Meerschaum has been used a pipe material for over 3 centuries, originally turned in to pipes by the Austrians. They chose meerschaum as an alternative to clay and some of the countries finest artists carved stunning pieces of art. In more recent times the whole production process is carried out inTurkeyand still these pipes are works of art.
The raw Meerschaum blocks are mined, by hand from 4 areas inEskişehir(North Western Turkey); Sarısu,Nemi,Margı and Sepetci. The blocks are then cut into small more manageable pieces and then the process really begins. The pipe has moistened to make the material softer and the basic carving takes place. The pipe is give a light sanding and dried. Once it is dry, finishing touches carved and the pipe is given a very fine sanding. The air holes and chamber are drilled next and filled with corks (temporarily). Once the inner parts are sealed the pipe is given a number of baths in various natural oils such as bee’s wax, to seal the out side. Once sealed (and corks removed) a nylon mortise is treaded into place and the stem is cut and matched to the pipe. The pipe, complete with stem is then polished and ready to go.
The porous nature of Meerschaum makes for a cool, dry and very clean smoke. Over time these pipes colour from yellow, orange, red, and amber with the smoke and nicotine the pipe absorbs. Due to this ability, Meerschaum pipes do not need breaking in and the cake (carbon build up) should be kept thin. Meerschaum is fragile, like any clay pipe and should be treated with care. If looked after these pipes will last not only years, but generations.