Meerschaum has occasionally been used
as a substitute for soap, fuller's earth, and as a building
material; but its chief use is for smoking pipes and cigar holders.
The natural nodules are first scraped to remove the red earthy
matrix, then dried, again scraped and polished with wax. The rudely
shaped masses thus prepared are turned and carved, smoothed with
glass-paper and Dutch rushes, heated in wax or stearine, and finally
polished with bone-ash, etc.