Glassblowing has been around since at least the 1st century BCE. Syrian glassmakers are often credited with inventing the technique, and eventually the craft passed throughout other countries. The glassblowing community remained relatively small until the 1960’s, when it became a popular art form in the United States. In the 1990’s to early 2000’s, however, glassblowing artists crafting pipes became subjected to raids, with the U.S. government labeling glass pipes as “drug paraphernalia”. With these raids, many glassblowers that made pipes had to remain anonymous in their names or invent names for themselves, so they could create their art without getting arrested. Many delved into the underground and the heady piece industry wasn’t the same after.
Though there has been some adversity for glass pipe artists, there are many that have continued to practice their craft for decades. There’s the normal, run-of-the-mill glass pipe, and then there is glass pipe art. The five main types of glass pipes are chillums (hand pipes), spoon pipes, steamrollers, sherlock pipes, and bubblers. Bongs and dab rigs are types of larger pipes that are smoked differently than the main ones. Each one of these can be crafted in a regular fashion, or they can be created extravagantly. The finer-made pipes are known as heady pieces.
Creating pieces from heady glass is an intricate, complex process that takes years of work to develop the skills for. Since laws have been changing to make marijuana more accessible and attitudes about smoking are changing, there has been a gradual “renaissance” among glass pipe artists who are coming out of the dark with their heady glass bongs, pipes and rigs. New glass artists are developing their own modern styles as well. Art galleries are starting to give recognition to heady glass artists, when about 10 years ago they were ignored. Some heady pieces are selling for upwards of $20,000 at galleries, though cheaper heady glass for sale online can be found as well. Some heady glass buyers aren’t even part of the cannabis community, which is a great thing for a heady glass shop trying to reach out to new customers.
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