In April 2001 Thomas Habermacher attended one of the pipemaking courses the Argovian pipe artisan Franz von MATT frequently held at Ballenberg course center. Habermacher didn’t have any intention to produce pipes one day. He just wanted to get a better understanding of pipes learning a bit more about their specific engineering.
Yet a magic effect seems to have come from the stand-up poker he manufactured over that weekend. He added some machines to his hobby workshop and began to make briar pipes in his leisure time. Franz von Matt gave him some more instructions and supported him furthermore with good advice as well as qualitatively good briar.
Habermacher kept and smoked the first pipes for himself and later gifted them to friends and to some experienced pipesters. Encouraged by friendly feedback he started to offer his pipes under the name Tom’s Pipe-Line.
Many designs are clearly influenced by von Matt. The briar today comes from Korsika, Tuscany and Morocco. As material for the bits he prefers ebonite, but if it matches the character of the pipe he sometimes applies one of colored acrylics he moulds himself.