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Talbert Briar Emerald Teardrop #1606T 

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 Price: $SOLD
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I've written a new Pipe Blog article to accompany this pipe, on the elements of design and how I've been developing my own little symbolic library, almost, of curves and shapes to define the character of my work. It's less a conscious attempt to create my own style, however, than just a careful study of what line elements I like and why I like them. This pipe pretty much sums up my visual thinking on the matter, in that it embodies a lot of the shape components I love and wraps them together into one rather jaunty piece.

The stem is handcut from 1930's-era green cumberland rod stock. Again, this is rod material I found in France, that's no longer manufactured. The black and green swirls make it ideal for pipes like this and I'm going to be sad when it's gone - I've only got about a foot of it left, maybe enough for 3 or 4 more stems and that will be that. Nutshell - It's a stem material you won't find on any other pipes today. It's shaped into a rounded, "onion" form to meet the flaring shank, and the rounded portion is made form custom-cast resin, a blend of milky white and amber where the swirls of white fade gradually down into the golden amber ball. Inset is a polished solid brass ring for a bit of extra sparkle. Despite the rather wild curve of stem and shank, it passes a cleaner easily from bit to bowl.

The bowl is cut from plateau briar and shaped around the flow and fan of the grain. It begins in a tight point at the base and then the rings rise and expand outward to form the inverted teardrop shape of the bowl, with one hint of the outer plateau bark surface remaining on the flaring shank end. Speaking of, that's an element I'm fond of, though it doesn't show in normal use - I've sanded and polished the bell curve of the shank end's stem fit area to a natural, unstained shine to match the natural rim of the bowl chamber. There are a couple of photos above where you can get a look at it with the stem out.

Finally, the bowl has been grain-darkened with a penetrating technique I use that naturally blackens the grain of the wood. I then carefully blasted lightly back over this and applied the final green finish, which lets the darker grain of the wood show through in strong flame-grain streaks. It's a subtle effect, but a striking one.