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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #18C7lb

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Here's a beautiful handmade brandyglass shape that's going to make someone very happy. Like the last three Collectors, it also is a product of both hand rustication and sandblasting combined, but this time around it came with a couple of extra challenges. The extreme hardness of the old briar is always a hurdle to overcome, but this was also an intriguingly challenging shape to rusticate. I love brandyglass bowls and we haven't done one in forever, but unlike a bowl design with fixed width bowl walls, here we have wall thickness that varies considerably from the fat base to the tapered rim. The sort of extremely heavy and deep rustication of the last couple of Collectors wasn't possible here - It could have been done around the lower portion of the bowl but would have had to get shallower as it went up. Instead, the focus turned to surface intricacy instead of depth, with a LOT of labor time invested in the detail carving to keep it as natural looking as possible (I really dislike rusticated pipes where someone has basically just tapped it with a Dremel over and over). The surface here required no less than seven different tools, from Foredom carving bits to hammer bits to custom-made hand gouges, plus wire brushing and detailed sandblasting over top of it all. The sandblasting lets the detail of the original grain show itself around the bowl and helps offset the carved look with the natural patterns of the wood grain.

The stem is vulcanite, with a thin filed bit and a cumberland stem ring. The bowl finishing was done to color-match the stem ring, in order to bring the whole thing together as a unified whole. It took some work to mix the colors of the two-toned stain properly to match the colors of the cumberland ring, but I'm proud of the result - You can see for yourself in the close-up of the ring and shank above.