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Inside the bowl is an inner chamber (2) space holding tobacco pressed into it.This draught hole (3), is for air flow where air has travelled through the tobacco in the chamber, taking the smoke with it, up the shank (4).
Because it is molded rather than carved, clay may make up the entire pipe or just the bowl, but most other materials have stems made separately and detachable.
The word "meerschaum" means "sea foam" in German, alluding to its natural white color and its surprisingly low weight.
Meerschaum is a very porous mineral that absorbs elements of the tobacco during the smoking process, and gradually changes color to a golden brown.
Unusual, but still noteworthy pipe materials include gourds, as in the famous calabash pipe, and pyrolytic graphite.
Metal and glass are uncommon materials for tobacco pipes, but are common for pipes intended for other substances, such as cannabis.
Briar is cut from the root burl of the tree heath (Erica arborea), which is native to the rocky and sandy soils of the Mediterranean region.