Now that I've freed up some room in my office, I can add to my pipe collection (see previous post). I only buy two to four new pipes a year (probably two to four too many for my wife), but I've found a pipe carver who has definitely made it to the top of my short list.
I was reading through some posts on Smokers Forums and came across member Paul Hubartt's name and his pipe carving business, Larrysson Pipes, based in Cornwall, England. I clicked on his link and discovered some fantastic looking pipes, at very reasonable prices.
It's very apparent in the photos how much care, craftsmanship and pride goes into Paul's work. His philosophy on his work, taken from his website, describes it best:
I believe in using top quality materials, and putting those materials together with precision and care, creating a high quality smoking instrument. The aesthetics of a pipe are equally important. A pipe should have grace, balance and flow, with wonderful tactile feel and a comfortable mouthpiece. The finish and color, whether smooth, rusticated or sandblasted, should visually stimulate and please its owner. All of these qualities I strive to realize in every Larrysson Pipe.I haven't really delved into artisan pipe carvers, sticking mostly with brands like Peterson, Ascorti, Crown, etc. I do have two pipes from American pipe carver, David Jones, and I would like to explore further the smaller maker who puts out a small number of pipes each year. With prices from $175 to $300, Larrysson Pipes look to be an oustanding value, and I'm looking forward to adding one to my collection soon.