A few months back when a favorite glass pipe of mine—made by Hippo from Squamish, BC—started to show cracks and signs of some, let’s say, heavy usage I was pleasantly surprised to hear from many of my friends that it could be fixed. After all, this was a glass pipe; I thought once they start to crack and break they’re done, finished, and garbage. Seems that’s not the case anymore with many Canadians telling me they knew someone taking up the craft of glass-blowing.

Glass-blowing and glass art have become very lucrative; a friend recently showed me a glass oil rig by artist Lord, with a retail cost of nearly $1,000 and it was only three inches tall. I never would have guessed the price. Don’t for a second think you can just start blowing glass and supporting your family, though, because for every successful glass artist out there count at least 50 who are happy just to make material and gas costs in order to continue making art and growing as artists.

This is a culture that is now well-rooted around the globe. When I attended the 2012 TY Expo in Toronto they had their own International glass art competition, The 2012 TY Expo Flame Off. Teams from the USA, Japan, and Canada competed, with Japan taking home top honours.

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There’s a weekly show on POT TV, hosted by Redbeard Glass, that explains the craft to people. And Redbeard Glass knows what he’s talking about.

For the last 7 years now, Redbeard Glass has sponsored a live glass-blowing event weekend in the coastal mountain town of Birken, BC just a few hours’ drive north of Vancouver. Great Canadian Glass Gathering (GCGG) is a little known gathering of like-minded people from many corners of the cannabis community who share an interest in glass culture.
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I’ve attended the last two years and now I make it a point of keeping the dates scheduled on my calendar a year in advance. The gathering is usually held on the weekend before Canada Day; the 8th annual Great Canadian Glass Gathering will be June 26-28th, 2015. Last year saw around 21 glass blowers on site, with some big names along with many up and coming artists. This is a great opportunity for collectors to pick up some original, made on site, functioning glass art and deal directly with the creator.

With the explosion of the Dab Scene in North America (no pun intended) there’s a huge demand for glass rigs—water pipes with an opening for a titanium nail or swing instead of a bowl, used for smoking extracts—but there’s also a selection of pipes, bongs, and oil dishes. Or ask around and have something done up custom: remember, money talks.

You’ll see me there, having my favourite pipe looked after.

For the interested, I would recommend these YouTube videos:

The GCGG movie:

A Glass Reversal Ring Demo:

And, of course, if it’s on the internet there must be a cat: