Meerschaum is a German word meaning, sea-foam, alluding to the belief that it was the compressed whitecaps of waves, just as it is said mythology for goddess of beauty Aphrodite. It is a hydrated magnesium silicate. Magnesium doesn't make it strong and hydrogen and oxygen don't make it cool. It is the crystalline structure; the arrangment of the magnesium, silicone, axygen, and hydrogen atoms in a rigit crystalline structure that makes spoilite (the clay mineral that is identified by pipes smokers) so good for smooking. The averange size of blocks extracted from thw clay is abouth the size of grapefruit.
Meerschaum deposits of the highest quality are found only one place in the world - in the beautiful city of Eskisehir in central Turkey. And here the deposits are confined to an area only 4 square miles. The mining is done with hand tools, and men trained in this singular family tradition, it is axcavated at depths ranging from 10-150 meters. The miners wash the raw version of lumps and sort them into 5 catagories according to size, color porosity and homogeneity of the mineral. It's dark, dirty dangerous work.There are no veins where large blocks can be cut. The larger the chunk, the higher it'is value. Nearly 300 years ago, the first pipes were carved by hand. And today, these unique pipes are still carved by hand. The carver, a craftsman of unique ability and long experience, examines each piece of the good, calculating the lines of cleavage along which it should be split.
A good carver can make up to 4 pipes a day. More elaborate pieces can take weeks. Why Is Meerschaum Used For Pipes? Meerschaum's magnesium content provides strength while the hydrogen and oxygen contribute porosity. As one of nature's lightest and most porous substances, Meerschaum is a natural filter.
This natural absorbency causes the pipe to slowly change colour, eventually turning rich brown colour. Who are the Famous Masters? Salim Sener, Sadik Yanik, Huseyin Yavuz, Ismail Baglan, Sevket Gezer, Kudret Gezer, Karahan, Cevher, Kural, Muhammet, Sadik, Tekin, immediately come to mind. Young masters also produce works in their own style. Meerschaum is a more fragile material than briar, and while warm it is even softer and thus more prone to damage.
It is strongly advised that you wait for the pipe to completely cool down before cleaning or taking it apart for any purpose. Remove the stem of your meerschaum by pulling it and twisting it CLOCKWISE while supporting the shank with your fingers.
Replace the stem by pushing it and twisting it CLOCKWISE also. This ensures that the mortise connector always remains screwed into the shank, since unscrewing the mortise can cause the threads in meerschaum to wear out in time. A little care here will be repaid through a lifetime of smoking pleasure. Do not tap your meerschaum against a hard surface. If you tap it in your palm, be sure to support the shank firmly with your hand.
This is sound advice for briar pipe smokers also. To empty a meerschaum, tip it upside down, and if the ash does not fall out on its own use a pipe tool gently to loosen it. Do not let a cake develop in a meerschaum. Therefore do not worry about "breaking in" your meerschaum.
Meerschaum pipes, unlike briars, do not burn and hence need not be protected by a carbon cake. Besides, the meerschaum is softer than the cake and it may crack very easily, since the cake expands with heat faster than the meerschaum does. You can ream it out, but you should be very careful in the process; the reamer will remove meerschaum faster than cake, so you need to watch for spots where you have reamed away the cake and stay away from those.Use a sharp-edged, blunt-ended tool. Avoid digging into the heel of the pipe when cleaning the graft hole by not allowing the pipe cleaner to extend too far into the bowl. The meerschaum is WET and SOFT in the heel immediately after a smoke. If you have to, for a deeper cleaning you may use a paper towel wetted with a 40%-50% alcohol solution to rub the chamber. Stronger alcohol may cause damage.
It is not recommended to use pipe sweeteners in meerschaum pipes. The porous mineral will be soaked with the sweetener causing it to lose its functionality. Smoke your favorite blend in your meerschaum. Each pipe will color differently.Will I Receive the Exact Pipe Shown in the Picture? We have one of each pipe and you will receive the exact pipe you see in the picture. Only exceptions are the calabash pipes and cigarette holders, each of which are extremely similar to their pictures.