The Quest For The Perfect Pipe

I have been making pipes for many years. During this time I started
on my quest to make the perfect pipe. I found glass to always smoke clean as long as you keep it clean and that’s not that easy to do. Glass like these cool glass pipes also restricted my creativity. Now ceramics was the answer to my creative dreams, I could design more or less anything I wanted to, but ceramics had it’s own negative taste which progressively got worse with use. The ceramic pipes of old were placed on a stand with a support inside an upright pipe. This meant lots of pipes could fit in the kiln which meant cheap. YES CERAMICS WERE CHEAP AND NASTY especially comparing to pieces like this glass bubbler pipe. So this ancient art form, which flourished in the 60′s Norcal USA, more or less disappeared as smokers increased and so did their need for a more refined smoke, the glass pipe. Glass now flourishes but still not perfect with many flaws. IF ONLY I COULD GET CERAMICS TO SMOKE AS CLEAN AS GLASS. I could and I did.

Ceramic coffee cups are coated with food-safe glass. After a cup is fired it is then dipped in clear glass glaze (powdered glass mixed with a colored bonding solution.) for it’s final firing. As the heat starts to melt the powdered glass, the bonding solution resolves and allows a clear glass skin to form. This common kitchen cup can only be dented with a diamond tipped drill. Why aren’t pipes made this way? The cup doesn’t have stand problems like the pipe does to achieve a glass inside.

…… And so armed with information I set out to design pipes to fit designed stands so as to fire fully dipped ceramic pipes. The result was good, no trace of the nasty taste.
The down fall of the designs incorporated a wide mouth piece to balance on the stand without touching the glazed glass insides. Only the sharp point of the stand left the tiniest hole in the glass skin deep inside. A hole inside worried me a lot. I fired samples and distributed them to friends and friends of friends for testing. The result was that pipes all started (after a year) to develop their own taste, unfortunately nasty. The wide mouth piece made them incredibly efficient but harsh, very harsh.


I threw away the stands and incorporated stands into the designs and layed them down flat in the kiln fully dipped with only the built-in stands wiped glazed free for firing. IT WORKED PERFECTLY and the pipes also were just perfect for bowl loading standing firm on their built-in stands.

I now did not have to use a large mouth piece in my designs, so I changed them just enough to take away the harshness at the same time leaving them as large as possible for efficiency. IT WORKED PERFECTLY. After four years of development I now have a range selected from my most successful designs which….

1. Smokes like glass, but better, a lot better.( The large smoke capacity makes carbing easy and quick repeatable carbing allows you to fill your lungs as much as you can wish for.)

2. Doesn’t get hot. (Just like a ceramic cup that’s used for boiling hot liquids, these pipes allow you to fill your lungs without the worry of scorching ones fingers.)

3. Doesn’t break easily. (If dropped on a hard surface they may chip and remain perfectly smokable as long as the inside doesn’t get damaged due to a pipe hitting concrete or some other similar surface. With concrete it’s luck if it breaks or not, like a coffee cup it’s just the angle it strikes the floor.)

4. Incredible easy to clean.(Simply run the hot water through the pipe As hot as you fingers can bear. Giving it a good hard rinse fill the pipe with water, block the carb with a finger and shake the pipe until your finger get uncomfortably hot. Let your finger cool off and repeat the process several times. You can also use a pipe cleaning spray to make the process even easier.)

Now there is something I didn’t tell you is while improved development was going on I came to the realization that a pipe could never be perfectly efficient for smoking. I’ts the basic concept of a pipe stem being designed to filter out tars ect, thus allowing a smoother draw. With the increased popularity of smokable aromatic herbs the need is to receive the full benefits of the pipe and not let a pipe stem filter it out. Many will use paper to increase efficiency. The first two puffs are good but harsh and becomes nastier as you smoke it down. I NOW WANTED TO MAKE A PIPE THAT SMOKED ALL THE WAY THROUGH LIKE THE FIRST TWO PUFFS OF PAPER. I needed a pipe without a stem. I threw out the normal stem and designed a barrel like shape, made so wide that the smoke gets to you before it touches the inside of the barrel.

IT WORKS PERFECTLY. Yes I now have a range of BARREL-STEMS (The Perfect Pipes) and they need only one third of the smoke for effective use. INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE.

Now what will happen if I can make glass pipes smokes as well as my ceramic pipes?

……so the quest carries on.

Teddy F.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *