The New Resurgence of Heady Glass
If you’re not already an expert on glass pipes, the different types of pipes and terminology that go along with them can get confusing. A bubbler can just be a bubbler, or it could also be considered a heady piece. It’s good to know as much as possible about the main terms and it’s always nice to know some history about glassblowing, as glassblowing has been an art form since ancient times. Knowledge of a product can really create new interest in others who might not have had any idea the complex past and current trends of the glassblowing community.
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.
One of the best things about heady glass is that most pieces are one-of-a-kind. This is a great talking point for a heady glass shop, as they can create an image of the artist and their style dedication to a customer interested in their heady pieces. Many heady glass artists are becoming more and more recognized over social media and the internet, and heady glass art is carving its own niche in the cannabis industry. Collectors recognize the level of skill it takes to craft a heady piece, and they’re beginning to invest more and more. Non-collectors are becoming newly interested in glass artists and their pieces thanks to Instagram. People who previously knew nothing about glassblowing can learn a great deal about the techniques that go into making heady pieces and why those techniques make the heady glass so special by following heady artists online.
Not only is style something that distinguishes artists, but the intricacies they craft into their heady glass can never be overstated. Some of the techniques to look for in heady glass can be sandblasting, fuming, millies, accents, sculpting, reversals, and honeycombs. Heady glass bongs, pipes, and rigs aren’t the only glass that can feature these techniques; domes and bowls can be made with these methods as well. Highlighting the complexities of heady glass can drive a lot more interest than if not mentioned. Glass can be beautiful, but a new level of appreciation is reached after a person realizes what went into creating it. The best heady pieces always reflect the years of skill that the artist has developed.
Recently glass has had to compete with vape pens, so separating vape pens from heady pieces by giving headies the artistic credit they deserve over the convenience of vape pens is also a great way to differentiate the demand for both. The same can be said for dab rigs as well; there are many intricate heady dab rigs, and sometimes using vape pens or dab pens is just not comparable to using glass and torches. Many people prefer to smoke out of glass rather than pens, even if it’s not as convenient. The quality of the smoke and/or vapor can be vastly different depending on if you’re using glass or a pen, and how that glass is formed, and cut can make a big difference as well. If a vape pen becomes too hot, a carcinogen called Benzene will form. Using glass and torches can give a person more control over regulating the heat being produced.
With vape pens and dab pens becoming so popular, it’s great that heady artists are becoming better recognized. Glassblowing is an age-old art form that has been practiced in so many forms, and it’s useful for heady glass shops to drive that point home when they’re showcasing their heady pieces. Unlike vape pens and dab pens, heady glass pieces aren’t just vehicles for smoke; they are highly skilled pieces of art. It’s a great sign of the times when art galleries are starting to give heady glass artists the credit they’ve deserved for years, which is also great for online head shops trying to compete with dab pens and vape pens. With heady glass artists regularly posting their work on social media and the internet, the desire for their pieces will continue a steady upward path that will keep glass pipes from being overrun by pens.