The Wondrous World of Glass Blown Bubblers and Bongs
Many cannabis smokers prefer to use glass pipes, because unlike metals, such as aluminum, glass does not emit toxic chemicals; other materials, such as ceramic, plastic or wood, acquire extraneous flavors and smells, something glass does not do. Glass, then, won’t contaminate its contents, is healthier than many other materials and easier to clean. It also remains in mint condition longer than plastics or wood, which are harder to clean completely.
Glass is also a material of great aesthetic possibilities. The legalization and spread of Cannabis culture widened the playing field for artists and craftspeople in the arena of glassware. Contemporary glass blowing, as evidence by some of the bubbler creators, has become very high tech and intricate, producing pieces of astounding versatility and beauty. (And just in case you don’t know this yet, craftsmen and craftswomen of glass pipes are known as pipers). Cannabis glass artists are showcasing their wares in elite international spaces, such as Fashion Week and pricey art galleries. One site I recommend is Black Book Gallery in Denver (www.blackblookgallery.com); on your website, you can check out some of their best pieces and roster of artists.
Collectors –Cannabis users and non-users—have jumped on the bandwagon of cannabis glassware. Outstanding among popular collectible producers is MJ Arsenal, creators of the first Joint Bubbler, Blunt Bubbler, Rollie Bubbler and Mini Rig. This year, Forbes Magazine published an interview with one of its founders, Josh Camitta, who explains that their goal is to create products that combine the perfect merge of creativity with “affordability, functionality and innovation.” Their success in this respect has taken the company to a higher level than others. You can follow the company on Twitter account (@MJArsenal420).
Great art and workmanship cost, of course. Some companies produce Cannabis glassware that costs tens of thousands of dollars. Grey Art Space created quite a ruckus during NYC’s Fall 2016 Fashion Week, when it opened a showcase featuring some fantastically intricate glass bongs and pipes in prices ranging from $20,000 to $300,000. Because these sculptures are also usable tools, they are known as functional art, even though the target market is truly art collectors and investors. What makes Grey Art Space’s glassware different than many others, is that it uses borosilicate glass, known as being highly resistant to thermal shock. Some of their pieces are truly breathtaking contemporary art that would not look out of place in any gallery or modern art museum. You would do well to follow Grey Space Art on their Instagram account, where you an enjoy some of their most amazing pieces.
About the Author:
Trudy Mercadal, Ph.D
New Orleans born with a Latina background, I am a writer, social historian & cultural studies researcher with a doctorate in Comparative Studies. My focus on community and popular culture. Main interests are the ways in which people express identity through arts—such as music, graffiti, and magazines—and their consuming practices, that is, the what (and how) they buy, ingest, eat, and wear. In my personal life, I am a dedicated urban mini-farmer and, also, a certified cheesemaker who makes a truly kick-ass grilled cheese sandwich.