Great advice for those with the patience to color a meer naturally. Some, particularly new smokers, simply do not have the patience to color a meer inside out.
I definitely adhere to this philosophy. I've never been particularly concerned about or interested in the coloring or coating. I just smoke them and handle them pretty much the same as a briar. They color eventually however they want to.
I don't think the wax moves much. It is held by the capillary forces. I find it more plausiblewhen the pipe is heated this molten wax moves through the channels. Why is not known
This would depend on how the pipe maker treats the pipe. If beeswax is important for the colouring process I amWouldn't the original wax shell have to be removed in order for the bee's wax to get into the meerschaum? My old, well smoked meers all still retain the original coating but, I never "wash" my pipes. They may get rained on, rarely, never polished as the original wax keeps it's shine.
And the Bass article: While he may be the expert in how to apply wax, I still didn't get any reliable info as to its benefits. (though I skimmed the last half of his essay) Certainly the drawbacks, though.
Both inserts show coloring from inside to out. The rims seem to just show what years of smoking and "hard" (your term) use would be expected to show. The "patina" appears to be the collection of surface oils, dirt and grease from daily use and storage. The lower bowl certainly shows many years of daily smoking will be required before the top of the bowl is colored by tobacco residues.heavily colored from 25 years of hard smoking