By Victoria Martinez | Photos provided by Ariel Zimman
Though many choose to smoke from bongs, pipes, or raw papers, there are many smoking devices that could easily be confused for decor in a home—like the Stonedware Company’s geopipes, which help bridge form and function for cannabis users.
Ariel Zimman, the founder of Stonedware, handcrafts the pipes to help bring a different aesthetic to the way people smoke weed.
The company’s selection of porcelain pipes are hand cast, and hand-painted. Geopipes are created with an abstract look, and a glossy, food-safe glaze. Stonedware Co. also offers purse pipes, mini bowls, trays, and pokers. Some of the company’s designs feature 22k gold finishes or linings, while others have more minimal, chic, and boho styles.
Zimman said she was motivated to create geopipes as a way to help break the stigma associated with cannabis users by providing consumers with a luxury, handmade product.
“When I started cannabis was less legal than it is now, so there was a greater stigma around it. It had just become medically and recreationally legal in Portland, Oregon but there weren’t beautiful objects for cannabis consumption,” says Zimman.
Zimman is also guided by the goal to create artistic consumption devices that feel good and work great.
Her geopipes are made to fit comfortably in the palm of a user’s hand. The shape of the pipes, which make it easier to hold while smoking, is produced through slip castings that allow her to go beyond generic figures.
“[…] Me getting to make more one-of-a-kind pieces is more fun to me than making the same thing over and over [again],” she adds. “Every piece is handmade, but getting to make more one of a kind pieces helps me sell at a higher price point [because each is] art pieces,” says Zimman.
While trying to get the word out for Stonedware Co., Zimman wanted to avoid the “bro culture,” and made a pipe that didn’t require smoking large quantities of weed at one time.
As an artist with a self-funded company, Zimman is free to create her own products and work with the companies that she aligns with.
With retailers, she wants to make sure the company’s ideals are the same as hers when selling her geopipes for wholesale. She hopes to keep moving forward with her system but will lack help during the quarantine.
Stonedware Co.’s production has slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic. That has given Zimman time to sit down and plan out her wholesale ideas while expanding her audience and social media platforms.
As a woman in the cannabis industry, she finds the City of Portland to offer an inclusive environment, one that is filled with other women in the industry.
“[…] There is a really amazing network of women that work in the cannabis industry with Women Grow events and normalizing cannabis consumption. It was liberating and empowering to know I have so many women behind me and being able to employ other women,” says Zimman.
Zimman recognizes the need for women in the marketplace. She wants her brand to empower women in the cannabis industry. Even though her product isn’t gender-specific, she says, she is creating uplifting, sophisticated smokeware to help embrace a better-looking way of smoking.