The blowpipe was not created until nearly 1500 years later, in 30 B.C. This remarkable new tool made the blowing of glass more affordable and easier to accomplish. Glass blowing involves using the blowpipe to inflate molten glass into a bubble and then shaping the glass into the desired form.
The blowpipe also made it possible to create delicate objects, including the glass pipe, which was first created soon after the blowpipe came into use. However, the glass pipe was not widely used until the 1960’s, during what was called the “Studio Glass Movement,” when glass pipes went mainstream as both objects of art and a way to smoke. The glass pipe is used to smoke tobacco and herbs without tarnishing the taste. The purity of the taste is due to the non-porous nature of the glass itself. Glass is easy to clean, and unlike other materials does not trap bacteria. Glass pipes also can allow the user to view the smoke as it moves through the pipe.
Blown Glass as Art
Today, blown glass, including glass bongs and pipes, is considered an art form. The colors, shapes, etchings, and designs of glass have evolved to include a multitude of options for every taste. Fumed glass can even be used to create color-changing glass art. Glass artists have created bongs in the shape of dragons, landscapes, and can be found in art museums. Dave Chihuly, a famous glass artist, mounted a retrospective on glass Bongs in 2011 at the museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Blown glass bongs can be so intricate and unique that some sell for thousands of dollars to art collectors.