One very functional and popular glass product is the evolution of the glass pipe. A man by the name of Bob Snodgrass started a revolution if you will. Bob Snodgrass is a pioneer for art and glass, developing many of the tools used today in the making of glass pipes. He is also the roots to many of the artists today because a large majority of them have been taught by Bob himself or by someone who was. His pipes were made by hand. Bob is also the inventor responsible for the discovery that when you spray hard glass with silver nitrate and gold chloride the color of the pipe will change as the pipe blackens.
Artists and even large corporations are still making not only glass blown pipes but also bongs. The sale of these items is a multi-million dollar industry. Bongs in history were used for medicinal purposes, the very wealthy, religious ceremonies, and family traditions. There are different types of bongs such as double bubblers, and diffusers. The most impressive parts of pipes are the joints and how they have changed over time. From the earlier days of rough, tapered joints to a smoother, standardized joint. This has opened up the options for attachments. Some of the hand blown pieces are so elaborate and beautiful they are not used for tobacco but rather as pieces of art.
Throughout the worlds museums and galleries there are always amazing pieces of blown glass art. Some museums such as the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington have actual live demonstrations with some of the worlds top artists. The internet has even elevated the art with videos. The videos show artists craft and work what looks like a blob of molten lava into a fantastic and intricate piece. It’s tedious to watch yet the outcome is always marvelous. Most fascinating is how the art of glass blowing has travelled around the globe forever changing. As technology advances and artists continue to experiment glass blowing will continue to grow.