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Talbert Amber Egg #1602T 

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 Price: $SOLD
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It is really nice to be doing more Talbert Briars this year. A little nerve-wracking, yes, since they represent bigger chunks of money to sell or not sell, but I'm certainly enjoying the creative freedom again. That's probably the inspiration for the positively buoyant styling of this one - I wanted to work an entire pipe around the egg shape, because eggs are one of the best things to hold in the hand, just for "shape feel". However, this went beyond just being another bent egg to turn into something very spirited... sprightly, jaunt, mischievous, even. The upward bowl curve gives the whole pipe a decidedly positive feel, and the mirroring egg forms of bowl and shank/stem lend a harmony to the overall design. It makes for a beautiful silhouette of clean lines and curves.

The handcut stem is cut from my own hand-blended resin acrylic mix. It's not true amber, just my own general version thereof. A lot of the faux-amber acrylics on the market get too colorful and too "fancy" for me, for want of a better adjective - Too much swirl, too many color variations, and generally looking more like cumberland than anything else. I wanted this to be subtler and softer, just a gentle pale swirl of amber and orange tints and materials. It's more translucent in the thinner areas near the bit, which works nicely to show off my interior work on the design of the bit slot - Something which normally no one sees. It's gorgeous stuff when light shines through it, and I posted a special photo above of the stem being back-lit against a white paper to try and capture a little of this effect. It looks almost like having a lava lamp for a stem!

As with all of these stems where I've cast and material here, it is unique in the world - No one else is going to have a stem with this material and style. The downside with that is that the material needs to be left thicker, as it is more brittle than vulcanite, so the bits I make using this resin aren't as ribbon-thin as the ones I do in ebonite. I like their comfort level, myself, but this is a point to keep in mind if you're one of the folks who prefers bits as thin as a credit card.

The wood insert in the stem is olivewood, cut from a block that was gifted to me by a wood-turner in the small French village of La Roche-Bernard, in Bretagne. My wife and I were strolling the centre ville one evening and happened to notice his shop tucked away down a side street. He and I got to talking about wood and crafting and pipes and such, and to my complete surprise he gave me some cutoff chunks of wood right there - He worked on carving large sculptures and statuary, so he regarded any pieces smaller than a 6" by 6" block as "scrap" and to be thrown away. This doesn't make the stem ring magical or anything, but I thought it was a nice bit of history to share about the pieces that make up the whole. The olivewood ring is capped by two polished brass rings.

I don't think I need to shower any superlatives on the spiderweb blast of the green bowl - The photos pretty much speak for themselves, there. It's a gorgeous blast of concentric age rings that radiate outward across the bowl from a central point. 2016 is looking like a good year for Talbert Briars!