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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #1705lb

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My idea of the perfect pipe, at least in the classical sense. When I first started to sand this bowl, I knew it was going to be something special and it lived up to that initial feeling. It's the sort of pipe that, if you wanted a Wikipedia photo for "pipe", this would be an ideal candidate. The Dublin bowl is one of the larger Ligne Bretagne bowls with plenty of chamber capacity, yet the lean design keeps the weight well down at only 33 grams. I gave the stem line the very faintest of curves, to give it a subtle visual link to the Bing shape while maintaining its more traditional classical Dublin proportions. It ended up being a strikingly flawless piece of briar - No working around flaws here!

I wanted this one to be something special so it got a bit more attention than normal. The bowl chamber grain was as beautiful as the exterior (I tired to show a bit of it in the photograph above of the bowl top, looking down into it, but was only moderately successful) so I opted early on to eschew our usual bowl carbonizing and instead run it through the drying, curing, and oil treatment I'd normally reserve for one of my Talbert Briars. The result is a bowl chamber that's nearly as attractive as the exterior, which should provide a warmer, fuller flavor to anything smoked in it. I must, however, caution that the lack of pre-carbonizing means it's a bit more vulnerable to burn damage during break-in, so smoke with caution till there's some cake built up.

With the surface as pit-free as it was, I wanted some color but not much... A sort of "gentle golden glow" to enhance the look of the grain without making it look obviously stained. I mixed a tint that was slightly darker and slightly warmer than the natural briar, let it penetrate, then sanded most of it back off and applied a natural oil finish to give it that slightly "surface translucent" effect that I love - the sense that you're actually looking down into the wood, not just at the outer skin.