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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #18C4lb

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 Price:$SOLD
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Click the currency icon at left to calculate estimated price in your currency. Taxes and shipping costs will be calculated during the check-out process. Non-US buyers are responsible for all customs fees incurred in their country. "Out of Stock" messages during check-out mean that the pipe has already sold, but I have not yet updated the catalog page to reflect its "Sold" status.

Here is my solution to the rustication dilemma. In the past, I have typically made few rusticated pipes because they're a huge amount of work, more labor than sandblasting by far, and they're often expected to sell for less. This leads most makers to do pretty simple rustications, from the factory "bumpy leather" sort of looks to the frequently awful-looking Dremel-carved varieties where you can see every tool mark. On top of all this, the briar blocks I'm using have been aging over 60 years since being cut, so they're hard as rock... making the surface carving a *really* heavy-muscle affair. In the past I've dealt with this conundrum by simply not doing many rustications, but in recent years a number of makers have brought rustication up in scale as a form of finishing art of its own, and I decided to make a couple pipes this way as a trial run. I chose to put *everything* into these two - Long, extended carving using a half dozen different carving tools PLUS staged sandblasting as well, to really go all-out in creating an extremely dramatic surface texture. It's DEEP. The choice to rusticate must be made well in advance during shaping, as the walls need to be much thicker than usual to allow for this much texture... No doing this on thin walls! It takes me a half day's work JUST to create the finish texture and each one gives me a sore wrist and elbow, but the result is, I hope, worth it for a unique and wild coral-like surface. The downside is that with all that labor, they must be priced to match, so ultimately it's up to you, the pipe buyer, to decide - Is this a finish worth the extra money? If these two sell, I will certainly make more like them, because personally I absolutely love them, on top of the fact that they should make really excellent smokers given the combination of old briar, deep carving, and wall thickness... yet with deceptively light weight too, thanks to the deep carving itself.

This horn/calabash showcases slinky flowing lines for such a rugged shape, with the gentle S curve that I love so much leading the eye smoothly from the handcut horn bit to the flaring bowl rim. It's worth pointing out one of the great challenges here with rustication of this nature, which is keeping the silhouette lines consistent. It's easy when removing a lot of briar like this to just let the bowl shape get lost completely, and sometimes that can be desirable (ie, Goblins), but the Ligne Bretagne Collectors are dedicated to a different stylistic theme - The artisan-tweaked classical. Thus, it's important to keep it tight, and keep the curves looking smooth. Another key point in finish textures like this is how to handle the gradual transition from shank to stem. You'll see a lot of carvers who just take big chunks out of their shank and don't mind creating a big visual disparity between the stem thickness and the shank thickness, but I wanted the silhouette lines to be smooth (or at least as smooth as possible with this level of carving). My own answer is a smooth fade of carving depth from the deeply craggy bowl rim to the gently textured stem/shank join. It may seem like over-thinking it, but in my own opinion that's the sort of detail planning that NEEDS to go into a genuine high grade pipe.

The final step in the finishing of this pipe was the staining, and surprisingly, it's a single-stage stain, unlike some of the multi-layer tints we use on other pipes. However, here the surface was SO three dimensional that it created its own shadows and sharp highlights and blacks, rendering further highlighting almost pointless - Instead, all I did was apply a thinned black and highlight the outer edges, which produced every bit of the two-toned look that you see in the photos.

If you've read this far, thank you for your time! :) That's a lot of writing to absorb, but it's a new finish and needed a lot of explanation for the hows and whys it was created, as well as for how the prices were figured. Now it's all over to you folks, the pipe buyers out there, to tell me if it's worth doing more of these or not! On the upside, if no one buys these, I can at least say I will be *blissfully* happy to keep them for myself...