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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #1739lb

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Here's something new and different that people will probably either find fascinating or ugly, I'm not sure which. I love this bowl shape (very clay, very tavern) and these horn stems, and I wanted to marry the two into something resembling a traditional clay rendered in briar, while keeping the coloration as balanced and uniform as possible. It was tricky because an unstained pipe like this, even sandblasted, needs to be just about flawless to look good without some sort of staining, and to look good after the surface bleaching. And that was what I did - I don't do this trick often with Ligne Bretagnes because it's time-intensive, and usually fits a Talbert Briar operating budget much better. But, I wanted to marry the stem and bowl colors as well as I could, so I set about progressively bleaching and "color shifting" the bowl, taking it away from its natural briar golden reddish tint to a more milky, caramel creme color that would harmonize nicely with the lighter tones of the horn stem. I took a couple of close-up photos above of the stem and shank to showcase the colors.

Outside of the whitening work, the stem is a French-handcut horn piece and the bowl is one of the taller Ligne Bretagnes. The whole thing came out surprisingly featherweight at 22 grams, giving it something else in common with the "briar clay" goal I was chasing. When I first finished it, I was neutral about the look, I must admit, but as it's sat here on my desk for the past few days, I've begun to like it more and more, especially the flat matte coloration of the bowl - I know everyone else likes shiny pipes and they usually sell way better, but I'm weird... I just love the textured flat surface and every time I look at it, it makes me want to smoke it, just to start watching the gradual darkening of the bowl with use.