Reum pipes

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Sean Reum (IPA: ʃɔːn riːm; English 'Reem'; 1990 ‒) is a North American pipe maker who was born in Central Valley, California, and currently resides in Northwest Montana with his wife and son.[1]

Reum Pipes nomenclature: a stylized 'R' encircled by 'REUM PIPES USA.'
A special two pipe set made by Reum in 2023, encased in a fitted box made by Rachel Reum of Just Dande Creations. Image courtesy Sean & Rachel Reum.
A Sean Reum standing acorn from the GL Pease collection. Image courtesy Gregory Pease

Before making pipes, Reum was a restorer of vintage straight razors, which by chance led him to pipe smoking. As may be expected, there is a large degree of overlap between the pipe smoking and straight razor communities. Like smoking pipes, straight razors have a nostalgic quality to them, and have a strong appeal with collectors. But, perhaps more significantly, both smoking pipes and straight razors are precisely constructed instruments that, with the appropriate amount of care and upkeep, will reward their users with several lifetimes worth of service.

Owing to his interactions on a straight razor forum with users that also smoked pipes, Reum became fascinated with the pastime, and soon bought his own pipe, along with some samples, so that he could try it for himself. After spending time looking at various pipes online, this fascination quickly spread to the practices of their creation, and especially to the relationship between aesthetics and functionality in high-grade pipes. Reum consequently ordered hobby carving kits from American Pipe Company and Vermont Freehand with the hope of exploring, first-hand, “what it was that would make a beautiful pipe smoke so well.”

As he did not have conventional pipe making equipment at this point, Reum’s first experiments were undertaken in his workshop using some of the tools he would otherwise use for his restoration services. As he says in an interview with Brian Levine, in the beginning, the challenge was less one of deciding which tools to buy, but of “figuring out all that I could do without buying more.”[2]

A very Danish chubby bent apple. Image courtesy Sean Reum.

It would seem that this attitude of learning to work with – rather than trying to avoid – one’s constraints paid off for Reum. By developing techniques suited to the tools already at his disposal, and through furthering his pipemaking knowledge through online resources and interactions with other pipemakers, Reum was soon well on his way to creating the kinds of pipes that first drew him into the craft. While Reum’s first pipes were made in 2013, by 2017 he was able to take up pipemaking full-time. Since then, he has sold his pipes through Smoke King in the UK, TobaccoPipes and CupOJoes in the US, and independently.

In terms of the making of a pipe, Reum is extraordinarily prolific. While he keeps the techniques that allow for this pipemaking agility close to his chest, his one-man operation often rivals the output one would expect from a Danish workshop, while still maintaining the level of quality one would expect from the latter. The Danish masters, along with the artisan pipemaking tradition that emerged from Denmark in the 1950s and 60s, are also a source of inspiration for Reum’s designs, which can already be seen in his early use of flared stems, unconventional bowl/shank pairings, and ferrules of horn and ebonite. Modern classics of post-Danish artisan pipemaking continue to feature among his creations; the shield, the egg, the acorn, and the wide-shank bulldog, are among the many archetypal shapes that Reum interprets in his own ways. With that said, Reum, like many artisans, allows the briar itself to dictate to a large degree exactly how it will be shaped and finished, in order to make the best use of the contours and patterns in the grain of a given block.

As for the finishes themselves, Reum has gravitated towards a variety of techniques over the years, favouring certain of them at one time, and then focusing on others at the next. In the late 2010s, Reum produced many pipes with a signature sandblast/rustication hybrid he termed ‘Chipblast.’ In recent years, Reum has leaned more towards either conventional, full- or partial-sandblasting, as well as conventionally smooth pipes. At the time of writing, however, he has also been experimenting with what else can be achieved through differing levels of depth and intensity in sandblasting, leading to a novel, softly-blasted finish Reum has called ‘Eggshell.’

The majority of Reum’s pipes are made from briar and ebonite and similar resins, which are his preferred materials. He will occasionally work with olivewood and bog oak (morta), but only makes pipes with acrylic or lucite stems upon request.

The Workshop Series

Reum also collaborates from time to time with Chris Morgan of Morgan Pipes, making the ‘Workshop Series’ of pipes sold on Morgan’s website. These pipes are hand made by Reum and Morgan with the intention of combining the quality of construction of a high-grade pipe with a more affordable price point.

Beyond the Pipe

Since 2021, Reum and Morgan have hosted the podcast Beyond the Pipe, which can be found here.


  1. Factual information for this article was provided to the author by Sean Reum. The remaining commentary is provided by the author.