Glossary of Glass Blowing Terms
We've come up with this Glossary of Glass Blowing Terms as part of our training and would appreciate any feedback. If you have any additional descriptions to add to our Glossary of Glass Blowing Terms - please send them to us!
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Adventurine - colors that sparkle
Ashcatcher/AC - An extra piece you can attach between the slide and down stem of a tube, that has a smaller water chamber used to filter smoke before it goes into the actual waterpipe. It is also used to catch any ash that gets sucked through the bowl, keeping the tube clean and free of ash, hence the term Ashcatcher. Another term for this is “pre-cooler.”
Basket Weave - a design pattern used in glass blowing
Bent Neck/BN - refers to the angling of either a bowl, down stem, diffuser or mouthpiece of a tube.
Bistabil - refers to a joint that is made 52% thicker than the standard joint. This is where the down stem slides into the tube. A standard joint is 1.8mm, while Bistabil is 2.8mm. The next step up is Uber, 4.0mm thick
Blown glass - The shaping of glass by blowing air through a hollow rod into the center of a molten glass gather.
Bore - The diameter of the tube on a waterpipe normally measured in mm. How thick the glass is.
Borosilicate - This is the type of glass used for many pipes - It is a very hard and sturdy glass that has to be heated to a much higher degree than other glasses. The result is tobacco pipes that last longer and are less likely to break.
Bulge - If a waterpipe has a percolator, it may have thicker glass or a wider diameter than the rest of the waterpipe. This section is referred to as a Bulge.
Bushing diffuser - a glass on glass down stem, which reduces the normal joint size to a smaller one. A bushing diffuser is typically 18mm to 14mm, 18 being the male joint, which slides into the pipe and the 14 being the female joint. Bushing diffusers create a lower profile because they eliminate the need for a bubble between the male and female joints on a down stem (if the joints are the same size).
Button Bowl - A gong slide with 4 holes on the bottom instead of one; designed by Dr. Gadget of TCT. It creates an increased airflow because there are four small holes instead of the normal one, almost like a built in glass screen.
Bubbler - Smaller water pipe more like a regular dry pipe than a waterpipe, although bubblers have a bowl, down stem, water chamber and mouth piece all in one piece of glass. Sometimes can have a removable bowl/slide but not usually. Come in several shapes and designs (chubbler, inline, sidecar, sherlock, kettle, hammer, shlammer, stemless, etc.).
Cane - Color rods wrapped around each other creating unique color patterns.
Carb / Choke - In a glass tobacco pipe, this is a hole in the glass that you put a finger on. This helps regulate the air flow through the piece.
Carbon Filter – Small piece of glass placed between the slide and down stem containing a sphere that is filled with carbon rock used to filter the smoke even farther.
Chillum - Smoking pipe originating from India that is a straight cylinder tube, simlar to a "one hitter/pinch hitter" but has a larger bowl area allowing for more bud to be packed. Usually made of "worked" glass.
Collaboration/Colab - Meaning when two or more artists get together to work on a single glass piece. Can also mean an artist and a company working together who normally don't.
Color Tube- used to make reversals
Crown(ed) - A style on a bowl or mouthpiece that consists of marbles or color being fused in a continuous pattern around the circumference of either the bowl or mouthpiece.
Dichro - glass with a special metallic coating that reflects and refracts light. This is a metal created by NASA- the U.S. space agency. Color is applied to the Dicroic glass. This is applied to a piece in endless ways. This result is a shimmering, glittery metallic color
Diffuser - Multiple holes in the bottom of the drop-stem of a bubbler or waterpipe downstem, creating a smoother airflow.
- D-Cut - Diamond cut, which refers to a diffuser with a specific pattern of cuts where small slits are made at the bottom on the end of the down stem in a waterpipe or bubbler.
- Disc Diffuser- A type of diffuser mostly used in stemless tubes but becoming more popular. A disc covered with water, and as you inhale, the smoke is forced through the holes/slits pierced in the disks, thus diffusing the smoke.
- Pierced - Referring to a diffuser with small holes or circles are made at the bottom on the end of the down stem, instead of small slits (D-Cut).
- Shower Head - A diffuser with a rounded ball or cylinder with cuts or holes all the way around its edge to diffuse the smoke. Basically it looks like a completely virtual shower head.
Disco - a silver sparkle color usually mixed with another
Double - Slang term referring to tubes with two chambers. For example: a "RooR double" would be a RooR tube, with two chambers, one at the base of the tube, and one being a percolator. Same goes for “Triple”, “Quad” and so on.
Double Infinity w/ a Worked push - a pattern style in glass blowing
Dry Piece - Any smoking device that does not use any kind of water filtration. Can come in numerous designs shapes and sizes (chillum, steamroller, spoon, hammer, sherlock, sidecar, etc.)
Flame Polished - The process of cutting a logo or image onto a glass piece. It gets it's name because originally when the piece is removed, the area on the glass is rough and is then "polished" with a flame to make it clear
Flashing - Very thin layer of colored glass fired or vaporized on base glass.
Foot - Base of the waterpipe. Frit - Small pieces of color that are used to decorate pipes.
Fuming Silver: when pure silver is burned inside a tobacco pipe, it stains the glass. This allows the glass to change color, reacting with the chemicals created from smoking tobacco. With silver fuming, the glass no longer looks clear but instead has a cloudy bluish white tint.
Fuming Gold: Pure gold is burned to create chemical changes that add a magnificent effect on the piece. When clean, the gold fuming produces an array of vibrant purples, reds, pinks, or even burnt orange. This fuming changes the color of the piece after smoking.
Glass on glass/GonG - Referring to the style of joining various pieces of a waterpipe or bubbler (down stem/bowl) involving the use of a ground glass joint. Typically measured in 14mm or 18mm, which refers to the joint diameter (alternatively, 14.4 or 18.8) Glass on glass joints provide a superior seal to rubber grommets, and are commonly used in laboratory glassware.
Gauze/Glass Screen - Also known as glass screens, these small pieces of glass act as a stopper for slides with large punches, while still providing flow. Screens can also be made of metal although they’re not the same quality as glass ones (not as reusable).
Heady/Worked - a piece with alot of reversals and complicated glass techs
Honeycomb - a glass blowing design pattern
Horns - a glass blowing design shape
Ice Notches - Three or four pinches made in the straight part of the tube used to trap ice. Allows the ice to fill the tube without it falling into the water; creating a colder, smoother hit.
Inline - Refers to a "sideways stem" in the piece found in ashcatchers and waterpipes, the stem normally has d-cuts or piercings throughout
Inside Out - This style of glass has the color applied to the inside of the pipe creating two layers of glass. The layer of color on the inside shines vibrantly through the clear outside
Implosion - a glass blowing design pattern created by pushing the color inside the clear glass
Joint – Area where the tube jets out with an opening for a down stem to fit into. (Bistabil/Uber)
Keck Clip - Small plastic clip used to secure a GonG down stem to the tube so it doesn’t accidentally get pulled out when removing the slide
Kiln - device used to anneal and cool glass slowly
Lattichino - twisted cane common in production inside out pieces
Magnifier - Clear glass added to the outside which enlarges the detailed colors inside.
Marble - Glass balled together with an endless array of patterns found inside.
Vortex Marble - a style of glass marble
Sig Marble - a glass marble with the artists signature or initials inside
Milli / Millefiori - The Italian term, "thousand flowers," used to describe mosaic glass objects.
Moss - the green color mossy looking color used in some pipes (also a good example of a "snorkel carb")
Mouthpiece - In a glass tobacco pipe, this is the point where your mouth touches the pipe.
Percolator - Made in tubes and ashcatchers. An Extra camber usually made up of 3-4 tree arms (can be less or more) and it allows smoke to be further filtered by water, creating a smoother hit. Dome percolators are an older design and not used as much anymore. Tree arms and discs are used more now.
Pinwheel - a glass blowing pattern
Punch - The hole in the bottom of a bowl/slide.
Push - Referring to the depression inside a slide/bowl; where the tobacco goes. Sometimes you hear of a “worked push” which means the artist put a design on the inside of the bowl.
Production/Prodo - This refer’s to production style pipes that glass artist make many of as opposed to one-of-a-kind pieces, usually following a close formula.
Raking - This style is where color is applied to the outside of the glass. The colors are then “raked” back and forth.
Retti/Rettichello - a design of two opposing spirals layered on one another
Sandblasting - High-pressure air mixed with sand applied to the surface of glass to carve texture.
Slide/Bowl – The small piece with a glass on glass joint where you put the weed. It is removed from the tube when clearing a hit to increase airflow.
Snorkel Carb - A carb that usually rises from the bottom of a can in a bubbler and looks similar to a snorkel.
Splash Guard – Referring to a tubes extra chamber usually on top of a percolator, created so the water does NOT go up the tube and get on your lips when you're taking a hit.
Steamroller - Usually a larger dry piece in the shape of a long cylinder with a bowl in the middle and also openings at each end to clear the smoke(mouth/finger holes).
Stick stack - a method of making lined tube for reversals
Spoon - A dry pipe used to smoke that is shaped similarly to a spoon.
Stemless - Refers to a tube that has no removable down stem, instead it has an attached glass stem that goes down into the water chamber, usually making an “L” shape outside of the tube.
Teardrop - A slide that has a handle that goes down to a point and resembles a sideways teardrop.
Tetrising - getting reversals to line up smoothly
Ti - Slang term for a titanium pad, usually on a metal swivel attached to a GonG bell curve that is heated up until red hot then used to vaporize oil extract
Tube - Slang term for a water pipe.
Uber – The thickest female GonG joint available. Standard joint is 1.8mm, Bistabil is 2.8mm, Uber is 4.0mm tubing.
Wig Wag (sometimes called a reversal) - a line pattern consisting of spirals - This is when one takes rods of color and hand-makes solid color tubing. It is made with an endless variety of color patterns and twisted back and forth, creating a distinctive look. A higher level of skill is required to use this method. A specific type of wig-wag is called a reversal where the solid color tube is made and the axis is switched during the blowing process. The result is a stunning visual treat.
Window w/ double infinity inside - a glass blowing pattern
Worked - An area of glass that is filled in with color beyond the normal "clear" glass.