The Italian Pipe Academy

On 24thNovember 2020, a year that will remain in history for the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic all over the world, the Pipe Academy was born on Zoom.

Don’t be deceived by the high-sounding name: it isn’t about a committee of smug tobacco connoisseurs, of Dunhill and Peterson pipe smokers, chatting online about how good they are, far from this, they are craftsmen, the kind of people who make pipes with their own hands and bring them around the world.

The idea came from the volcanic Mimmo Romeo, but it had already been in embryo in Gabriele Dal Fiume’s head for many years: creating a space where senior craftsmen with experience in high grade building technique and several international fairs behind them, could attend the up-and-coming young before these got lost into the illusory maze of social networks. To make this, it was necessary to build a structure with the “school” canons but not constrained between the boundaries of the bureaucratised organizations. But above all, it was necessary to put the craftsman’s ethic first, doing things for the pleasure of doing them well and passing on knowledge for free to those who would prove to deserve it.

We started with those who were already our pupils but, in a brief time, a good number of new faces joined.

To date (October 2021), the Academy includes 4 founder masters, 15 founder pupils and an added master, the great Eder Mathias.

Between 20thJanuary and 23rdJune 2021, 12 technical meetings were held via Zoom and over 30 technical documents have been produced and published on our private Facebook page. The Academy has signed a partnership relation with Pipa Club Italiato promote the up-and-coming young.

Before giving space to our Chart of Values, I would like to say some things that are particularly important to us:

The Academy welcomes only those apprentices that already have a minimum of tooling and have tried to build some pipes.

The Academy does not offer paid courses for newbies without the before described characteristics.

It is always a masters’ task to evaluate if an apprentice has in embryo the characteristics to attend the Academy.

The Academy does not have utopic goals: we neither wish to change the Italian pipe world, nor introduce a new manifesto for the commercial promotion of our masters and pupils.

Believe it or not, the Academy just wants to express a free act of love towards the object of our work: the pipe.