Glass is a material which has been in use for utilitarian and artistic purposes for close to 6000 years. So it makes sense that it holds both a functional and aesthetic value. Many of the historians actually believe that the very first glass was first created in Mesopotamia, the birthplace for humanity, in 3500 BCE. Even though we are only able to piece together a few clues, one of the accepted hypothesis which is fairly common relating to the origins of glass involves that it was type of by-product for other crafts which happened to be popular over this period of time, such as metal-working or a precursor to a process that today is known as glazing. For many years, glass was highly sought after, which was at this stage reserved only for the ruling classes.
After a number of horrific tragedies that occurred throughout the Mid-Bronze Age, many arts were bought to a halt, which included glass-molding. Only much later around the 9th Century BCE, in Syria and Egypt, a massive technology boom came about in the form of creating precious glass. These techniques involved the use of extremely thin different colored rods made out of glass in order to create intricate patterns on vessels that were used for holding wine or water for the rich. This invention is still in use up to this day.
Another common belief amongst the historians is that for the most part associated with ancient history methods that were used for creating ornamental glass that used glass molding happened to be state secrets amongst royalty due to the extreme beauty and value of the glass. Around the same time, in Syria, another technique which involved blowing glass using long metal blowpipes came about. This resulted in making ornamental vessels out of the glass as it was a much more cost-effective solution compared to using pottery. The Romans happened to be the first people to start using glass in their architecture after they found that when they added manganese dioxide into glass blowing processes it would result in clear glass.
Soon after this, just about all of the important buildings across Rome featured windows that were created using glass panes. Eventually, the glass that was made in Rome started to spread to just about everywhere else that this empire did, as this was a time when this was the main part of the “known” world. It is of interest to know that glass in this era was not as close to clear compared to glass we know of today.
Glass has formed an integral part of our human civilization over hundreds of years, from creating the tiniest of beads onto massive skyscrapers. Due to the melting point which is very high, glass has also been used for making pipes which have probably been around and in use since glass blowing came about. In the ancient eras, glass was commonly used for making thin tubes in order to smoke from. Yet this practice never became widely used, or as complex, until many years later in the 1960s. This is when glass was used for creating intricate art pieces to smoke out-of and appreciate which quickly exploded onto the markets.
Since the 60s, the technology associated with glass smoking has gone onto significantly evolve with the latest techniques and innovations. Perhaps the more impressive milestone to date in the glass-pipe industries included introducing standardized glass-joints attached to water pipes. Glass joints which are featured on the water pipes of today happen to be the derivatives from tapered, crude joints which have been in use for stopping the glass carafes and bottles for many years. Standardization of the sizes of glass joints includes either 18mm or 14mm joints happened to be facilitated by the industry of water pipes in their efforts to bring about more modular and useful smoking devices, which could be customized easily using attachments like ash catchers and diffused downstems. The water pipes are definitely one of the more impressive examples when it comes to the lastest glassworking, particularly when a new form of water pipes was introduced in the form of vapor rigs. Functional glass combined with modern trends now includes highly compact and complex percolators which require a very steady artists hand in order to correctly incorporate these techniques and designs into this type of smoking apparatus. Take a look here for buying bubblers.
New breakthroughs are constantly been made when it comes to glassblowing mainly due to the increasing glass-pipe industry. Due to the constant desire and need for innovation, this is an industry which has become extremely attractive for the younger artists along with the old who are interested in a way to express their talents by creating beautiful pieces and to contribute to the counter-culture which is starting to become more acceptable with each passing day. Who knows what the future holds, and how we will start to utilize glass in order to achieve even smoother and versatile smoking experiences.