August 29th, 2016
What a month it's been! The Ligne Bretagne Classics got off to a very nice start and we've spent the bulk of August filling orders for them, which is why the site has been so quiet - Now that people can just buy a pipe made-to-order, quite a few of them are doing just that! We're just now getting around to posting a small catalog update with some new Ligne Bretagne Uniques - Four new pipes, of which three are churchwardens. Check them out HERE.
August 6th - BIG news today! The Ligne Bretagne catalog and brand has received an important new arrival - the Ligne Bretagne Classic. For the first time, you can order pipes in set, standardized designs from the available selection - No more empty catalog and no more being forced to scramble and pounce on the pipes as they're first posted. Order one, GET one! It's that simple. For the moment, we're only offering two shapes in our LB Classics selection, but we'll expand on that over time. I wanted to start simple and small so that the roll-out of the LB Classics could go as smoothly and efficiently as possible, without getting buried under orders for a dozen different pipes. I will gradually add new shape options to the selection over time, as we work out reliable, repeatable designs. For the full story behind the new LB Classics, and their concept, see my new Pipe Blog post.
But that's not all! I've recently been doing some extensive reconfiguring of our photography setup, especially with an eye towards getting better and more accurate photos of darker-colored pipes, and am now producing drastically better photographs. The photo process started with some background experiments which produced an entirely new, and much-improved, set of pics of the most recent Talbert Briar 'Old Sea Captain'. From there, I changed the background back to our familiar cloth backdrop and made some (IMHO) downright killer pics of a new Ligne Bretagne bulldog Unique and of a pretty spectacular ring-grain-blasted ODA Collector. And yes, I know I'm throwing around a lot of superlatives here, but I'm genuinely excited by how much improved the photos are now, and how much more accurately they capture my sandblasting details especially.
July 28th - Several new arrivals today! First up is a new Ligne Bretagne squat bulldog, sandblasted in antique finish with tapered stem. Accompanying it are two new "Goblin Toads"... We're in the midst of summer now and everything is green and the undergrowth is rich, so clearly it's time for more Goblins to shamble onto the site. Both of the new pipes can be seen HERE and they make a marvelously jolly pair of warthogs, indeed.
July 19th - Only two new pipes today, but what a pair... No one can ever say the Talbert workshop lacks dynamic range after seeing these two together! First up is a new Talbert Briar "Old Sea Captain"... essentially a gnarled, blasted Halloween pipe in classical Dublin form. Where the Talbert is a classic shape, its companion is a new Goblin that's easily the wildest Goblin shape for this year... It's a dramatic beastie ready to be the showpiece of any shelf! I have to admit, I got rather carried away on it... My only defense is that it's mid-summer now, and I can smell Autumn from here...
July 6th - Still buried under Talbert Briar commissions, but we've nonetheless been able to finish up a beautiful pair of new Ligne Bretagne bulldogs, now posted!
June 29th - I'm currently in the middle of work on several Talbert Briar commissions, but one new Goblin managed to escape the swampy lagoons and crawl onto the site...
June 23rd - One more small update... or not so small, as the case may be - I've just added a new large-sized Ligne Bretagne Collector Poker to the catalog. I'm working on some commissions now and wanted to go ahead and get it posted, since I'm not sure when the next update will be other than "Not soon", and I didn't want this pipe just sitting here on the desk for the next week.
June 20th - I really should do all my website catalog page writing to the Last Starfighter soundtrack, this is magnificently bouncy! I've just posted two new Ligne Bretagne Collectors to the site, both "firsts" of a sort... the first smooth LB Collector in quite a while, and the first bamboo-shanked pipe I've made, period, in I don't know how long, probably years. It's also a bit unusual as bamboo-shanks go, see its description for details.
June 13th - Today is "Something for Everyone" day! I've just posted a pretty heavy update that covers a lot of ground, price-wise and style-wise. Starting with the most affordable, there's a new Ligne Bretagne Collector posted, a sandblasted horn, that should please fans of seriously craggy blasting. Next, we've got a new Goblin, a frilled beastie that would be gliding through a murky swamp if it wasn't being filled with tobacco. And finally... It's Halloween again! Yes, I'm on my way to making it Halloween year-round here in the Talbert Pipes workshop. The new creation is the Vampire, a sinuous and leathery and pointed thing indeed. Fans of the pipemaking process should check out its catalog page even if it's out of your price range, as it's got quite a few process shots that document the making of such a devilish pipe.
May 29th - It's Halloween in May. Too early? Never... After all, I enjoyed doing that last Halloween Pipe in March, so I may as well scatter a few more of them throughout the year. Besides, at Talbert Pipes it's always Halloween season! You can check out the latest addition to our Gallery of Oddities here...
May 16th - Apparently I lied, the last two weren't the end of the bulldog run because I've just posted two more! Though these will definitely be the end of the bulldog run, for the time being at least. I wasn't aware that Emily had already picked out a couple more and checked them over for flaws and such, so we went ahead and finished them into pipes as a matching pair. It was a fun experiment in seeing just how different in personality two pipes could be, when they were otherwise the same shape and finish. They make a great pair now, one wild and craggy, the other reserved and detailed. Check them out HERE.
May 10th - Bulldog Madness continues with another pair of squat bulldogs, one green and one natural. This will probably be it for the bulldogs for the moment, but they're a fun pair to close out the run on. Also in this update is a very tall, ODA-sized Ligne Bretagne Collector, a sort of long-shanked Canadian chimney with a very unusual sandblast.
May 4th - It's Bulldog Madness again! Well, on a very squat scale, anyway - I've just posted three new Ligne Bretagne squat bulldogs, all sandblasts. They're a nice variety, though, ranging from black finish and ebonite stem to an all-natural, "unfinished" one with a horn stem.
April 30th - Something new to close out April! We're currently working on some new Ligne Bretagne bulldogs, and while doing those I got so in the mood for working on edgy panels that I decided to make another of these large, curvy paneled horns. I made one similar to this for an order recently and liked the result so much I wanted to do another one similar!
April 24th - I've just posted a couple of new bent Ligne Bretagne Prince shapes. They're one of the few bent styles in the Ligne Bretagne brand, and are popular pipes given their practical sizes and the fact that the thick walled design allows for a more aggressive sandblasting, as these two well-demonstrate.
April 18th - I always say, I make Ligne Bretagne churchwardens only when I've forgotten how much more labor time they took last time. That wasn't entirely true this time around as these came together pretty enjoyably, even though they did eat up workshop time. I think the results were worth it, though - One is a beautiful rich chocolate-brown sandblast and the other is a contrast-stained red smooth. Check them out on the Ligne Bretagne catalog page!
April 16th - One more new Talbert Briar today! I'd hoped for more, and to be posting this earlier in the week, but more health crisis issues with my wife's parents have derailed our schedules more than a little. We were both doing hospital and helper duties this week so everything is a bit askew at the moment, and my production schedule has entered, "It will be up when you see it" territory. Still, I'm very happy with the new pipe, a ring-grained, sandblasted Talbert Briar egg, in green stain and with a handcut, amber resin stem. It's a thing of beauty!
April 6th - Emily is still busy working on our taxes so updates will continue to be slow for a bit, since it's just me doing everything in the shop and website for now. However, I did manage to create and post something quite fun, a new Talbert Briar "Emerald Teardrop"... A shape that's part of a visual library of symbols and curves I've been working with, essentially creating my own visual pipe "language". Yes, I know it sounds silly and esoteric, which is why I've written a whole Pipe Blog post about it, to try and explain a little of where my mind has been going. We also have one Ligne Bretagne billiard remaining, but I'm going to put it into retail shop stock shortly so if anyone is interested, grab it soon!
March 29th - New Ligne Bretagnes! Yeah, it's been nearly a month since I posted any. I've been so busy making Talbert Briars that the LB catalog page has been sitting rather empty, but I've just fixed that by posting three of our larger straight billiards, all sandblasts, and one of which is quite extraordinary. Check them out HERE!
March 22nd - And with the new Talbert Briar Ring-Grain Acorn, I've now made more Talbert Briars in the first three months of this year than I did in all of 2015! It's a good feeling, I must say, and I'm having a lot of fun getting back to the foundation of our business, the creation of original, high-end pieces of functional art.
March 17th - The focus on new Talbert Briars continues, after their long absence from most of 2015. I've just posted a new Bouncy Poker, my own take on the classical poker shape but with plenty of added movement, curve, and action. It's a bit challenging to infuse a sense of fluidity into a shape as classical as the poker, but that just makes the shaping more fun.
March 11th - Hello all! And, err, Happy Halloween? Those of you who follow our
Instagram account have already seen some photos of this pipe's
creation, particularly of the filing and handcut shaping (inside and
out) of the Sargasso resin stem. I've finally finished it and just
posted it to our site catalog. Yes, I know it's not Halloween yet, but... Well, all I can say is that
last year was a pretty atrociously miserable year for us and it's been
a long time since I've really had any fun projects to work on, that
weren't crushed under the weight of, "Must get this done NOW and must
only make things that will sell INSTANTLY because we need that money
YESTERDAY!" ... and I essentially decided enough was enough and I was
going to make nothing but some really enjoyable Talbert Briars for a
while, and this is something like the culmination of that goal - A
pipe that I had an absolute blast making. I kept it relatively simple
and practical and affordable as Halloween pipes go, because I just
can't afford to spend weeks working on a $3,000 pipe at the moment, but I have to say that working on it has really gotten me in the mood to do something much more complex.
Plus, the last Talbert Halloween pipe I made was one in early 2014 and before that, 2013, so I'm well overdue. If nothing else, averaging one a year should help insure their collectible rarity, though I do hope to do more this year if circumstances and inspiration warrant. For now, I hope everyone will enjoy the photos and story of this one, and that it will find a happy home somewhere out there with an appropriately sinister Sea Captain owner!
March 1st - It's "Down, down, to Goblin Town" for the month of March, as we welcome in the month with the first two Goblins of 2016! They're an unusually craggy pair, as I've recently finished refurbishing and tweaking our sandblaster and am able to get stronger blasting pressures than before, making for some strikingly topographical surfaces. Also, we had a sale fall through for two Ligne Bretagnes, so they're back on the site and available now - If you missed them the first time around, check them out HERE.
February 22nd - Getting ready to say goodbye to February here. It's been an entertaining month - We were predicted to have an ice storm that never materialized, so instead we stayed in and made a whole bunch of new Ligne Bretagnes! I've got EIGHT new pipes available on the site now, possibly more at once than I've ever posted before. This will probably be the last Ligne Bretagne update for a while, as I'm hoping these pipes will be enough that we'll actually have some stock to last for a bit, instead of the usual "Post three new pipes and all three sell". Together,they make a very nice inventory, I think - Nearly all of them are different shapes and they showcase a wide variety of finishes and colors from unstained to forest green. Check them all out HERE! Next up, back to fulltime Talbert Briar production for a bit...
January 11th - Hello all! Back again with another site update. We're working hard here trying to get a LOT of new pipes up on the site to start off the new year with, and this time I've posted four more new Ligne Bretagnes to the catalog, plus one drop-dead gorgeous LB Collector, a smooth bulldog that came out *way* better than I had expected it to.
January 6th - Happy New Year! Whew, I can definitely say I'm glad to leave 2015 behind, what a miserable year that was. Here's hoping 2016 will be better times! It's certainly started off well - The very first pipe I finished in the New Year was a really spectacular natural Oom-Paul sandblast, with drop-dead stunning grain. So at least the briar gods are smiling on me! I've just posted it, along with two other new Oom-Pauls, to the Ligne Bretagne catalog. I wish I could post more, but the Oom-Pauls are a major time-sink in terms of labor, so they're not very good for the income and as such, need to be made in group batches only and spread out among more profitable pipe designs. These three new ones are the last of a batch of six I started in December, and will probably be the only Oom-Pauls for a while.
Older news posts can be found here: