We get a lot of questions about our smokeware since ceramic is definitely not the most well known material when it comes to cannabis smoking, but we have some fun facts for you below to help clear things up.
- First of all, we use a clay called porcelain to hand sculpt our pipes. You might have heard the name before, but to fill you in a bit, porcelain is known best for its super white finish. Its a very smooth (and difficult) clay to work with but it gives the most beautiful sealed finish of almost all the clays available. It is considered the purist form of clay with the least number of impurities in it.
- To get that beautiful white sealed end result we fire (bake) our pipes in a kiln (essentially an oven). We fire them to over 2200 degrees Fahrenheit to both seal and cure the clay, as well as add the glossy colourful glazes you see on our finished pipes. The oven actually glows red inside it's that hot and Karin has melted a sweater on it by accident before (she learned the hard way that you only touch it with natural fibres lol)
- Because of that extreme heat from the kiln, our pipes can easily handle the heat from your standard lighter when smoking a bowl. We often have people question if we use a polymer clay that bakes in your oven at home (and rightly so, had concerns if it would be damaged by the flames and heat of smoking). We want to clarify that the clay we use is the same as a porcelain mug you might buy from a high end housewares store to drink your coffee or tea from and nothing like a homemade colourful (plastic) clay artwork off Etsy or anything available at standard craft stores. Our clay is mineral based (the base being closer to beach sand actually) and free from any plastics.
- The colourful glazes we use on our pipes are not like a regular paint. It's actually a specialized mix of clay and glass with pigments made from minerals dug from the earth. It is water soluble while we paint it on (and usually completely washable from fabrics should we spill it all over ourselves lol) and looks nothing like it will once fired in the kiln. Most glazes actually are red, grey or black before firing (while still producing a rainbow of colours afterwards). The kiln essentially melts it onto the piece creating the reaction that gives the beautiful colours when it reaches the correct temperature. If we use the wrong ingredients or fire it to the wrong temperature it could melt right off the piece or become a matte ugly mess. You can actually get a degree in the chemistry of ceramic glazes it can get that technical. We never thought as art students that we would need to know the periodic table of elements so well 😳
- You might be wondering what benefits ceramic has over other materials that are more common when smoking cannabis. Well first of all, because it is such a great insulator (hence why you use a ceramic coffee mug over glass mugs), it also provides a cooler and smoother smoke than other types. It's less fragile than glass partially because of the material itself, and partially because of how we sculpt it (which aligns the particles in the clay making it more resistant to shattering if knocked or dropped). Also because ceramic doesn't conduct heat as well as metal, your ceramic pipe won't get as hot to the touch when you're using it. This can be a nice feature if you're sensitive to heat.
- Another great benefit we love about ceramic (over glass), is that if we don't get around to cleaning our pipe after every use it hides the mess. Glass pipes show everything inside and out, it's pretty disgusting if you don't keep it clean constantly. Ceramic is opaque so it not only hides the mess inside, but the beautiful mix of coloured glazes we use on the outside also help to hide the mess there too, and its just as easy to wipe clean.
- And last but not least, cleaning our pipes so they look good as new (no matter how long it has taken you to clean them lol), is super easy and does NOT need any harsh chemicals. Check our our other blog post about all the different ways to clean you pipe here: https://highkoalaty.com/blogs/whats-new/how-to-clean-a-ceramic-cannabis-pipe-or-chillum
Curious to learn more about our pipes or the materials we use? We love to share! Just click the "chat with us" pink contact form at the bottom right of our site and let us know what you would like to know!