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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #1901lb

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First new Ligne Bretagne of 2019! At least, I think so... Someone said something about my having sold an apple (?) in January but I don't remember it. Of course, given how often I was back and forth to the hospital and to physical therapists for my wife's hip replacement that month, I could probably have built a life-size Tyrannosaurus out of toothpicks in my backyard and not remember it now. In any event, I'm pronouncing this the first new Ligne Bretagne of 2019, just because it turned out so well.

I've gotten very fond of these "mini-churchwarden"-type pipes, with a longer-than-normal stem and that sort of elegant arc, yet much shorter and more practical than a real churchwarden. I took this one as long as was feasible, to still be able to get a normal-length pipecleaner down it from bit to bowl. The stem features a pair of polished brass rings surrounding an inner ring of German yellow & black cumberland.

It's a beautiful piece of briar, too. Contrast stains have their place, and unstained pipes have huge appeal, but here I kept it very simple and applied a single tint of golden yellow, of a color tint I mixed myself. So many pipemakers use the same Fiebing's aniline dyes that they've gotten a bit ridiculously ubiquitous - I see Saddle Tan every time I turn around - so I plan on making a lot more custom colors for myself. Probably no one else will notice or care but at least I won't look at this and immediately think, "Ah, British Tan!" It's a transparent color tint with good penetration, which I applied and sanded over to leave a bit more contrast to the grain while keeping that beautiful overall even gold/orange glow.