Glass feels like it’s had it’s place in stoner history from the beginning, but what was its actual origin?While there is still some debate, the art of glassblowing first dates back to ancient Egypt and Syria, making much of the Eastern Mediterranean a massive hotspot for glasswork. It wasn’t until the 1st century BC that a Syrian craftsman invented the blow pipe, revolutionizing the glass industry. Colored glass rods and blow tubes were used to create shapes like grapes and shells, and then later artistic hollow glass objects, first only reserved for the richest members of society due to their high value. The invention of the blowpipe eventually allowed commoners access to glass pieces, as they were now easier and quicker to create, in turn making blown glass much more affordable.
The 1960’s and 70’s were a revolutionary turning point in history once again for glassblowers, with cannabis being more popular than ever before. The first official patent for glass pipes was filed in 1977 and ever since, glassblowing pipes and bongs have become a fast-booming industry, pushing techniques of the past to new creative heights. We now see incredibly intricate, beautiful pieces on the market of all shapes, sizes, and colors! In the perfect combination of art and science, many of these pieces are truly a sight to behold, from intricate fuming and fancy mazes of percolators, to glassblown trees and mushrooms lining your bong, there really doesn’t seem to be anything these craftsmen (and women) CAN’T do! One person in particular is to thank when we think about the glass bong/pipe movement, none other than Bob Snodgrass. Snodgrass is a skilled glassblower and lampworker who played a big part in popularizing glasswork in this time and invented several techniques, such as “fuming”. He worked on perfecting his craft while following The Grateful Dead on tour, selling his glass as he went. Snodgrass is a huge inspiration to many current glassblowers, and we can now see his techniques reflected in many glass pieces today.
The furthering legalization in several parts of the United States across the past several years has only further fueled the glassblowing movement, which has strongly engraved it’s place in cannabis culture while reaching new heights daily. There is no doubt the the next several years will bring more and more innovation in glass smoking accessories!