Ah, the classic fumed hand pipe. Buy it one color (or even clear), smoke with it for a week or so and boom! Now it is a vast array of colors and designs and patterns that you never could have imagined the day you bought it. At first, it was a blank canvas but now it is an enigma of galaxy swirls and shifting hues beautiful enough to leave even the most learned and expressive poets in stunned silence. A once dull wasteland of plain glass that now shines with the light of a thousand suns and shimmers with every color of the rainbow and then some. This is essentially the gist of how it feels to watch the color-changing qualities of a fumed glass pipe. Sounds pretty rad, right? But how? How exactly do glass blowers get these beautiful works of art to age with the grace and beauty of paint on canvas while retaining their ever-changing appearance outwardly? Let’s get into it.
The answer is both complicated and simple at the same time. Basically, glass blowers use precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) and melt or “fume” them into the clear glass. The fumes of these precious metals contain lightly colored ions. These ions create a seemingly invisible color palate within the glass. Which colors show up depends on which metals are used at what temperatures and at what concentration. The color “changing” aspect happens over time and use. Why is this? Essentially, the colors are there from the moment the metal fume is introduced to the glass. Over time, resin builds up inside the pipe and creates a dark background against which the fumed colors really pop. Some color changing pipes appear completely clear and then change to one single color. Others have a seemingly never-ending amount of designs and color patterns all in one.
Bob Snodgrass is widely recognized as the inventor of color changing glass pipes. Legend has it that while on the torch, Snodgrass somehow realized that precious metals would turn into a gas when they reached a certain temperature. How he figured this out is still a bit of a mystery. Some say he almost burned himself but a gold ring saved him and sparked a new form of glass blowing in the process. Others say he wanted to melt a necklace given to him by an ex-lover. The reality of the situation is probably a bit more scientific and a little less circumstantial. It was fairly common knowledge at the time that red glass was made using gold. This is because on a microscopic level, gold actually appears red. That is why glass that is fumed with gold typically has a pinkish red color to it after some use. The use of gold to make colored glass is actually the first example of nanotechnology in the world. Pretty cool, right?
So, now that you have a bit of history on color changing glass pipes and how they came about, all there is left to do is pick one out for yourself to smoke with. Lucky for you, Brothers With Glass has over 70 different color changing pipes, bongs, dab rigs, etc. to choose from. Whether you want some simple cheap fume work on a hand pipe or an intricate design with a bunch of color work on a heady dab rig, we got you covered. We are your one stop shop for all things involving color changing glass pipes. Also lucky for you, our color changing pipes aren’t just that. Some of them are also combined with other aspects of glass blowing such as UV reactive glass and dichroic glass. All of these are great options for the glass seeker that has a love for colorful design. UV glows under ultraviolet light. Dichroic glass looks shiny and shimmery in the light. Both look awesome especially when paired with each other and along with fume work as well! One of our most popular color changing glass is by Chameleon Glass, the Ash Catcher Gandalf Fumed Hand Pipe has been a favorite for years!