I.M.P. Meerschaum Pipes40 Total
IMP pipes are hand carved in Turkey from solid block meerschaum in a small artisinal workshop using the finest materials available, including high-grade, German acrylic for the stems, which are fitted with Delrin tenons. The material (magnesium silicate or sepiolite, for the geologically inclined) is a soft, white, clay-like mineral valued for pipemaking because when wet, it has the consistency of hard cheese, facilitating carving in the fine detail that IMP maintains. The word "meerschaum" comes from the German word for "seafoam", which was applied to this material originally due to its appearance. Meerschaum is dug from unstable tunnels in the earth, broken into pieces for differently sized pipes, shaped, carved by a master carver, and baked to dry completely before receiving a bath of melted beeswax, which aids the coloring process over long use. For those who prefer immediate color, IMP uses a variety of stains for the bowls.
IMP meerschaum pipes are hand made by skilled craftsmen in stages. Someone often roughs out the shape, and a master comes in later to do the detailing (such as the figural pipes). Avoiding the wearing out problems of years earlier, each IMP is sleeved in the shank to receive the smooth nylon tenon which will have the same feel as removing the stem from most briar pipes. Each piece is fit with an acrylic bit and a very laborious process is next. They actually hand carve pieces of wood that are later lined and covered to become a unique case. The material of a meerschaum pipe won't burn, so there is no burnout, and the porosity allows for very beautiful coloring over the years.