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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #17C14lb

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 Price:$385
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The story of this pipe shape is getting sillier with each evolution. This started when we did Collector #17C3 earlier this year. That was a classic case of starting out with a decent but uninspiring block and really going to work on it, with deep blasting and carving working in concert to create an extremely craggy finish. It proved unexpectedly popular when I posted it and several people wanted to order similar pipes. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, it's a solid, simple design, and the forward-tilted bowl adds an element of dynamism without compromising the usefulness (meaning, one can still see over the rim to light it and it isn't tilted so far forward for "art" that all your tobacco falls out the front). I made a couple more for orders and all went well till we came to the current fellow. The pipe we began working on for him rapidly made it obvious that it was going to be a substantially higher grade pipe than the original model, and it ultimately became Collector #17C12.

Briar is briar, this stuff happens. I posted it to the site for general sale and we found another block. This one seemed more suited, with ideal size and age and fairly nondescript grain, perfect for deep blasting. Off to the lathe it went and when the bowl was drilled, perfect straight grain inside, LOL...! So, the bowl was turned down and all that meh grain on the block exterior tightened up and we ended up with THIS... a flawless, unstained natural with grain lines surrounding the bowl looking so straight they could have been drawn on with ruler and colored pencil.

Normally when you're making a pipe for a commission, the big concern is being sure the new pipe is as nice as the original model pipe you're working from. In this case, the commission attempts are getting markedly better with each attempt... If this carries on, I guess the next one will be a $900 high-end Talbert Briar! But, hey, we'll get the request filled eventually, and in the meantime I'm getting a number of surprisingly excellent pipes in this shape for the website.

This little guy, for instance, is just about the perfect pipe. The natural briar look is beautiful and subtle, the shape is straightforward, it's lightweight, and it offers a bowl chamber that's larger than our usual and larger than the dimensions might suggest. Having recently rebuilt our grinding jig, it';s easier now for me to create my own custom spade bits and this is a new one, designed for a wider-angled cone shape than usual, precisely for bowls like this with a taper from top to bottom. The walls gradually increase in thickness down the sides of the bowl to accommodate the bowl getting hotter, while the top is wider for better "breathing" and more tobacco.

The stem is French-handcut horn, with a swirled acrylic ring chosen to marry the color tones of the golden-natural bowl and the pale-cream horn. Together, they give the whole pipe a pleasant caramel-swirl look, a color combination that I may have to use again on other pipes because I like it so much.