Making a Pipe

Broken Tobacco Pipe

This beautiful pipe has had a very hard life and is in need of some tender loving care to bring it back to its former glory. Meerschaum pipes are very difficult to repair due to there style, condition and the nature of meerschaum itself.
So the only other alternative is to Reproduce it in Clay.
Now I will show you how I Reproduce a Clay Pipe from Start to Finished product. Its a Lengthy process.

Step. 1
Repair Broken Pipe

First we have to repair the broken claw in clay and place it on the egg. This must match the existing style perfectly.

Step. 2

Plaster of Paris Mold

Now the labour Intensive job of making a plaster of paris mould of the pipe. To suit the design (claw and egg) the mould has to be made in seven parts. This could take about a week to make. You can see the seven parts in the photo.

Mould making is a art in itself. Something I will cover with you at a latter date.

Step. 3
plaster of paris mould
The Mold Ready to Close and Pour.

When you have completed the seven mould parts it is ready for use. Assemble the mould and clamp firm with rubber bands. To use the pipe for smoking a air passage along the stem is made by inserting a lead rod. Which is drawn out when the mould is poured and set.

Step. 4
Pouring the slip into the mold
The pouring of the mould is done with clay slip. Pour the mould at a steady rate until the mould is full. Leave the mould full for about 20 min then it is drained out and left to dry and cure. When the mould is opened the contents will be firm, this state is called leather hard clay.

Step. 5
Damp pipe in leather hard state
While the pipe is in the leather hard state we start cleaning and detailing ready to be placed in the kiln. A drying period is assential before it gets fired in the kiln. Any moisture will result in the pipe fracturing under extreme heat.

Step. 6

Air dried and detailed ready for firing in the kiln
This is the pipe in its cleaned and detailed state fully dried and ready to be fired in the kiln. The fireing temperature is approximatley 1000 degrees C.

Step. 7
Painting the pipe
After the firing the pipe is ready to be decorated. There are endless colours and design combinations used to create beautiful one off pieces of hand crafted pipes. When you have finished painting the pipe it needs to be fired again at a temperature of 1000 degrees c.

Step. 8
Finished glazed clay tobacco pipes
After manys hours of work we now have the finished product.
Ready for display or sale on our ebay website.
We hope you enjoyed our process of reproducing old Clay Pipes.
I hope it has opened your eyes to the amount of work it takes to produce just one clay tobacco pipe.