Cheap Glass, A thing of the Past: A New Age for Artisan Glass

There’s a difference between artisan glass pipes and cheap China pipes from the gas station or smoke shop.

Artisan glass work has been around for thousands of years. Some of the earliest recorded pieces of glass work date back to 3000 BC in Mesopotamia and early Egypt. The process of making anything from glass was an extremely difficult one during this time period. For this reason, many artisan pieces of glassworks were small and quite expensive.
Fast forward to 30 BC to Rome. This is where working with glass went from glass molding to glass blowing with the introduction of shaping glass by blowing into it with a blow pipe. This led to the birth of glass blowing as we know today.

Cheap China glass is dangerous and illegal. Pipes from China are not allowed to be sold in the United States. In order for these pipes to make it into the country, they can’t have a hole in the bowl. They simply have a mouthpiece hole and a carburetor hole where a piece of string is passed through it and is referred to as a necklace. This is one of many ways these pipes make it into the U.S. Once in the country, a small hole is drilled to complete the bowl.

The problem with this is when you, the consumer, go to smoke out of your new bowl that you’re so happy to have, you could be inhaling glass shards into your lungs. The building up of glass shards in the lungs creates a disease much like Pleural Mesothelioma.

Another dangerous potential is lead based metal oxide paint. China uses this to create the color on the inside of the glass. Instead of using techniques like the artisans in the U.S. do to fume and color their glass, cheap Chinese knockoffs simply paint the inside.

When you want to avoid getting cheap low-quality glass that could be dangerous for your health here is a great option. Purchase your glass from a local artisan glass blower. Many times you can find someone in your region who makes exquisite glass pieces.

These artists have impeccable skills and talents when it comes to shaping and molding glass into beautiful works of art. Not only are they works of art, they are functional works of art, enjoyed by the cannabis community worldwide.
Nicholas Borophile of The Other Glass is my local artisan glass maker. Nicholas, 24, is from Colorado, and has a passion for the art of glasswork. Not only does Nick make heady glass pipes that are tough as a mofo, he makes some sick pendies (pendants) too! Nick could have gone down several roads he faced like so many young men today. He took a turn into artisan glass and found a passion.

Nicholas says he owes a lot to the man who offered him a chance at something different, a chance to learn glass. That man was the talented artisan glass maker Malachi Cowan. Nick and Malachi are now business partners.

Nick’s passion for glass and dedication to the artisan craft has led him to a righteous path of light. The light of the torch. This light drives Nicholas to shape and mold functional works of art for the world to enjoy.

I bought my first piece from Nick in Colorado at a little place called the Happy Shack. His work caught my eye immediately, so without hesitation I bought a piece! The piece that I named NOB even had Nick’s initials stamped into it.

This bowl is very special to me as it was the first one that I had purchased where I had met the glass maker. It gave my bowl an intrinsic value to me that none of my previous bowls had ever had. Nicholas makes more than killer glass pieces and pendies he makes works of art that become a part of people’s day to day lives.

Nicholas only makes the finest quality glass products because he uses glass made in the U.S. The glass is such heady thick glass you can bounce it on the ground — I have seen it in person when I bought mine. Check out a video of this being done on Nick’s Facebook page.

When I asked Nicholas what he would like to say to the readers his reply was as follows: “Buy some glass. No for real it’s a struggle for artist today. When you have a local in your area who does something great, no matter what that art may be, supporting that person helps put food on their table. That’s helping to feed your neighbor and lets you get to know your community a little bit better.”

Support your local community by supporting local artist. They add color and shape to our lives. Get to know your local artisan. You’ll be glad you did.

Written by James Priest

For more information, visit Nicholas’s Facebook page, or on
Emerald contributor since September 2015


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