Heady glass artists and the culture surrounding them has rapidly expanded over the past few years. Glass consumers want more than the standard bong on the shelf in their local headshop. The modern glasshead takes pride in their piece. They collect, research artists, and engage with their favorite glassblowers through Instagram and other social media. Auctions and online sales are a regular in the glass market, with pieces selling for hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of dollars at times. So why is heady glass so damn expensive? Let’s see:
The materials used to make heady glass don’t come cheap. Borosilicate glass is a difficult compound to make, often coming from industrial labs and manufacturers. Any respectable glassblower will tell you that they pay careful attention to choosing the best raw materials. Excessive air bubbles or microfractures in the starting phases could lead to cracks or breaks down the line.
Colored glass, another essential element of creating heady glass, is often specially made or customer ordered per piece.
Making a heady glass piece is a long process. Expertise, patience, and collaboration is a must for any top-shelf piece. A solid piece can take upwards of 30 hours to complete. This is just to make the piece itself. Consider the time it takes to perfect the techniques that go into a finished product.
Even when diligent steps are taken to ensure the integrity of a piece, glass could crack at any moment. Variables like microfractures that are unseeable by the human eye, could unfortunately lead to a broken piece towards the end of the process. When a piece breaks, the artist needs to start all over again.
Artists tend to specialize in certain areas, due to the difficulty of perfecting certain techniques. Collaboration is sometimes necessary to create a custom or next level piece for a customer. In this case, the price you pay for your heady glass has to compensate not just one, but two artists.
The demand for heady glass substantially increased in the past few years. Smoking culture is quickly spreading around the USA with the help of social media and connectivity. Independent glassblowers can easily post, share, promote, and sell their own work through Instagram, building a large core audience very quickly.
Heady glass has become as much of a collectible art as any other. Glass galleries are popping up around the USA, offering innovative and artistic glass pieces not just to smokers, but to art collectors. Artists can quickly make a name for themselves, being judged by the online community by their talent and unique styles.