Coloring Bowl Experiment

tech49

Hva i helvete?
Patron
I think the coloring bowl has lots of advantages. I don't clench, I sit and smoked with pipe in hand, so complaints about the setup being unbalanced don't apply to my approach.

The coloring bowl takes all the abuse from burning the tobacco, not the pipe. All the bad stuff ends up in the coloring bowl instead of the pipe.

With the coloring bowl, maintenance of the meerschaum is down to a swab with a pipe cleaner.

And besides the obvious advantages to the smoking experience of cooler, drier, and more flavorful, I can make another from a cob pretty easily.

And it's clear to me that the coloring bowl has a definite, and for me, desirable, effect on the meerschaum's color pattern.

I don't see a reason to load tobacco directly in the bowl of THIS pipe, because I like the way it looks on display. I have five other meerschaums which won't get the coloring bowl, however, because I've already smoked those with the leaf in the chamber, and like to smoke them that way.
 

blackmouth210

Friendly Misanthrope
Patron
Those pipes look great.
But, the question we can never answer is "Do coloring bowls work?" because there can be no evidence to show how the pipe's coloring would look after X number of smokes if a coloring bowl had not been used.

You either use a coloring bowl or you don't and your results are just that, your results.
Results are not proof under these circumstances because there can be no true comparison of the same pipe/tobacco with and without the coloring bowl.
That's just the way it is always going to be.

Regardless, I get a kick out of watching meers color. How a person goes about doing it doesn't change my interest in the transformation. So, I appreciate you all sharing your progress and I hope you continue to do so.
 

Bubbagump

Well-known member
Patron
Those pipes look great.
But, the question we can never answer is "Do coloring bowls work?" because there can be no evidence to show how the pipe's coloring would look after X number of smokes if a coloring bowl had not been used.

You either use a coloring bowl or you don't and your results are just that, your results.
Results are not proof under these circumstances because there can be no true comparison of the same pipe/tobacco with and without the coloring bowl.
That's just the way it is always going to be.

Regardless, I get a kick out of watching meers color. How a person goes about doing it doesn't change my interest in the transformation. So, I appreciate you all sharing your progress and I hope you continue to do so.
Is it going to hold up in a peer reviewed scientific journal? No. However, based upon these results and my previous experience with meerschaum pipe coloring, I think it’s safe to say that you’re not likely to get coloring that consistent throughout the entire block/pipe without one.

Edit: At the end of the day though, smoking with a coloring bowl adds another step to the smoking process, doubles the cleaning time (for me), and takes away from the enjoyment of smoking a pipe.

The average person is just not OCD enough to dedicate a pipe exclusively to smoking with a coloring bowl and smoke it frequently enough that it doesn’t take years to see the color show up.
 
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tech49

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Patron
Another update, 300 bowls smoked.

At this stage I think that it's pretty clear that using a coloring bowl exclusively has definitely resulted in the meerschaum coloring pattern extending evenly over the entire bowl, rather than expressing predominantly in the shank.

 

tech49

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Patron
Just passed the 400 bowl mark in my experiment.


Here is the before/after effect:
IMG_20220515_125446-01-02.jpeg

To reiterate, this Servi Lee Van Cleef meerschaum was smoked exclusively using a DIY coloring bowl fashioned from a MM Legend.

It was handled at all times with a cotton glove to eliminate absorption of skin oils and grime.

Tobacco blends smoked were evenly divided between aromatic/OTC and non-aromatic blends.

A few detailed pictures of the patina:
20220515_130345.jpg

20220515_130402.jpg

20220515_130416.jpg

You can see a darker spot here in the heel of the shank where the meerschaum is thinner-walled due to the drilling. This spot is just darker- no burn-through or surface defects are evident in this area.
 

tech49

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Patron
Next up- I'm going to run another experiment with the same parameters using this new, unsmoked Strambach Lee Van Cleef.

Strambach meerschaum pipes are not made from block meerschaum, but from what the company calls "cultured meerschaum" crystallized using their proprietary process.

We'll see how this goes, and how it colors, if at all. My goal is 400 smokes in this one, and I'll post progress.
20220319_192841-01.jpeg
 

tech49

Hva i helvete?
Patron
Update on the Strambach LVC, bowl #40, the pipe experienced a rapid unplanned disassembly:

20220519_181345.jpg


20220519_181335.jpg

It was spontaneous and not due to any kind of accident or abuse. In fact, it happened while resting in a leather loop pipe rest.

I can only hope that when my number is up, I go as peacefully as this pipe.

I don't think I can recommend Strambach meerschaum pipes in the future.

Experiment terminated.
 
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