Torched: Glass Pipes
|Monday, August 14, 2023
|10:00am - 8:00pm (10h)
|Harris - Burger Gallery
Featuring glass pipes from some of the most renowned contemporary artists, this exhibition will explore the creative possibilities of functional glass. In the early 1980s, flameworking artist Bob Snodgrass began making small color-changing glass pipes to sell at Grateful Dead concerts. The market quickly grew and a small underground glass community emerged. When the movement began, cannabis was illegal across the United States so artists needed to protect their identities from authorities who might otherwise shut down their studios or pursue legal action. While they needed to keep their artwork covert, they sought new and interesting flameworking techniques, advanced technical aspects of borosilicate glass, and explored the creative possibilities of subject matter and design.
Over the next four decades laws began to change, artists continued to create, and the market for these elaborate objects increased. What was once a taboo artform has made its way to the mainstream artworld and pipes are now being acquired by museums, sold at auctions, and collected by many. Everyday thousands of artists gather their glass rods and light their torches to make pipemaking one of the fastest growing areas of glass production. Although functionality has always been important, artists are experimenting with color, pattern, and form, taking the pipe from a utilitarian object to fine art.