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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Ligne Bretagne Collector grows up

When you're running a business year after year, it's funny how the seeds you plant grow lives of their own, over time. When I first created Ligne Bretagne, I envisioned a solid pipe with a lot of "indie" artisan style for the price of a good factory-made pipe. Over time, I began gradually putting more and more work into each Ligne Bretagne until they became seriously high-quality pipes amongst a great deal of factory brands. When I envisioned the Ligne Bretagne Collector, I originally intended them to be a way of finishing out Talbert Briar rejects as sellable pipes... Handmade pieces that were great values for the money, just skipping a lot of the extra time and labor that goes into Talbert Briars. I probably should have known better, because I am apparently incapable of doing "just enough" on anything, I always want to sit with the pipe and put in all the extra effort and time needed to make it *really* exceptional.

The result of this has been the gradual upward mobility of LB Collectors into being, not "Talbert Seconds", but fully equal in many ways to our Talbert Briars themselves. It's been a constant struggle to keep reminding myself, "No, can't afford to do the boiling, can't do that extra stem work, etc" to keep the prices of Collectors down, so I've decided for 2018 to simply "Let them run"... To take as much time as I need on them and make them as good as they can be. Yes, they will be cost a bit more, but they'll be better pipes for it, without the frustrations of trying to decide what I can and cannot afford to do to keep them within some marketing-driven cost range.

Will they replace Talbert Briars? No. What they *will* be, are high-end handmade pipes with a distinct style of their own. The pipe you see above is as good an opening "Declaration of Intent" as any I could have hoped for - In short, a very NON-"second" handmade piece designed around the bones of classical pipe shapes in styles that are dynamic and reflective of my own personal aesthetics. Talbert Briars will continue to be my working studio for everything wilder, more fantasy-oriented, and more unusual. In a nutshell, if you want a beautiful handmade pipe in a classical shape with extra flair, the new Ligne Bretagne Collectors should suit you perfectly.