Glass spoon pipes are arguably the most iconic type of hand pipe associated with the 420 community. Chances are the first pipe you ever bought was a spoon pipe, though this probably had less to do with careful research into your purchase and more to do with the overwhelming prevalence of glass spoon pipes crowding head shop displays. There’s also the basic affordability of spoon pipes to consider. Some may even cost less than your lighter. What contributed to the spoon pipe earning the distinguished role of glass pipe standard in smoker society?
The Build of Your Average Spoon Pipe
Spoon pipes are named for their shape, taking a resemblance to a ballooning tablespoon. The bowl presents a parallel to a spoon head while the neck extends and then flares slightly to accommodate the mouthpiece. While you’re more likely to find glass spoon pipes at your corner smoke shop, wooden varieties are available. The bulbous spoon shape lends itself to a grip that is both reliable and comfortable. These pipes easily fit along the palm, often with the lower portion of the bulbous ends leveled to prevent pipes from rolling away to potentially disastrous crashes. Glass spoon pipes may be prone to breaking though sturdy borosilicate glass typically offers some resistance.
Carburetors in Glass Spoon Pipes
Possibly the most valuable feature of a spoon pipe is the presence of a carburetor. Similar to the carburetors you’d find in classic cars, the carburetor in a spoon pipe is responsible for pulling air into the pipe, lending to a more refreshing smoking experience. The hole at the side of the pipe’s head is covered by the smoker’s finger to allow air to be pulled through the ignited herb first. Once the smoke is pulled into the pipe, the finger can be removed from the carburetor hole allowing for the smoke to be drawn into the lungs more quickly and efficiently.
Bells and Whistles
While glass spoon pipes are fairly simple in presentation, their hand blown creation does open the door for the possibility of some heady glass creations. Typically, the price ceiling for glass spoon pipes is somewhere around $300.00 so heady glass spoon pipes are exceedingly rare. This also has to do with the limitations of a spoon pipe’s simple design, though some especially creative glass artists have found ways to make true works of art from traditional spoon pipe foundations.
Spoon pipes often take advantage of frit techniques to create swirling patterns and ribbons of dazzling color, lending a psychedelic aesthetic to the smoking experience. Many glass spoon pipes also use fuming to create mesmerizing patterns. Some even further distinguish themselves with knockers that create textures, adding fashion as well as the function of added grip and stability.
Glass spoon pipes will continue to offer affordability and convenience, guaranteeing their place of honor in smoke shops well into the foreseeable future. Dwarfed by all but the chillum, spoon pipes are often portable and inconspicuous. Throw in the refreshing carburetor, some basic flair, and an ultra-low price tag and it’s easy to see why spoon pipes are often the top choice for beginners pipes. The abundance of glass spoon pipes may have resulted in us taking them for granted but they’ve definitely earned their places on our night stands.