It is hard to name the personality that has made smoking pipes popular to the common man but the name of the fabled sleuth Sherlock Holmes can well be credited with it. Whenever we talk about hand pipes for smoking tobacco, our imagination captures the sight of a smoking Holmes, gazing contemplatively with a slender and slightly curved pipe hanging from the edge of the lips in a casual but determined manner. That made good publicity for smoking pipes that was once considered as an important style accessory and fashion statement during the Victorian era.
Once again, pipe smoking is the “in thing” that has caught up with tobacco smokers. If you are a smoker, you may like to own a few pieces of hand pipes to flout your style statement of a different kind. With so many varieties of pipes available in the market, it might not be easy to make a choice. Which type could be fashionable yet give the best smoking experience is the question that has to be answered. In order to simplify buying options, it is useful to understand the morphology of smoking pipes. Take a look –
Pipe Making Materials
From the looks of smoking pipes it might appear to be made from wood although briar is the most commonly used material. Briar is a wood like material that is not quite like the timber we all know. It is part of the stem of white heath tree that has undergone burl growth. Burl growth means deformation of the stem of the tree that grows underground between the stem and root of the tree. Therefore briar is not wood but resembles it closely. The material is non toxic and odor less when exposed to heat that makes it ideal for smoking tobacco hence used widely for making hand pipes for smoking.
Meerschaum that is obtained from fossil of sea creatures in the sea bed is the other material of choice for making pipes for smokers.
In the U.S. pipes made from corn cobs are quite popular. The cobs, as it is fondly called are used to make the pipe bowls that pair with acrylic or plastic stems to make the complete pipe.
The Art of Pipe Making
Pipe making is an art that trained artisans are able to create. The fashionable smoking devices are mostly hand crafted and delicately designed to display class and taste. The artistic appeal of pipes has often made it a collector’s item. Pipes come in varied shapes and sizes but are backed by well thought designs that support the underlying mechanics that makes smoking a pleasant experience.
Types of Pipes
There are two types of smoking pipes – the curved and the straight pipe. Endless shapes are crafted for each type. Shapes are never pre-defined but evolve from the creativity of artisans who make it. However, for better understanding some designs and shapes are labeled as common and classic for easy distinction.
How you feel about smoking a straight or curved pipe determines your choice and it is a personal preference.