History of Glass and Glass Pipes
In Mesopotamia and Egypt the first known evidence of the creation of glass vessels was found beveled to be dated as far back as 1500 BC. They used a very simple process that involved them shaping hot glass around solid cores of soil. When the glass cooled the soil plug was taken out completing the creation of the glass vessel. Around the same time tile mosaics were being made by inlaying thin slices of colored glass rods on ceramic vessels, walls and wooden boxes.
In 300 BC the blowpipe was invented by the Syrians, a method of blowing glass, which is still being use to this very day. The Romans created glass molds that, when combined with new formulas for color, gold and silver inlaying and glass blowing, allowed them to make amazing artistic designs on the glass. While the first enameling techniques were being perfected in Egypt and the Middle East. The production of glass became so affordable and widespread, glass vessels from the Roman era are easily obtained by modern glass collectors.
In 1291 the Italian island of Murano became the world center for glass making after the government required all glassblowers to live their in order to protect thier monopily on glass making. The penalty for a glass bower leaving island was death. The Murano glassblowers made enormous advancements in glass making. They created cristalo ( a very pure and clear form of glass ) and advanced, beautiful colors including amethyst, deep blue and emerald.
Arte Vetraria (The Art of Glass) the first glassblowing book to be published was released in 17th century Italy. The book contained clear instructions for the creating of window glass, bottles, drinking vessels and more. New glass technology, such as leaded glass and diamond engraving became widespread and readily accessible the average person.
Many people are surprised to find out that Glassmaking was America’s first industry. In as early as 1608 and a glass workshop was established at Jamestown, Virginia. Unfortunately the workshop was eventually closed and, until the Colonies’ first successful glass company was founded in 1739 by Caspar Wistar, the colonists were forced to import glass windows, tables and even bottles from England.
In the 1820s, Americans invented a process of pressing glass tableware, further progress Americas glass industry, and making it affordable to middle-class households.
In the mid-1800s Americans developed for ornate styles and complex decorations. In the 19th and early 20th century great American glass manufacturers, including the New England Glass Company (East Cambridge, Massachusetts), the Libbey Glass Company (Toledo, Ohio), and the Bakewell company (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) produced amazing blown and decorated glass art, candlesticks, lamps, light bulbs and cut and engraved glasses.
The late 1800s artists such as Emile Galle, Eugene Rousseau and the founder of “Tiffany & co” Louis Comfort Tiffany began working with large glass houses designing lamps, vessels, windows and art pieces from blown and stained glass.
Bob Snodgrass known for his contributions to the art of glass pipe making and glass art began working on his techniques while following the Grateful Dead on tour during the 1970s and ’80s. He and his family traveled the United States, selling his work at art markets until 1990 when they settled in Eugene, Oregon. Snodgrass claims to have invented color changing glass by accident and is the founder the Eugene Glass School. Because of the glass subculture that Snodgrass helped to create in the Northwest United States, that has now spread around the world, he is called the “Godfather of Glass”.
What are Bubblers?
Bubblers are a cross between a traditional glass hand pipe and a water pipe. The main two types of Bubbers are Hammer Bubblers, that resemble traditional hand pipes ) and Sherlock Bubblers that resemble traditional Sherlock hand pipes.
What is a dichroic (dicro) glass pipe?
Dichroic Glass appears to be different colors when light is shone through it vs. when light reflects against it. Modern dichroic glass was created in part by NASA, developed it for use in dichroic filters. However, the general Principe dates back to at least the 4th century AD.
Multiple layers of different metals including gold and silver or oxides of titanium, chromium, aluminium, zirconium, or magnesium; or silica are vaporized by an electron beam in a vacuum chamber. The vapor then condenses on the surface of the glass forming a crystalline structure. A protective layer of quartz crystal is sometimes added. Dichoic glass can have as many as 50 layers of these materials, giving the finished product an appearance of a multi colored gemstone.
A dichroic glass pipe can be fused with other glass in multiple firings. Individual results can never be exactly predicted resulting in every dichroic glass pipe being unique.
What is Colored Glass?
A large amount of colors are added to glass pipes using may different methods. However the actual colors that are used come form a small number of companies. Soft glass color is manufactured by four major companies, one in New Zealand and three in Germany. A majority of the color used in glass pipes is made by Kugler Color in Bavaria, Germany, from chemical formulas kept in the Kugler family for generations.
What is Decorative Glass?
Decorative glass is a form of glass art . Decorative glass has been used for many purposes for centuries. Including but not limited to: restaurants, hotels, homes. and now smoking pipes. Decorative glass offers someone an opportunity to have a, one of a kind, artistic and original, glass piece.
What are Glass Ribbons?
Ribbon glass is a fairly new and unique product, made without binders from 100% pure fused glass , that is being use for a wide variety of modern applications, including glass pipes. The “ribbon” is made from strips of float glass. It reflects light and color giving multiple perspectives.
What is Soft Glass?
Soft Glass is an acronym for Soda Lime glass, or a higher expansion type glass, (88-92 COE). The term Soda Lime glass comes from the fact that soda bottles are generally made from “soft-glass,” or soda-lime glass. Also lime in used in its production and soda-lime glass will sometimes have a light green tint to it.
What is Color Changing Glass?
Color Changing Glass is fairly new, having only been introduced in early 1980’s. When glass artists were experimenting with gold and silver fuming they discovered that a thin layer of fuming applied to the interior ( standard ) or exterior of a pipe resulted in a color changing effect when the particles introduced from smoking the pipe interacted with the gold or silver fuming. Different herbs seemed to produce different hues resulting is each individual having a truly unique pipe depending on how the pipe was used.
What is Borosilicate glass?
Borosilicate glass is made up of about 15% boron trioxide, which is that magical ingredient that completely changes the behavior of glass and makes it thermal shock resistant. This allows the glass to resist extreme changes in temperature and is measured by the “Coefficient of Thermal Expansion,” the rate at which the glass expands when it is exposed to heat. Thanks to this, borosilicate glass has the ability to go straight from a freezer to an oven rack without cracking. This means it will not crack under extreme temperature changes, is stronger and can withstand rougher handling than regular glass. Its durability has made it the glass of choice for high-end restaurants, laboratories ,wineries and smoking pipes.
What is “Frit”?
Frit is a simple technique using crushed glass for a “glitter” effect within the finished piece. The pulverized medium is added while the glass is in a liquid state, resulting in the frit being visibly suspended in the glass.
What is PYREX Glass?
PYREX glass is a type of borosilicate low-expansion glass produced by Corning Glass Works in 1915 as an alternative to Duran.
It is considered a high quality glass and used a many modern applications, including glass pipes.
Several sources have indicated that, as the result of popularity of PYREX Glass, there have been cases in which soft glass is used instead or borosilicate in some PYREX labeled products.
What is and Inside Out Pipe?
Because of it’s thickness ( generally ) and unique appearance, inside out work has become very popular. Inside out pipes have three dimensional designs, that can include, decorative colors, dichroic (dicro), ribbons, frit, swirls and more, inside the glass. This takes considerable time and skill, but can result in a very durable pipe and unique work of art.
What is Metal Leafing?
Thin metal foil that can be applied to the exterior of glass. Silver, gold and copper are common foil colors.
It is our goal to provide glass pipes from the finest craftsmen at the very best price. Including: Hand ( Spoons ), and Water ( Bubblers, Tubular ( Bongs ) & Showerheads ) pipes . Plus information on how to maintain and clean them.