One of the most commonly asked questions in our store is “Why is heady glass so expensive?” You look at pipes and you think, “Man, this all looks the same! Why is one piece only twenty bucks when this one I really dig is sixty? What is the difference?”
It is in the work, man.
The colorful, beautiful stuff takes patience and skill to create. There are hours of planning that go into certain pieces, and they may take as long – if not longer – to put together. Many intricate pipes take more than one day to assemble, once all the individual pieces are ready. When you buy a sixty dollar piece, you are not only paying for the materials, you are paying for the artist’s time. This may be the only income they have, and they have to put food on the table, too.
Speaking of materials, there is a lot more to glass than meets the eye. Each color you see in a piece is another glass rod being melted in. The more colors, the more money the artist is investing. And the more vivid the color, the higher the investment. Some colors go for $80 per pound! The same goes for thickness of glass. If you have any experience with glass art, you know some is heavier than others. This speaks to the density of the glass. And, as you may have guessed, the denser, better quality glass is more expensive than the thin stuff.
That’s not to say that cheaper pieces suck. If you are taking good care of it, a twenty dollar piece can go a long way. If you are clumsy – or have clumsy friends – you’re probably better off making a larger investment.
Sure, a portion of that money is going to us. But at that point, you are paying for the convenience of acquiring a piece that we took the time to look for. It is like you are trusting us to have good enough taste to offer the things you most want to see. It may look like employees here are just chillin’ out, but we do a lot of work, too. It takes time and an eye for the unique for us to gather the largest, most varied selection in the Midwest.
Thanks for shopping, and thanks for reading.