The Wu-Tang Clan’s one-of-a-kind album was bought and resold for millions of dollars. However, hip-hop isn’t the only modern art form generating works of art valued at a million. We’ve seen bongs sell for well over a hundred thousand dollars. So, it was only a matter of time before we came across a million dollar pipe.
We recently spotted it at the grand opening of a glass gallery in Massachusetts that had the piece priced at “1 million firm.” You’ll have to offer them something close to that to see if it’s genuinely firm.
If you owned a million dollar pipe, would you smoke out of it? Don’t leave it in our office for too long unless you want resin to turn up somewhere.
We came across this gem by the legendary glass artist Kevin Murray while at the grand opening of Milked in Watertown, Massachusetts. For a new shop, they had a lot of rare work from a wide variety of glass artists including New England locals like Danny Camp.
Upon entering, there were glass milk bottles to accompany plates full of cookies. Under the lid of each milk bottle was a colored sticker indicating a prize. You could win merchandise, discounts and more. After grabbing your milk bottle, one of the first works of art you’ll come across is the drunken Humpty Dumpty by Kurt B.
That’s one way to explain his fall.
After marveling over the meaning of the Kurt B piece for long enough, your eyes will eventually be pulled toward the giant glass case displaying an anatomically correct glass skeleton. There were plenty of headies worthy of appreciation in between the two pieces, but we couldn’t help ourselves from skipping straight to the million dollar pipe once it entered our peripherals.
“Earl” is what Milked Glass Gallery is calling their fully-functional, glass skeleton pipe. Earl consists of eight different functioning pieces. It’s something like Megazord from Power Rangers or Exodia from Yu Gi Oh. Several different parts come together to create a perfectly synchronized whole.
Kevin Murray has been on the torch since 2004. He lives and works out of Milwaukie, Oregon, which is just outside of Portland. Kevin has worked with and learned from other mind-blowing glass artists like Robert Michelson, Eusheen, Scott Deppe and more.
His specialty is the fillacello design. Fillacello comes from the reticello technique, which is a type of blown glass that makes crisscross patterns that form grids and various shapes. The fillacello technique makes things more intricate by filling in all the spaces with color.
The glass skeleton is held up by a custom stand that cost thousands of dollars. Colors are worked throughout the entirety of the skeleton’s body. The eyes have the colorful geometric patterns we’ve come to expect from Murray’s mastery of the fillacello technique. Kevin Murray has pendants that look like the eyeballs of this skeleton which sell for thousands of dollars, illustrating the value his glass holds in the community. Furthermore, his solo tubes that require far less time than the skeleton did sell for the tens of thousands.
Kevin spent more than six months crafting every detail of this masterpiece.
He says he’ll never do it again because it was such a long and intense process. On this project, Kevin was able to showcase his incredible sculpting skills on top of his intricate and vibrant pattern-weaving. Looking at a picture of an actual skeleton next to this all-glass replica, you’ll see it is anatomically accurate. The attention to detail is phenomenal. The multi-colored glass flows naturally, and you can spot millies with other subtle workings throughout the skeleton’s body. If all of that wasn’t intricate enough, he also made sure that every piece could be smoked out of.
Of the eight pieces, six are rigs and two are dry pipes. The dry pipes are the arms with push bowls in the wrist. Each leg consists of two rigs, and the head is a rig.
A one-of-a-kind piece that took nearly a year of one of the most renowned glass artist’s time isn’t going to come cheap. Especially when he’s not willing to ever go through the process again. You can catch Earl literally hanging out at Milked in Watertown, Massachusetts. He is a part of glass art history that you won’t want to miss out on.
Originally appeared in: https://hightimes.com/culture/smoke-million-dollar-pipe/