09 janvier 2010


He is one of the best craftsmen in the USA and in the world. According to Jose Manuel Lopes, in his book " Pipes: Artisans and Trademarks" , Roush started at the beginning of the 1990's, with help of his compatriot Mike Butera. Then he stopped, before beginning again full-time in 2001.

Living in Perrysburg (Ohio), he directly sells on his website some pipes mostly made with italian briar, occasionally algerian or greek. His work have as a characteristic to constitute imposing pieces and personal interpretations of traditional shapes.

Larry says : "I don't tell the briar block what I want, the block tells me. It is the grain that determines the shape not the template". One can notice the quality of his sandblasting, which is very visible. " My secret about sandblasting, it's… time", he declares.

Lawrence Roush, known as Larry, is not a pipemaker like the others. And especially not consensual. One likes, one hates, or one is perplexed.

Perplexed, I was. Firstly, I've to say , by the high prices of the Roush pipes. Then, I feared volume, weight. I hesitated for a long time to launch me. Then, very exited by the idea to see with my own eyes, in my own hands, the surprising fruit of a so careful work, I decided not to miss the next opportunity. Then of course, I missed some, because those Roush pipes leave quickly !

And, click, it was finally the good one ! I had crossed the step, with a sandblasted red poker which tickled my eyes… Larry tranquillized me about the question of the weight: 65 grams. It's acceptable. It's even light, taking into account the quantity of wood and the thickness of the walls.
Here thus this single pipe: rusticated then sandblasted italian briar, red tinted , with a cumberland stem , surmounted by a silver ring , the whole cut with the hand. The tenon is made of Delrin, a very resistant plastic, which nevertheless keeps a certain flexibility.

I don't agree with the name of this pipe, that Larry calls "pot". For me, it's quite simply a poker. But it doesn't matter.

Larry Roush has two announced objectives when he makes a pipe: beauty and smokability.

Does this pipe fully answer to the requirements stated by its creator himself ?

The beauty is a subjective value. Old debate. Some Larry's pipes surprise me by their form, inspired of traditional models, while clearly releasing. It cannot be a reproach, because it's a logical way for an artist to innovate, to personalize creations, to put his touch. But let us say that I understand some negative remarks made in connection with the audacity of some Larry's pipes. He voluntarily surprises and cannot receive everyone's approval.

Thus, having known these mixed feelings, making me be sometimes in the doubt, sometimes fascinated, I promised myself to buy one as soon as possible. To see, judge on part. And obviously, with a form which attracts me.

This deeply sandbladed poker attracted me immediately on the picture. And I like it in my hands too ! Yes, this is a large pipe, yes this is an object which can't be unperceived. But this imposing side seems to me counterbalanced by a sure line, without any rupture. In short, it's not thin at all, but it is well proportioned !

About its smokability, relatively objective criterion, it's perfect. Broad drilling allows a very easy smoking. And the taste is immediately pleasant, especially with Virginia flakes, in spite of the coating inside the bowl.

A beautiful artistic work and a good tool for smoking. Having both qualities is so pleasant !


3 commentaires :

Jimmy a dit…

Great review, Nicolas. Thanks !

Harry S. a dit…

Nice article, Nicolas. And a very nice Roush. I love it !

Anonyme a dit…

I congratulate, what necessary words..., a remarkable idea