Glass pipes – the holds the center stage
The change in the smoking habit of people that has happened over a period of time is one of the reasons for preferring glass pipes. Indeed, change in the characteristics of the herbs and tobacco has also contributed in choosing glass as a material for making pipes. There used to be a time when wood and porous clay was the staple choice for making pipes for smoking. These materials were preferred as it would add some tastes to the smoke that smokers liked.
With time, the cultivation of tobacco and herbs has also evolved greatly that lead to the emergence of newer varieties of crop that would not necessitate addition of any external flavors and tastes. Instead, it became necessary to preserve the ingenuity of the inherent characteristics, tastes and flavor of the smoke for more enjoyment. The neutral properties of glass helped in achieving this objective; hence it gained popularity in pipe making.
Why is glass special?
As a material for making pipes, glass holds a place of pride as it can offer the most satisfying smoking experience that is perhaps unmatched. People are attracted to smoking to enjoy the flavors generated from the smoke of herbs that can even have a soothing and enchanting effect. The intention of smokers is to enjoy the intrinsic purity of the flavors and tastes of herbs and tobacco that needs to be preserved during smoking. The pipe material should therefore have the ability to isolate the original flavors without any chances of contamination from the pipe material. Glass with its neutral characteristics is perfect as a pipe making material and is the reason for the popularity of glass pipes .
Making of pipes from glass
Like many other glass items, pipes are also made by the method of blowing. Air is blown through molten glass to form a large bubble followed by applying a hexagonal pattern to it and then allowing the bubble to collapse and acquire the form of compact glass. This is typical honeycomb glass. Glass pipes are unique in its creation by artisans who are experts in producing splendidly designed and colorful pipes. Each piece of pipe is manufactured separately as a unique artistic creation. Most of the pipes are produced by the hand blowing process while some pipes are completely handmade. Larger pieces of pipes are created by spinning on lathes as done for wood working.
Adding variety to the looks
Patterns are created on pipes made from clear glass to make it look attractive. Heated strands of colored glass are woven into clear glass to generate the patterns in the same way as baskets are woven. Another method is to blow bubbles of colored glass into molten clear glass so that it fuses together to generate unique patterns. Sometimes glass powder obtained from colored glass is used for fusing with clear glass to create colorful patterns.
Although molten glass is the prime material for making pipes it can also be made from cold glass. Pieces of cold glass can be cut and polished in the same way as gemstones to produce intricately designed pipes.