The glass industry is doing very well in Texas, but it could be doing a lot better. I look at industry glass coming out of California, Oregon, and Colorado, and I think to myself…in Austin two brands have made a national following, Grav and Texas Tubes. But that’s two brands on a very short list of name brand glass in Texas. That isn’t to say we don’t have the artist willing to make the glass, but as most of the components for blowing glass are harder to come by in Texas, a huge portion of talented artist are missing out on one of the most exciting industries to be in at this time in history.
I believe this is why shop owners, consumers, and fellow artists should support local glass, when possible. It’s becoming cheaper and cheaper to get good, quality, glass online. And often you can get a quality product for a better price than what you’ll see in a smoke shop. However, I believe there is a market you miss out on by not shopping in brick and mortar stores.
To sell your glass, people either have to trust the glass is going to function and last by your workmanship, or your name. This is even more relevant to merchandisers that purchase glass. Little, no name guys, often will get passed up by corporate chain stores, or by wholesalers because they can’t produce the amount the chains or distributors require. Often artist will use Instagram, private Facebook groups, or twitter to promote their wares. And in this day and age, promoting your product via the internet is 100% what you should do. But you should also remember that you can miss out on some really cool and unique pieces by skipping out on your local shop. TLDR; buy local!
I really look forward to seeing what the coming years have in store for everyone involved in the glass industry. As a customer, shop keep, and enthusiast of glass I can’t say I’ve ever been happier to be apart of this culture.