Before we had glass, we had pipes. There are are artifacts to prove it, some going back as far as 500 B.C. Ever since we became enlightened to the smokeable Earth, we’ve created ways to hold it, to ritualize it, and the pipe, whether passed around a group or used for solitary pleasure, has served this function. As we’ve evolved, pipes have evolved with us. As their significance has grown in our culture, so too has their design. We began personalizing these functional objects, painting them, carving them out of new materials, imprinting them with meaning, with pieces of ourselves. From clay bangers of old to the headiest in contemporary glass water pipes, all of human history is written in the changing aesthetic of the craft.
We live in a Glass Age, as many have said. In part, it is what has enabled our technological Renaissance. Glass lines our streets and our homes; we carry it around in our pocket; we stare at it every night before we go to sleep. It is no coincidence, then, that there is a Renaissance in the world of functional glass art. Experimentation has given way to new forms, materials, and designs. The arguments that have suppressed glass pipes as a “degenerate art” are beginning to crumble. Glass pipes are now being showcased in museums and expositions, their artists receiving sometimes up to six figures for their work. People are beginning to discuss the value of glass pipes not only as functional objects but as pieces of Art.
Spark is a small glass shop in Mendocino, California. We don’t pretend to be experts in the field, but our love is true. The media is the message, and we believe the world of functional glass art deserves a type of media that reflects the passion, craft, and ingenuity of its lead practitioners. We offer the first episode of Spark as both an introduction to the world of functional glass art as well as a love letter to the craft.
THE MASTER GLASSBLOWER” CREDITS
Shot and Cut by Marilyn Waters (@marilyn_waters)
Produced by Michael Strupp
Starring Josh Tsujimura, Stevie Joyner, and Michael Strupp
Photography by Alex Reyna (@areysocal)
3D Animation by Keith Anderson (@fractaledvisions)
Interview with Jahnny Rise (@jahnnyrise)
Music by Gorillaz, Pantyraid, and LCL Netlabel Day
Samples : 1. Batman (1989) 2. Danger Mouse – “Interlude” 3. The Johns Hopkins Science Review
Special Thanks: Theodore Peterson (@crowmancrothers) and Mariana Marijuana (@sisterofowls)
Featuring Glass by: Firekist (@firekist), Ed Wolfe Glass (@edwolfesgotglass), Cambria (@cambriaglass), Akihiro Okama (@akihiroglass), Chameleon Glass (@chameleonglass), Nick Eggert of Glassical Creations (@glassicalcreations), Eric Spinney (@rednoseglass), Opinicus 9 (@opinicus9), Deva Dita (@devadita), Algae (@algae._), Ninja Glass (@ninjaglass), White Monkey Glass (@whitemonkeyglass), Salt (@saltglass), Zii (@iroczii), Tyme (@tymeone), Cowboy Glass (@cowboyglass), Glass Fidelity (@glassfidelity) Alex Schmalex Glass (@alexschmalexglass), Winston Murdoch (@winston_murdoch) and many more. If you’re featured in the video and we missed you, give us a shout!