Hand pipes or spoon pipes can be made of all kinds of materials such as our favorite glass, ceramic, wood, metal, silicone, rock or nearly anything out there. Some materials are better than others, like sorry, but who would use a plastic pipe.
We feel a glass pipe is the way to go if you have a choice. We feel that a glass hand pipe made from borosilicate glass will deliver a smooth nice hit with the most flavor. Do not ever go with a soft glass hand pipe. While you are good to go with a soft glass waterpipe and a borosilicate bowl, you need your hand pipe to be full borosilicate. The borosilicate can withstand thermal shock much better than soft glass as you use a lighter to combust the herbs.
Using a hand pipe is basic. You just put your herb, preferably ground up into the bowl part. It's up to the user if they want the bowl pressed or not. Some like a little and some like a fatty bowl. Light the bowl while keeping the carb held closed with one finger. Then about ½ way in your inhale you will let go of the carburetor, allowing air to flow into the pipe. This allows the bowl to stop burning while you extract the rest of the smoke from the pipe.
We do suggest a great little add on called he flavor savor for you glass hand pipe. Its really nice as it goes over the bowl part of the hand pipe and holds in the unburnt herbs in the hand pipe.
What are these chillums, batts and one hitters? Well they are basically the smallest of smoking pipes. These are for people that do not smoke a lot or they like small bowls. People like small bowls sometimes because they finish the entire bowl in one hit. Oh ya, the term one hitter. They feel this gives them more flavor and they never have that left over bowl issue. All bats, chillums and one hitters do not have a carb or carburetor. This means there is less control over how the user inhales the smoke.
This is usually a small piece of glass or metal with the smallest of bowls. Many times not much larger than a cigarette. A lot of the times the one hitters come in a storage unit called a dugout. One hitters are very portable and when partnered with a dug out keep the smell down and also have a pick and storage compartment built into them.
A bat is much just like a one hitter in that it is very small and can also work in a dugout. Not much to say here.
Now you ask what is a chillum? This is where it all kinda started many many years ago. They were first used in India by Hindu monks and holy men. The people of Inida have been using chillums for thousands of years, even before tobacco was introduced. Being that the holy men of India where using the chillum they have become associate with spirituality and meditation in much of Asia and Eastern Europe. Only recently has the chillum become popular in the western civilization.
To use any one of these chillums, bats or one hitters it is best to hold it upward at a 45 degree angle so as the herb does not fall out. You will fill you bowl end with some of your herbs and use a flame to catch the herbs on fire and inhale.
Some special chillums are made with the mouthpiece hole just on the side of the pipe. This designed to be held in your closed first. Then you inhale through your fingers so as not to put your lips on the pipe. People feel this was invented during the 60’s at a dead show.
Things to look for when choosing a hand crafted glass chillium
Chillum Size and Design
Very small chillums are for the on the go user and are very portable making them also very discreet. Usually larger chillums start to become more expensive and can become what is called a heady chillum. These are great for show stoppers and talking pieces.
Glass Thickness of a pipe and chillum
Glass is one of the greatest materials for smoking pipes as it is completely inert and does not affect the taste of the smoke. It also makes for a much easier cleaning process. The thicker the glass the more durable it is on average. But glass is glass and if you drop it on concret it will break. If not the first time, eventually it will break. Thicker glass also is very nice in a pipe or chillum when an artist does inside out work as the colors will pop inside the glass. We like thick glass. Oh and did you know what glass likes to be ¼ inch thick in its molten state. Just a dumb fact.
Bowl End of the pipe or chillum
Yep, this is where you put your good herbs in to be smoked. This is really all up to you. One thing to note is that a bigger bowl can always be loaded with less, while a small bowl is always small. Another big thing to always take into consideration is the size of the bowl hole. We thing about a 4mm hole is perfect. Some people like is smaller and some larger. Small holes get clogged more easily, while larger holes tend to let debris or scooby snacks through. A screen can help solve this issue, while we like just the perfect size hole.
The shape and size of the mouthpiece is a very important part of the pipe. This is where you put your lips, so it needs to be what you want to put your lips on. A hole not too small is best as a small hole can get clogged easily.
This is one of our most favorite hand pipe shapes. It has a lot of character to it, with a big bend in the shaft that holds nice in your hands. The famous Sherlock Holmes may not be the one to invent the sherlock pipe, but he was for shurlock the one to make the pipe popular. The sherlock pipe works the same has any other hand pipe and you should pay attention to the bowl hole size to make sure it is of your desired shape. Elev8 Glass Gallery will always make sure the hole is the proper size.
Glass Pipes have been the staple of the industry for decades. When they first started being produced they were basic blown out glass spoon pipe designs. Bob Snodgrass is credited with accidentally inventing the color changing glass pipe. It was through a process of fuming with gold, or silver that the borosilicate glass would change colors when used. Soon after Bob's happy accident the glass pipe industry exploded with creativity.
One of Bob Snodgrass' apprentices was Jason Harris. After apprenticing with Snodgrass Harris went on to found Jerome Baker Designs. Through the 90's and early 2000's Jerome Baker was one of the most well known glass bong manufacturers in the world. In 2003 Harris was arrested by the Federal Government for selling bongs, and glass pipes.
For many years the glass pipe industry in America went underground due to fear of prosecution by the Fed's. Throughout the early 2000's Glass blowers, and distributors were raided by the Federal government. Trade shows like C.h.a.m.p.s. In Las Vegas were nothing more than a handful of mom & pop businesses that had the balls to show up, and sell their wares.
Eventually the industry saw a relaxation toward the selling of it's products. This has gone hand in hand with the legalization of cannabis on the State level. Today you can find glass pipes, hand pipes, and spoon pipes online for sale, and with free shipping to anywhere in the US.
In today's market glass pipe choices can seem overwhelming, especially for the beginner. Some standard terminology for a glass pipe can be, glass hand pipe, spoon pipe, glass pipe, bowl, steamroller, sherlock, just to name a few. Essentially they will all perform similar functions, and be made from pyrex glass.
Early glass pipes didn't have carburetors. They were added into later designs to allow for the user to mix air into the chamber. This effectively gives the user a larger “hit” than he would have experienced without the carburetor.
Different Types Of Glass Pipes
The main difference in many pipes is going to be the style in which they are made. A standard glass spoon pipe gets it's name from the shape of the pipe. The pipe has a blown out bowl where your flower goes, and it makes the pipe look like a spoon.
A sherlock style pipe is reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes smoking pipe. It has a J shape to the body of the pipe which makes the bowl come up and toward you. Where as a spoon pipe has the bowl right out in front of your face.
Steamrollers are typically straight glass tubes with the bowl being away from you, and the carburetor on the end. The main difference of a steamroller vs. a glass hand pipe is the placement of the carburetor. With the carburetor on the end you get a direct injection of air into the chamber for a faster harder hit when smoking. It's almost like shotgunning, but without the need for another person.
Different Techniques Used To Blow Pipes
Early glass pipes were nothing more than clear glass bowls used for smoking. One of the first techniques used in glass bowls was fuming. Fuming is where gold, or silver is heated, and the fumes are applied to the inside of the pipe. Once fumed, when the pipe is used it will change colors. Hence the term, “color changing glass pipe.”
From fuming, glass blowers ventured into more “inside out” styles of glass art. Inside out literally means the pipe is blown from the inside out. The glass blower blows out the glass tube so that they have access to the inside of it. They can then apply things like fuming, and other designs. Once they are done with the inside out work, they close the tube back up, and begin to shape it into a glass pipe.
Cane work is a style of inside out work where the blower uses colored glass rods, or “cane”, to create designs inside the pipe before it is closed back up. They tend to look like lines, or squiggles drawn inside the glass pipe.
Cane work eventually morphed into lattacino work. Lattacino is where you use different colors of glass rob, and melt them into one glass rod. They are typically twisted, and make a design that looks similar to a DNA helix. Once made they are applied inside similarly to how cane is applied.
Glass blowers took these techniques one step further by Creating what is known as wig-wag designs. Early wig-wag was nothing more than an extremely tight deign drawn inside the glass tube that left no empty glass showing. It was nothing but solid colored glass.
Dichroic glass has been mixed with the latter styles for many years. Dichoric glass is basically a glass strip that is applied in the glass pipe. It appears glittery and multicolored. It shimmers in the light. Dichro tends to cost more than standard glass so it is typically used sparingly in production pieces.
Glass Colors Get An Upgrade
Creating modern day glass pipes would not be possible without the wide variety of vivid colors of glass rod. In the early days colors were limited, and artists had to be extremely creative with their designs. One of the best known to change the color rod scene was Northstar. With colors like irrid, root beer, & unobtanium, they allowed glass artists to create things that seemed impossible before.
More recently in glass history Trautman, the makers of Slyme glass rods, has made a big impact on the lampworking scene. At one point Slyme green seemed to be every where, and everyone was working with it. It gave an opaque green appearance when worked into a pipe. The downside was that is costs about twice as much as other colored glass rod.
The Rise Of Themed Glass Pipes
Modern glass blowing has brought us the rise of glass pipes with a specific theme. Whether they are made into your favorite cartoon character, or animal, the skills used to make them tend to be similar.
Hand carved glass techniques gave way to this phenomenon known as themed pipes. It's where you use metal tools to form the glass into shapes, and patterns to create a 3d looking creature, person, place, etc... The hand carved creations are typically applied to the outside of a pipe, but can also be used inside, and around.
What Does The Future Hold For Glass Pipes
The crafting of glass pipes has been a long interesting journey. Like most industries, when you look back you can't believe how far it has come. With that in mind, history will surely repeat itself. In 20 years we will look back, and see today's creations as a more primitive approach to what is currently being made. Artists will continue to perfect techniques that were thought to be impossible just a few years before.
The envelope will constantly be pushed for what is possible, and what someone is willing to pay for a functional piece of glass art. As legalization expands so will the possibilities of what is possible with pipe making. No matter how far glass blowing has come, and know matter how far glass blowing goes, without the pioneers like Snodgrass we wouldn't be where we are today.