Larry Roush Pipes3 Total
Larry Roush was a machinist, jeweler and pipe collector in the late 1980s when he found a way to combine his interests by adding decorative silver and gold bands to his personal pipes. Vintage Charatans, Castellos, Barlings — whatever he had and liked, he added precious metal fitments. These weren't simple bands by any measure, but complex interwoven designs one would expect from an accomplished jeweler.
Once his personal collection was adequately beautified, his creative energy demanded more, so he decided to try making pipes. He bought some briar from pipemaking legend Michael Butera, who was impressed with Roush's metalwork, and sent some pipes for Roush to add bands to. Soon Butera visited Roush's shop to learn his techniques for banding his own pipes. Larry also visited Butera's shop, where he learned pipemaking through a process of benign neglect. That is, he'd do something, show it to Mike, and Mike would nod, ask him if he'd tried a couple of other strategies, say, "hmmm," and return to his own work, having led Larry in the right direction. That would motivate Larry to explore new avenues. He insists that it was the best way for him to learn, and learn quickly. For some things, Butera would explain in detail, but for others, Roush experimented on his own.
He explored his own ideas as well, developing a briar curing process that may have much to do with the current popularity of his pipes. His specialized styling, especially in regard to complex silver- and gold-work (also showcased in his handmade tampers) and the use of pronounced tapers from bowl transition to lip button, have also aided in creating demand that can't be fulfilled. For these reasons, we're incredibly fortunate to be able to offer Roush's pipes for collectors all over to enjoy. Explore Larry's amazing work below.