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Our 2003 Gallery 

2003 was our first full year of living in Brittany, and it was hell from the very first day! I'd thought 2002 was rough but between the worldwide recession, the ongoing struggle just to grab a few working hours in the shop away from the thousand other demands here, the US/France hostilities over the Iraq war, and the plummeting value of the dollar (which we collect most of our income in) against the euro, it was a daily struggle just to stay alive and keep a roof over our heads and buy food to eat. Over the course of the year, Emily began to work more and more on pipes as well as pens, and she started making the majority of our Ligne Bretagne pipes. We got our retail shop cleaned up and (slowly) stocked with goods, and gradually turned the workshop from a total mess into an efficient pipemaking environment. We even managed to fix up our house a little, though we were too short on time to get very far. As the year progressed, we settled slowly into our new lives and made new friends here, as well as learning more and more about how things work in France and how to get things done. There were very few Talbert Briars made in 2003 (a grand total of 17, including the Halloween pipes!). This was mostly due to two main problems - the falling value of the dollar and the time and energy we had to invest in getting both our retail shop and our Ligne Bretagne line going. Throughout the year, we tried to maintain our prices in US dollars but it became untenable, as the dollar was running around 20% below the euro for the majority of the year. We couldn't afford to lose 20% of the prices of our Talbert Briars because they are too labor-intensive, so as a result they were barely produced while we focused on more economical pipes that were profitable in the devalued dollar environment. At the end of the year we made the difficult decision to start charging in euros, which will make the pipes more expensive for US buyers but will at least enable us to afford to continue making Talbert Briars.

  • The Arbourg
    The Arbourg
  • The Cote Sauvage
    The Cote Sauvage
  • The Splash
    The Splash
  • Ibex #7
    Ibex #7
  • The Dhole
    The Dhole
  • The Mountains of Madness
    The Mountains of Madness

The Best of Talbert Morta in 2003

I tried to work with morta at every opportunity throughout 2003 to familiarize myself with the quirks and personality of the material as quickly as possible, and I made a number of pipes for myself which I continue to smoke (hard!) today to get a feel for how the pipes behave over the long term. The size of the majority of the blocks was and is a limiting factor in the range of possible shapes, but I've worked hard to stretch my imagination and find new ideas to accomodate the limitations of the material.

  • The Cuchulain
    The Cuchulain
  • The Goblin
    The Goblin
  • The Nightgaunt
    The Nightgaunt
  • The Tulip
    The Tulip