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Ligne Bretagne Goblin #1604G 

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 Price: $SOLD
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Heh... I'm sitting here writing the description of this newest Goblin while listening to the score from one of my favorite movies, the original 1985 Fright Night. Very appropriate, methinks! Before I start talking about how wonderful this thing is, however, I want to open with the big caveat - It's not a "Beat Around" pipe. I went quite nuts carving the elaborate coral-like top... just check out the detail photos above for an idea of just how intricate and complex the details are on the "Plateau of Madness" rim. That said, it's also thin and pointy in lots of places up there, so slamming and bashing it around is going to break off small bits - It will require care. Like most of my Halloween pipes, it's just not something to cram in your luggage for a trip, it's a pipe to keep at home and handle respectfully. There are areas where it's almost a lattice-work of detail.

All that detail was created by a combination of carving and blasting, and carving and blasting. What you see is the natural grain pattern of the plateau surface, amplified... I used a number of detail carving tools and cut between grain points, dug into valleys, and generally followed the natural layout of the plateau to exaggerate the topography. Then I sandblasted it at max pressure to let every detail of the grain stand out starkly, to enhance my "working road-map", then I carved some more and blasted some more. The result is a wild, almost savage-looking bowl rim that resembles a growth of coral, or some spreading moss or fungus... VERY in keeping with the Goblin theme!

I smoothed and polished a beveled area around the bowl rim, both to make it easier to load with tobacco and also to have the vivid contrast between the natural bevel and the dark plateau to illustrate just HOW deeply carved and blasted the top was. Also, I wanted a touch of color harmony, for the bare briar of the bowl rim to call out visually to the olivewood ring in the stem.

The stem is a French-handcut horn piece, in milky ivory color with fine grain and swirls of darker browns. These lighter colored horn stems are a challenge to work with because they polish to a fine near-translucency, and can often show the internals of the delrin tenons inside them. I hate being able to see the tenon inside a translucent stem, which is half of why the olivewood ring is there - to obscure the tenon and still allow such a light-colored stem to be used. And also, of course, just because it's beautiful stuff - Horn stems just look good with natural wood rings, I think.

I've talked all of this time and not even mentioned the pipe's most outstanding feature, the amazing ring grain! It's centered on the bowl bottom and the age rings stack up neatly like a stack of coins. The deep blast helps every bit of detail really stand out starkly, but just look at the close-up photos... I will save my breath and my typing on this and let the pictures of the grain speak for themselves!