A brief history of Meerschaum etc: and Turkish Meerschaum is the worlds best. Its lightness and porosity make it ideal for tobacco pipes. It also is virtually burn out proof and needs no break in. They also have a natural wicking quality that absorbs tars and smoke impurities — this gives a neutral flavor profile. As a meerschaum pipe absorbs these over time, it will begin to develop a patina, slowly darkening and develop a warmer color. For those who prefer immediate color, IMP stains some bowls.
All IMP Meerschaums are hand carved in Turkey from the best block meerschaum in an atölye (artisans workshop). Meerschaum (magnesium silicate/sepiolite) is a porous white, mineral first used for pipe making in the 1720’s. When wetted it becomes similar to potters clay & easily carved. "Meerschaum" is German for "seafoam", named due to how it looks when pieces were found floating in the Black Sea.
Meerschaum is dug up by hand from tunnels in the earth. Then it is split into blocks for differently sized pipes. IMP meerschaum pipes are hand made by skilled craftsmen in stages. An apprentice roughs out the shape, and a master comes in later to do the carving and detailing (such as the figural pipes). Then it is kiln dried. After they are polished with glass-paper, bathed in natural beeswax & then polished with bone ash. This protects the bowl surface & aids the coloring process over time.
IMP avoids the wearing out shank/stem problems of earlier times. Each IMP pipes use a high grade delrin push-pull, tenon and mortise, with Acrylic stem. Much like removing a stem from a briar. Every pipe comes in a fitted case leather covered case.