Functional glass artists attempt to work aesthetics into efficient smoking devices. The functional glass industry has been rising in popularity alongside the legalization of marijuana movement sweeping the nation. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most legendary functional glass artists in the glass blowing game.
- Banjo Glass
Banjo has been blowing functional glass for the past 17 years. He became inspired by seeing the evolution of pipes. After seeing a dragon double bubbler he realized glass pipes were becoming an art form. He actually learned to blow glass from a 15 year old who was taught by the creator of the dragon double bubbler. He’s now one of the most renowned glass artists in the industry. When asked about his creative process he responded,
“I typically start with an image that I have in mind and then try to imagine a way for air to travel through it, while keeping the volume of the vessels to an absolute minimum. Sometimes if it’s tricky, I’ll draw it out on paper so I can better visualize what in the piece needs to be hollow. For the most part, I prefer to construct everything out of solid components whenever possible, only involving hollow vessel work when absolutely necessary.”
Banjo continues to blow glass and teach classes for aspiring glass artists.
- Joe P Glass
Aged 32. Began by doing nonfunctional glass artwork until the market began to crash in 2008. After seeing the functional work of other glass artists like banjo, he decided to make the switch to creating functional art. Joe P has years of experience taking classes in Italy and learning to blow soft glass. He has said that he incorporates those experiences into his current work. Joe P has recently become popular in the world of hip hop after queens-based rapper Action Bronson purchased one of his pieces of functional art. Joe P has certainly entered legendary status and even a pendant made by him will cost you around $1,000. A solo piece will costs thousands of dollars and some of his collaborations sell for 5 figures. Many artists have an image they’re associated with, for Joe Peters it is his signature honey-drip design.
- Scott Deppe
Scott Deppe is a part of the Mothership team, which is considered by many to be the most innovative and high-end water pipe company on the market. Scott Deppe has created some of the most expensive functional glass art pieces on the market. His collaborations have sold for more than $100,000.
- A Pipe Maker / AKM
A Pike Maker also known as AKM is known for his skull design. His pendants and jammers are highly collectable. Shows featuring his work are often packed out. He was also awarded glass artist of the month by High Times magazine. In 2014, AKM won the People’s Choice award at the Champs Glass Games. He’s been blowing glass sine 1999 and now he’s becoming one of the legends in the glass blowing game.
Other worthy mentions:
- Gray Glass / Scott Rosinski
Mr. Gray Glass is known for his realistically scultped marijuana leaves. He recently collaborated with Scott Deppe to make a beautifully crafted oil rig hookah.
Salt is known for his unique and compelling creature designs. The majority of his pieces feature his signature realistic eyes and teeth. Salt has been a part of collaborations that are worth over $10,000 and even some of his solo work is priced that high. His latest solo pieces sell for well over $1000.
- Sagan Glass
Sagan’s signature is to involve realistically sculpted moons. He once sent a glass pendant into space. He won up and coming artist of the year at a glass expo and also people’s choice at another glass art festival. A collaborative piece Sagan made with Mothership’s Scott Deppe sold for a little over $100,000 dollars. The glass game is getting serious!
- Elbo Glass
Elbo is known for his functional dinosaur glass sculptures. His solo pieces sell for over $3000. He’s become even more popular after having a table of his work featured on rapper Action Bronson’s Ancient Aliens with friends show featured on VICELAND. The rapper can be seen on the dinosaur themed episode hitting several of Elbo’s pieces. The episode even kicks off with rapper Schoolboy Q ripping a collaborative piece between Elbo and the legendary Joe Peters.
Known for his glass yellow ducky design, ryno tells stories with his sculptures. His sculptures are almost always duck themed but each one comes out different from the last. Some of his solo work has sold for around $10,000 and he’s gained a few awards over time. Ryno continues to grow in popularity and if you want any of his work you’d better get it before he gets even more popular.
- Coyle Condenser
Coyle is known for his monkey and banana themed pieces of functional art. His solo pieces sell for thousands of dollars and his collaborations are closer to the $10,000 range.