We're doing something new with Ligne Bretagne. For the 14 years they've been in production, we've been plagued with one consistent issue - Lack of stock. We post them, they sell out, and casual website visitors then write me to complain that all the pipes are always sold. I don't blame them, I would not want to have to watch a site like a madperson 24/7 to insta-grab anything that got posted, myself. The flip side is that we could not afford to do them as commissions, either. The price levels they sell for simply don't accommodate the sort of back-and-forth consulting and talking that happen with every commission, and the limitations of working with machine-fraized shapes prevented a lot of the sort of size and shape requests customers might want anyway.
What to do?
Our solution is this - We're dividing Ligne Bretagne into two kinds of pipes, Ligne Bretagne Uniques (each one individual, the same as we've been doing), and Ligne Bretagne Classics. Ligne Bretagne Classics will be pipe designs that we work out carefully for repetition - Cuts of bowl, shank, stem length, band, and any other decor that we'll set up our workshop to reproduce accurately as many times as needed. We'll select each bowl to be of consistent and matching grade to insure there will be no "losers" in our output.
And the best part is - You'll be able to order them.
If you see a shape & design in the Ligne Bretagne Classics list that you like, you can purchase it right then! Your order will go into our production queue and you'll receive an email with an estimated shipping date. When your pipe is ready and finished, you'll receive specific photos of your personal pipe. If you're happy with the results, your pipe will ship out as soon as we get your OK!
While the Ligne Bretagne Classics design list is small today (consisting of just two bulldogs for starters), we intend to add more shapes to it as time goes by. We're starting with bulldogs because they've always been among our most popular sellers.
This makes things better for everyone - If someone wants to buy a design, they can, and they can be guaranteed of getting their pipe. There's no racing to the page to try to grab something before the new stuff sells out. Producing ongoing series of standardized pipe designs lets us save on production cost and time, savings that we can pass on to the buyers in the form of lower prices - Where our typical Ligne Bretagne Uniques tend to run around $175, Ligne Bretagne Classics can be ordered for $140 plus shipping.
I'll answer the two most likely questions here, and add more info as new questions arise.
Can I customize my order? (Ex: I love the bulldog shape but I want one in red instead of black) - Not at the present time. Maybe eventually... I'd like to be able to offer some checklist options in a drop-down menu style for finishes, especially, but for now I want to keep things simple to get these pipes off the ground as smoothly and successfully as possible.
Are these pipes any different from the other Ligne Bretagnes? - No. They're made from the same aged stummels with the same stem materials, band materials, production techniques, and finishing processes as all our other pipes. A Ligne Bretagne Classic is not a "cheaper" pipe... It just costs less!