I.M.P. Meerschaum Pipes
IMP pipes are all hand carved in Turkey from solid block meerschaum. The material (magnesium silicate or sepiolite) is a soft, white mineral valued for pipemaking on account of its ease of carving when wet, and the name comes from the German word for "seafoam", which was applied to this material originally due to its appearance. When harvested, the feel is almost like hard cheese, and is then broken and chipped into different sizes for pipes. Carving actually takes place when they are still moist, and they are later baked to dry completely before they get a wax bath (which is what aids the coloring process).
IMP meerschaum pipes are hand made by very 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 is 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.