That Pipe is Fritastic!
What the frit?! Employees and customers alike say one of their favorite types of glass pipes is called a frit pipe. These types of pipes are thicker than normal pieces, and they have color features throughout the glass, giving them a three dimensional effect. Frit pipes stand out in a big way compared to other types of glass pieces.
Ever wonder how the hell they get all the color in that killer pipe?! That’s frit, and it’s pretty fricken nifty. Ryan, owner of Budd Bay Glass, and glass blower since 2004, defines frit as colored, crushed glass that is used in a variety of glass blowing applications. Frit can be sprinkled or spooned directly into the hot glass, or the molten tube can even be rolled through the frit. Frit can be as finely ground as talc powder, or as coarse as granite sized pebbles. The size affects whether the finished product is mostly solid or spotty in color, and each grain size gives a different finishing effect. Artists can even create an Ombre-like appearance, with colors seemingly melting into one another. Fritted glass gives the look of texture, while remaining smooth to the touch, which creates dynamic, multi-dimensional, and beautifully vibrant pieces. And just to make that psychedelic pipe even better, the layering process used to create pieces made with frit means that they are often thicker and more durable than their un-fritted counterparts.
Ryan creates epic frit pieces using advanced color theory, and a focus on strength. He explains that his heating process "makes it where there is no stress left in the glass" and that "even wall thickness adds to the durability". Annealing the frit creation in a kiln (that's the the process of heating the glass then allowing it to cool slowly) takes the toughness of each pipe a step further. Ryan finishes each one of his pieces by stamping it with his signature hemp leaf. He told me he enjoys using frit because he gets “the durability of an inside out pipe, with a faster process, and a wide variety of ways to do color combos.” This makes sense when you see the righteous pieces Ryan produces for Smokin Js.
With all the character a fritted pipe has, it’s no wonder archaeologists have found proof of frit throughout ancient Egypt in 2900 B.C., in Mesopotamia as early as the fourth millennium, in Europe during the medieval times, and in the Mediterranean as evidenced in the Thera Frescoes. Even ancient artists enjoyed the vibrancy and flair of fritted glass! But where does the everyday smoker get such an awesome piece? Smokin J’s has you covered! You can have a fritted piece created by Budd Bay in your hot little hands today!
Stop by and see Ryan’s frit pieces at your local Smokin Js, or check out our selection of Budd Bay’s frit glass creations below.