As we move onwards into the Christmas season, here is a little shot of some Talbert Yule pipes past (from the 2000 set, actually). The one on top was the prototype, and the only one that had the originally-preferred stem material – a sort of marbled white acrylic that was meant to be unique and clay-like in its look, but which instead proved to be a real nightmare to work with. I broke several bits drilling airholes through that rod stock. The material was both brittle and very quick to overheat in drilling, and the melted acrylic would pack the drill flutes, harden immediately, and bang goes another bit. After fighting with the stuff just enough to get one stem made, I switched to the more conventional cumberland for the official series. You can see two of the set here in unfinished form. I was pleased with these and thought they were attractive, albeit fragile in construction, but 2000 was the last year I made a Talbert Briar Yule pipe. I returned with a Ligne Bretagne Yule pipe in 2002 and 2003, but dropped those as well in 2004 because they were just too stressful to have to dive into immediately after finishing the Halloween pipes. Now that the Halloween pipes are on ice, who knows? Maybe there will be more Yule pipes someday…

Categories: Pipe Blog


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