BONG AND PIPE GLASS ARTISTS ARE A DYING BREED.
One of the most fascinating things about the world of weed is how diverse and specialized all the aspects of the culture are. Just on our site alone, we’ve covered growers, television, sports, the almost necessary relationship between music and weed, stash bags and the sublime but ineffable feeling of lifting off with your favourite strain. Each of these areas deserves time to appreciate its depth and today is reserved for the men and women who mould and craft the devices we use to enjoy cannabis. I’m talking about bong and pipe glass artists, the unsung heroes of weed culture, whose work you might enjoy without even knowing them. We’re aiming to change that here, as we combed through the countless fakes and posers to bring you, five glass artists, you need to know. Hopefully, your search doesn’t end here and this opens you to the world of the glassmakers that create the funky and innovative bowls, pipes, bongs and rigs that push cannabis culture forward.
Karl Termini has been shaping, blowing, designing, and fuming glass bongs for over 20 years. The man is an OG in the industry and has witnessed how much things have changed during his time as an artist. His work ranges from tube bongs to dab rigs and occasionally creates pieces in the middle. Decades of stoner science gives credibility to his work that’s matched by few glass blowers. Every single one is different and bridges that delicate gap between intricate detail and functional durability. If you’re looking for glass art that anyone could admire, Termini Tubes sets the bar high – here at Primo.
Dani Girl Glass
In a traditionally male-dominated industry, it’s refreshing to see the interpretations and impact a woman has on the artform. Dani Girl Glass, based out of Eugene, Oregon, has over a decade of experience pushing the boundaries of glass art and blurring the lines between pop culture figures and smokeable devices. Her work is imbued with a strong sense of color and fantasy that nearly seems real at times because of how much detail she puts into her pieces. She’s gained many followers from her line of Pokemon inspired glass that features fan favorites like Charmander and deep cut legends like Cubone and Snorlax. She’s also tapped into the nostalgia of the ‘90s with pieces inspired by shows like “Hey, Arnold” and “Rocko’s Modern Life”. I know I’ve always wondered how strong of a hit you can get from Charmander’s perpetually lit tail.
People don’t have 76k Instagram followers for no reason, and in Robert Mickelsen’s case, it’s because he’s truly gifted at complex, multi-faceted pipe art. Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, the island climate had a clear influence on Mickelson’s style, which he brings to bongs and rigs alike. His distinguishing mark is texture and how he can blend different surfaces across the chambers of a piece. For example, in this piece from his Instagram page, he combines the likenesses of an alligator, armadillo and tortoise to make a totem-like structure that also happens to serve as a water pipe. The way he designs his glass makes you want to feel the bumps on the alligator’s skin and test the tension of the armadillo’s coil. Of course, you shouldn’t be too rough because, well, it’s glass.
I’m based in Los Angeles, California, so donut shops have become sewn into my understanding of Southern California. From the giant, iconic Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood to Danny Trejo’s spot in Hollywood, you can’t escape the presence of these pastries. Most stoners associate donuts with the munchies and a great after-toke snack, but Brian Owoc is incorporating them into the act of smoking. Sort of. Obviously, you’re not gonna be taking rips from actual donuts, but there’s something satisfying about pulling your weed through glass that looks like what you’re going to be eating after you smoke. Think of it as a closed circle smoking experience. Originally from Portland, Maine, Brian started experimenting with the donut shape when he would blow glass late night after graveyard shifts at Dunkin Donuts. Now, he’s crafting bongs and pipes with as much variety as your favourite donut shop. I know I’ve always wanted to hit that maple frosted donut. Now if only we could get it to taste like one too…..
Jerome Baker was actually inspired by another name on this list, Bob Snodgrass. After the two met in the early ‘90s after the legend had established his workshop in Eugene, Oregon, which is still a hub for glass artists. Jerome has many great claims to his name, most of which include creating pieces for celebrities. None might be as esteemed as the Dalai Lama though. His work has the classic stoner aesthetic, pieces that blur the lines between psychedelic, surreal and objects we see every day. Pieces like this one, a dad rig done lava lamp style with skulls at the base, show how he can play with classic stoner tropes and still give customers a killer piece that will never be duplicated at a flea market or corner smoke shop.
O.G. is a highly respected type of strain around the Primo offices and so is the work of Bob Snodgrass, a true O.G. when it comes to cannabis-related glass art. Snodgrass started his illustrious career in the early 1970s when he was working as a carpenter and woodworker. A decade later, he’d made glass blowing his full-time profession, specializing in usable pieces, such as pipes, as well as marbles. Yes, marbles. That set you used to play with as a little kid that would end up getting lost under the refrigerator or swallowed by the dog. Knowing this and appreciating his marble pieces, gives you a thread to follow in his work. Snodgrass is able to put a tiny cosmos into the space of a marble that fits on your thumb and he simply expands this when he puts his effort into a Sherlock or hammer pipe. He was also instrumental in discovering that precious metals like gold and silver could be sprayed into the glass during the process and open up hundreds of color possibilities which allows artists to experiment to this day.