form is classical", he once wrote, "if it has gradually developed over long periods to serve it's purpose of use at it's best. If it is valid, almost valid for ever; it hardly can be improved furthermore and, most of all, it doesn't need any change!"
In consequence some pipe dabsters call him a "die-hard", a "maverick", a "loner" ... Fact is that Ingo Garbe exclusively offers pipes with smooth surfaces and categorically refuses any other finishing techniques like blasts or rustications. He never uses any other materials for ornamenting elements nor does he use trendy colored stains. He simply doesn't follow any trend of "pipe fashion". Maybe, this can actually be called a certain kind of stolidity and it probably hinders that his name is listed among the all-time greatest pipemakers ever.
Garbe's craftsmanship is absolutely impeccable; his engineering is perfect. Pure understatement - it takes no dots, no stars or whatever to recognise a Garbe. A Garbe is recognized by connoisseurs by the perfect smoothness of the surfaces, the wonderful elegant curve of shank and stem and the ultimate comfort of it's bit. "My pipes are works of art that furthermore have the advantage, that one can smoke them" he said once when being awarded the gold medal for fine craftsmanship on the Munich Crafts Fair.
Photos by SmokingPipes.com
Ingo Garbe Vesterø Havnegade 94, Vesterø 9940 Læsø Denmark Tel.: + 45 98 49 91 50