Glass blowing is the artisan craft of creating things from glass. Lamp working is the artisan craft of welding and blowing borosilicate glass to.. also create things! Pipe Making is the artisan craft of glass blowing and lamp working Borosilicate Glass into Pipes! There is a continual term used here... Artisan Craft.
You can't separate art from craft with glassblowing, they go hand in hand. As such, pipe makers are artists, and the past 30 years have proven just what kind of artists they can be! Heady Glass coins its name from Headpieces, vastly elaborate pipes that smoke shop owners of yesteryear would commission artists to create. The original idea behind a Heady was to be a glorified loss leader. Customers jaws would drop at these multi-hundred dollar pipes, used to attract their attention to other more affordable glass pipes in a shop.
However, this idea evolved into something great. These expensive elaborate pipes sold, becoming trophies of the connoisseurs that would collect them. Heady Art started to become the face of the Functional Glass Art Movement, with artists using their hard-found skills to bring the things of dreams into reality, fueled by the demand of consumers who cherished their pipe being a work of art.
WHAT MAKES A PIPE "HEADY"?
Heady glass is glass pipes and accessories made with complex techniques and artistic intentions. Lamp working, the form of glassblowing for making pipes, involves blowing, shaping and sculpting multiple solid and hollow components, and then carefully welding them together. While heady glass is usually full color, that is not always the case, as very complicated and artistic things can be done in clear glass.
Some argue that true heady pieces are only one-offs. Or so to speak, a piece that is completely unique in form, aesthetic and theme from any other piece the artist has ever done. We don't agree with this concept, as glassblowing as a craft is built on repetition, improvement, and evolution! Some of the most heady artists to date have stuck with forms and techniques they feel both represent their style, as well as their growth and progression! Even when heady work is done in production, each entry is its own hand-made, though out composition.
There are dozens of different techniques that we have seen incorporated into heady glass over the years, as well as concepts that we couldn't even label. Here is a list of some of the most popular techniques we've seen:
If you have seen Degenerate Art:The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes, you may remember that Bob Snodgrass triggered a movement of competitive camaraderie in the early scene. One of the things that mentality forged was an evolution of the Borosilicate color palette... a joint effort of artists and color-crafting studios. When the The Cave was opened, there were just a handful of Borosilicate Color Makers, names Northstar Glassworks, Glass Alchemy & Trautman Glass Art. Now there are many color studios making different ranges of colors. Some artists and studios still mix and layer their own colors all the time. As a result, there is no limit to what can be conceptualized in glass.
Colored glass can be solid, matte, transparent, opaque... and then there's striking colors! Striking colors have multiple different hues and tones based on how they are worked and annealed! There are also UV Colors, which react to Black-lights, and CFL Colors, which magically fully change under different light sources! New colors are being created to this day, and there are 100's of hues available for artists to create whatever they dream of!
Linework is the technique of manipulating glass sections that are striped with or built from different lines of color. The way these sections are worked has different names, such as Wig-Wag, Reversal, Bitch Window, Swirl, Re-wig, Staircase, and many more! Linework is what some of the most influential heady pipes have been adorned with, and is an important pillar of pipe art history.
Linework has always held a special place in the heart of the original collectors, and has stood through multiple trends as a foundational technique of many heady pipes. Some of the top artists in the industry are loved for doing cleanly proportioned and gorgeous linework sections, such as Jason Lee, Eusheen, Jake C, and many others! There are many popular colorways in linework, such as Black & White, Fire & Ice, and Jailhouse Rainbow! Click here to check out all of our heady glass pipes that feature linework!
DISC FLIPS & DRAWING ON GLASS
Drawing on paper is hard enough, drawing on glass is next level! Disc flips are clear glass discs with patterns and illustrations drawn on them by hand, using thin strands of color glass, known as Stringers. Reticellos, Fillacellos, and other geometric symbols have been used in disc flips for a long time, as full illustrations that look like they are pulled right out of comic books! After the image is "drawn", the disc must be flipped, so you are looking through the image through the clear glass. This advanced technique is used by some of the top artists in the game. Check out all of our disc flip headies right here!
MARBLES & MIB's
A marble is a sphere of glass, usually with color trapped inside. You may be familiar with the marbles children play with, which are usually mass produced and have simple color twists in them. In the pipe scene, not only do marbles adorn heady pipes and accessories, but thanks to Toro Terp Slurpers, they have become an accessory themselves. The insanely detailed marbles lamp workers have been making have a nickname: A Marble I'd Buy, aka a MIB. Marbles have mesmerizing optical effects due to the fact that their form creates a very deep lensing effect. These effect is especially visible on Implosion & Vortex Marbles, though all marbles are conceptuualized with the lense in mind. Check out all of our MIB's and pieces with them right here!
Some of the most desirable headies ever made have been sculptural pieces, and some of the most elite pipemakers around are known for their insane sculptural work! Sculptural pieces can be a serious challenge... sculpting glass itself is a whole subset of skills, and making sure your sculpted pipe still functions well is a whole other layer of difficulty. As such, sculptural pipes can be some of the most expensive we carry, but are so worth it! We carry some of the best sculptural artists in the game, like Salt, Elbo, Coyle, and many more! Check all of our sculptural pieces out right here!
OUR HEADY HISTORY
THE CAVE was opened over a decade ago by a team with over forty combined years of experience running smoke shops. We wanted to create the ultimate boutique experience, and the heady glass we had fallen in love with was the perfect way to convey that! When our first headpieces sold shortly after procuring them, we made a decision. Heady sales could only be used for heady purchases, always rolling it into expanding our collection!
Today we have one of the largest ever-evolving selections of heady glass pipes and accessories, and constantly receive new orders from all over the world. We have also thrown over 40 events with some of the top artists in the industry, and always have new ones coming up!
You can start browsing our selection of heady glass below, or sort it by highest price if you want to see all of our current jaw-droppers! The most desirable products we received are reserved for events and product drops. Check out our Upcoming Events page and Product Drops page to see what's coming, and check out our latest heady glass here! We always post the latest news about upcoming drops and events on our Instagram, so make sure to tap in!