I don't have access to a kiln, and I don't know much about clays or sculpting. I just know that at some point in time, people made clay pipes, and probably didn't have access to modern stuff like kilns. My idea was to make a pipe from a renewable and recyclable resource, so in an emergency, I can still have my smoke.
I am a nut for primitive skills. I make bows, atlatls, sling shots, I flint nap, make blowguns, arrows, spears, sausage, I grind wheat for fresh flour (and other grains, as well), make soy milk from scratch, sauerkraut, etc....Anything I can learn that lets me live off the grid, should I decide to, or have to, is a good thing. I even made a didgeridoo from PVC (and several bows as well). It's a great communication device. I also have made several drums, and am trying to learn how to communicate with them, sort of like an emergency jungle network.
Anyway, the pipes are easy to make, and smoke great. I don't know how long they will last. I have broken a few, but I think it is because I tried to make the stems too thin, and one of them, I just flat dropped. But, as I said earlier, just pulverize them, add water, and they turn back into clay, ready to make a new pipe from. Completely recyclable.
I am curious about this as well...don't you have to fire the pipe to smoke it?
Very neat idea BTW! Really cool!!!