American-Made Glass Pipes versus Imported Glass Pipes: What’s the Difference? (Part 2 of 3)

Whenever an American glass artist creates any hole or slit in a pipe, such as the mouthpiece or the holes on a percolator, they create a hole while the glass is hot, using standard glass working tools. The pipe then is annealed and the result is a very solid piece of glass. On the other side of the Pacific, manufacturers often use band saws, drills, and other power tools to create slits and holes in glass while the pipe is at room temperature, after it has already been shaped and cooled. Grinding away at glass like this, while it is at room temperature, creates a network of micro-fractures around the area, greatly increasing residual stress in the glass and damaging the structural integrity of the whole piece. Continue Reading