Bongs are truly amazing pieces of technology. Not only are they stunning works of glass art. They are pieces of art that are engineered to provide us with a smoother more tolerable way to consume smoke. Anytime you combine the world of art with the world of engineering, you are going to see some very impressive things. In this community you see many highly skilled craftsmen transforming molten bits of sand into beautifully delicate translucent statues. And sometimes, if you bend, stretch and cool that molten sand into just the right shapes, a bong is made. To understand all of what goes into this process, you need to understand the fundamentals of two basic questions. How does glass blowing work? And, what IS a bong? Let's tackle them.
How does Glass Blowing Work?
First Comes Heat..
To start, you are going to need to get things hot. Real hot. Like 2000 degrees in a furnace hot! Once you have the furnace running at that crisp 2000, you are gonna add the material you want to melt and work with. It can be a sand mixture. Old Glass. Whatever it may be, get melting it! Once melted you are going to grab your blowpipe. (the blowpipe is a long hollow metal rod, that keeps the user away from the heat and allows you to grab the molten material. Not.. Whatever it is you were thinking.) With your blowpipe, you reach into the furnace and grab a “glob” of material. Once the glob is secured on your blowpipe, you pull it out of the furnace and bring it to the marver.
Meet The Marver.
The marver is the master of keeping things controlled. It is the tool that glass blowers use to roll the warm glass. This is the way to maintain both its shape and keep the temperature of the glass under control. Marvers are normally made out of steel, brass, or graphite. All metals that handle extremely high temperatures well, which are perfect for keeping that molten glob’s temperature under control. Which provides you the method of getting the exact shapes that you want. While you are shaping the glob, and while it is still hot, you have the option of adding a little bit of design!
While your bit of glass is still hot and malleable you can add bits of design. In this stage, you decide what color, texture, and other additional materials you want to be placed into your work of art. The possibilities for this stage are endless. Which is a big reason so many artists are drawn to this medium. To achieve the exact shape you want, you will have to expand the hot glob on the end of your blow stick by….. yup, you guessed it. Blowing.
At this stage, you combine the marver, and your blowing skills to create your artwork. To create the shape you slowly blow into your blow stick and create a bubble out of the glob of glass. You can then take this bubble and press and rotate it against the marver to create different angles and shapes. Repeating this process until you have your desired shape! Then, using a pair of special steel tweezers you twist your product off of the blowpipe and wait.
Once you have chipped your piece off, you are going to want to transfer it into a special oven. In this temperature-controlled oven, your glass is given the opportunity to cool down at a much slower rate. Which gives the glass its strength. And prevents it from being shocked by a drastic temperature change in the beginning, which would cause it to break!
So that is the bare minimum basics of the process of glass blowing. Now, I don’t know about you, but through that whole explanation, I was picturing a bong being made. If that wasn’t what you were picturing, go give it another read-through, with that in mind. It becomes much more of an experience!
What is a Bong? (Technically)
Bongs. The reason you are here. The main reason that our website exists! We love them.
A bong is a device that allows you to introduce water to your smoking setup. Bongs come in a plethora of shapes, colors, and even different functions. The main purpose of a bong is to run your smoke through water before the smoke makes it to your mouth. This is going to cool the smoke down so you don’t have as harsh of a rip. This will also filter out some of the tar inside of your smoke! Which is why you see gross bong water sometimes! (Always keep your water fresh) Having diffused and filtered rips feel worlds smoother than their dry and harsh counterparts. Bongs are typically made up of four separate parts. The mouthpiece. The chamber. The base. And the bowl/percolators.
Where do my lips go?
The very top of the bong is where most of the magic happens. It’s called the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is the connecting point between you and your device. It is your teleportation portal into a good session. What do you have to do, you ask? Well, you will have to determine the size of the mouthpiece on your piece, and fit your lips creating a vacuum around the mouthpiece. From there, we think you know what to do.
The Middle of the bong is named the chamber. Bongs can have just one chamber or many chambers. The chamber is the hollow section of your little work of art that houses the water. This is arguably the most important part of the bong. Definitively the most defining. The water is what filters the smoke as you inhale through your bong. Chambers can come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be small like these mini bongs. Or they can be massive these BIG bongs! Creating the chamber takes a high amount of skill. You want it to be even, and have every bend stay strong. Which is not an easy task. Finding the right piece for you is a very important part of creating a memorable experience for yourself, and whoever uses your piece.
Ah, the base. When it comes to creating the base you always want to think, that more… is more! That means that the more glass you have down there, the thicker and stronger that the base is going to be. Which is very important. The base of a bong is integral to a bong’s structural security. If you have a base that is not wide enough, it will fall over. If you have a base that is too thin, it will shatter easily. These are all things you need to consider when choosing a bong. Qualities of a good base normally include being wider than the structure itself, being thick, having a solid design choice, and even holding a solid amount of water. Those are the three main qualifications of a bong. But what about the extra stuff you always see?
Extra Extra! Read all about it!
There are so many different extra parts of a bong that can make them stand out in a crowd. The main design element that adds to a bong’s quality is a percolator. Percolators add a way for more air to be introduced into the ripping process, cooling down your smoke and making for a smoother hit. So they aren’t just for design but function as well! Creating a percolator is probably the most skill-heavy task in creating the bong. Now if you see a bong with a perc, you will know how to fully appreciate it. Of course, no bong is complete without the bowl! The bowl is what you are gonna load your material into to be smoked! There are many different bowls, so you can really customize them however you like!
So. How do you make a bong? Well, you go through the glass blowing process, and you shape out every individual section that a bong requires. You use a lot of heat, a lot of air, and a lot of patience. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out to our team! We would love to answer any questions that you may have! If you are still feeling overwhelmed by all of these decisions, check out our Guides Page, it will provide some useful insight for you to use! One last thing, the most important part of choosing a piece is finding one that you connect with. Here at Fat Buddha, it really is all about finding that connection. Good luck, and we hope you find your piece.