Bertram Safferling, born in Stuttgart and living in Italy, says his passion for pipes started in the 1960s when he and three of his friends founded a commune in the garret of an old chocolate factory.
“We were young and full of dreams”, the craftsman explains. “One of my friends made marionettes, the other was an industrial designer, and the other specialized in accordions. I had decided to give pipes a go.”
After twenty years of self-teaching and practice, Bertram moved to Copenhagen and studied under one of the best pipe masters in Denmark. During his apprenticeship, he learned the secrets of this extraordinary craft and understood “that all the pipes I had made until then were rubbish! But I didn’t let that bring me down, and started re-learning the art until I could master it.”
Today, over ten years after that crucial experience, Bertrand makes magnificent custom pieces in his Atelier della Pipa, in Bolzano. He can now show clients how to appreciate all the details in a pipe and the true value of his creative work.
Bertram concludes, “Manual work charms and attracts many people. And when clients leave my workshop with their very own pipe, their eyes always have a sparkle in them. Helping them makes me happy.”
Photos via: ©Claudia Corrent