National Women’s Equality Day Gives Us the Perfect Opportunity to Recognize Female Glass Artists
With National Women’s Equality Day coming up on August 26th, we realized we’re past due for paying tribute to the myriad female glass artists whose work illuminates the shelves of our Dab Nation shops. When you’re simply admiring the craftsmanship and creativity of the pieces, it can be easy to remain blind to gender. But rising up through a male-dominated industry like glass art likely doesn’t feel as gender-blind for many women glass blowers and designers. Even in a community that rewards creativity and quality craftsmanship regardless of gender, breaking through can be challenging for the female artist. Platforms like Instagram serve to level the playing field, but we’re still more likely to find male glass artists willing to slave over a hot blowtorch while wielding heavy slabs of glass for hours. As Dab Nation’s Product Specialist Camille Ayau points out, “I’ve heard it said that glassblowing is like an extreme sport in the art world.” So, while the artists we’re discussing today are creating pieces every bit as inspiring and impressive as the male artists we carry, it’s still our pleasure to shine the spotlight on the women who feel the calling and turn out such innovative work regardless of the extra hurdles.
Responsible for some of the most colorful, eye-catching pieces on the Dab Nation floor, Della Luna often creates bulbous glass defectors from irreverent cartoon wonderlands. However, her artistic vision seems to be limitless as evidenced by the pieces we carry in the shop that find her employing straightforward tube designs amplified with bold patterns and striking palette choices. The bottom line is creativity without borders.
As if she’d found some magical means of actually drawing with glass, Windstar’s pieces often look painted despite being a result of awe-inspiring glass craftsmanship. Frequently distinguished by her skillful and intricate fillacello work that finds Renaissance-era decorative techniques repurposed to include nods to pop culture, Windstar’s pieces are consistently bridging fine art and pop culture in the most vibrant of ways.
As one of the pioneering women working in glass art, Saki Bomb needs no introduction. Her craftsmanship is impeccable but some of the most striking aspects of her pieces are a direct result of her boundless creativity and unabashed femininity that has earned her admiration all across the heady glass community. In Saki Bomb’s glass dreamland, you’ll find kittens seemingly cut from porcelain frolicking amongst puffy pink hearts and intricate unicorns bedecked in floral finery. Crafting the rigs of choice for everyone from bronies to lolita fashionistas, Saki Bomb’s soft-focus, frosted, glossy creations are instantly recognizable.
The otherworldly vase-style dab rigs that exude a natural glow from our shelves come courtesy of the mind of AKillArt; a glass artist who specializes in heavy fuming techniques. The infusion of metal into glass gives these rigs their alien emanations. She’s also responsible for the arid sandblown spoon pipes we had in that so beautifully captured the feel of an exotic desert retreat. Seemingly knowing no limits to her skill, AKillArt is also often celebrated for her frequently stunning use of marbletech patterning.
How much creativity can you pack into a pachyderm? Don’t tempt Flame Princess with a good time! This glass artist has made dab rigs inspired by the animal kingdom her specialty, showing a particular fondness for elephants with trumpeting trunks triumphantly raised (and, yes, those trunks double as mouthpieces). Each glass creature added to Flame Princess’s jungle menagerie is unique, so Serengeti ‘em while they’re hot. (Yes, we know that was a stretch.)
Our love of glass at the Dab Nation shops surpasses smoke shop wares to encompass smoke shop wears… and by that, we mean wearable glass art. This is a facet of glass craftsmanship where Juju Glass truly excels. A true master of the dot stacking technique, Juju creates mesmerizing pendies in which you can truly lose yourself. Don one of these pendies and get ready to answer the question, “How do you do the Juju that you do?”
Another glass artist renowned for being a dot stacking devotee, Fire Fox provides some of the most creative carb caps in our shop. You’d think you’d eventually run out of new things to do with dots, but Fire Fox always finds a way to create something completely unexpected with stunning color choices and intricate patterns while still staying faithfully close to that dot stacking technique.
Some of the most brutal glass art that we have in our shops comes from Sette Glass with medieval visions too vicious for any dungeon and fiercer than any dragon. Constantly breaking down the expectations of a glass artist in savage ways, Sette carefully crafts monstrous works like anatomical hearts and precariously placed battle axes. Who says you need to go to Middle Earth to get your hands on an orc’s ear?
Providing one of our incoming shop drops, Island Glass specializes in small pieces and accessories that are often sophisticated in their tastefully understated class. We can’t wait to share this glass artist’s take on the blunt tube, distinguished by intricate crushed opal and featuring a donut ring so it can be worn as a chic pendy.
Collaborative Teams Featuring Female Glass Artists
You’ll also find plenty of women working as glass artists in collaborative teams with male artists. Cadoo Glass is a perfect example. This duo are renowned for crafting some of the headiest hand pipes we’ve had the pleasure of carrying in our shops, taking inspiration from toadstools and toads alike. Marni Schnapper and Rick Carter make up Cajun Glass, another pair crafting imaginative pieces ranging from tube rigs tastefully combining bold bands of color with sparkling yet sophisticated ribbons of crushed opal to intricate glass rings and pendants. Obviously, collaboration in no way diminishes the creative contributions of female glass artists. They’ve earned their place in the world of glass art just as much as the solo artists above.
While the world of glass art isn’t necessarily a “man’s world”, it is a pursuit that disproportionately attracts male artists. Yet, the glass artists on this list provide sterling examples that some of the most exciting work in the game today is coming from the visions of women who heard the calling just as loudly and clearly. When you browse the Dab Nation shelves, the art speaks for itself. You can’t distinguish the works of male or female artists by looking at them. But every female glass artist discussed today has work in our shops and we’re looking for more all the time. So, the next time you visit us, know that there’s a good chance that fire rig you’re admiring came from the creative vision of a woman who bucked the trends to share her glass gifts with us.