In January of 2015, I was invited to an art show billed as an exhibit of “Functional Art Glass.” It turned out to be a show of amazing glass bongs, water pipes and other smoking paraphernalia, hosted by the online headshop 1 Percent. Tommy Chong was even there! While digging around for a pot-related image in my photo archives, because 4/20, I uncovered my stash of pix from that evening, so I am dusting them off here where you can enjoy them again, or for the first time, depending on how long you have been reading this blog.
Do you like to think about milking cows while you get high? If so, then you might like High Class, a collaboration from glassblowers MTP and Jake Vincent.
When I was invited to an exhibit of “Functional Art Glass,” my first reaction was, WTF is Functional Art Glass? Then I read a little bit further into the press release and realized that, back in the day, a piece of Functional Art Glass was referred to as a Water Pipe, or a Bong. And now, it is functional art! I can’t tell you how much I love knowing this. As Andy Warhol once said, “Art is What You Can Get Away With.”
Celebrating Twenty Years in business, lifestyle accessories brand 1Percent, one of the leading online retailers for smoking accessories, is currently hosting a gallery showcase, pop-up shop, and a series of events in New York City for the month of January. The gallery features over 75 unique glass sculptures in the Nor’Easter Collection, and you can see why these pieces have risen the status of collectable art. Nor’Easter is a celebration of pipe culture from respected glass artists spanning across the east coast, including MTP, JOP!, Coyle and Slinger.
Artist Coyle (AKA Dan Coyle) Works on a Pipe
For fans and collectors alike, 1Percentwill provide a one-on-one exclusive experience with Brandon Long, the gallery curator, as he explains the basics of functional glass, the innovators, and the outlook for high-end glass collectors with the current glass renaissance. I was lucky enough to get a VIP guided tour of the glass with Brandon, and his knowledge is not only impressive but his stories are fun and engaging.
Slinger + EF Norris, Grateful to Be American, Price: $10,800
Brandon knows many of these artists personally and is familiar with their education, techniques and methods of creating these pipes. He had a fascinating anecdote about every piece in the gallery! I will attempt to recall some of what he said in my captions for the photos to follow.