Sheesh. One could be forgiven for wondering if I’ve vanished off the map, but not so – We’ve simply been scrambling like mad to get back into a working panic after the departure of Emily’s parents. I say “panic” because, as seems to be the eternal refrain since we moved to France, this long semi-vacation has left us in dire financial straits and it looks like the 2006 financial crisis is going to carry on happily for at least the next two months or more. This means working every day, seven days a week, from waking to midnight, which is why the blog posts have fallen off lately. It’s rough – I can’t even bring myself to look back on some of our old vacation photos from the US now, since I haven’t had a real vacation since we moved here four years ago (Parent visits are a delight and a joy, but I can’t honestly describe them as “vacations” since there is so much worry and stress involved). But, we grit our teeth and struggle on..

(Though I must confess to a certain psychotic frustration with people who hear that we’re forced to work round the clock and write to chide us “not to work so much, and remember to take some time off”. Hearing this coming from people who have salaries, paid vacations, and savings accounts tends to come off rather badly, I must say, though I am proud of myself not to have actually bitten a large chunk of flesh out of anyone who said this yet. I can’t help but just be stupefied at the thinking this seems to indicate – What, they think we don’t want to take time off? Interestingly, it’s nearly always Europeans who say this – my fellow Americans seem to share an innate understanding of the occasional need for overwork and just nod in grim support. An odd cultural difference, that.)

I’ve plunged back into working on several special requests since we waved goodbye to the in-laws, though the work is slow since we have a lot of distractions (It is tax time here). The photo above shows a few pieces recently finished for various requests, some of which may end up on the website. Also, Emily took this dramatic photo of one of the mortas:

Visible in the first photo is the stummel of a fat bulldog – a larger, Talbert Briar version of the departed Ligne Bretagne bulldogs almost, though it is actually modelled after a Tao in response to a customer’s request. This one will almost certainly be going onto the website for sale, since he wants a smooth and it will be a sandblast. This is the problem with smooth pipe requests – it’s up to the briar and since I don’t use fills or tweaks to hide flaws, and sandblast everything that has flaws, smooth Talberts are rare beasts. I have no idea how many stummels I might go through trying to find a smooth bulldog, though there is a practical limit; namely, however many I can make before I get tired of doing the same shape and just move on to something different.

In other news, after my amusing meandering in the last blog post about what pipes appeal and which don’t, every single one of the pipes in question sold, and the only pipe we still have in stock here is a single Signature Grade Morta. Even the Spoon found a home! And I thought business would be dead with the Chicago show happening.

That’s about all the time I can spare for the moment. Back to the grind!

Categories: Pipe Blog


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