It comes down to 3 important elements:
- How do I know if a glass piece is American made or imported?
This is a question we receive every day. If you look at our website you will see the name of the Artists/Brands and in which state the item was made. If you walk into your average smoke shop, there is no mention of the Artist. Ask the shop employees who made the item and where it was made. If the item is imported they will not know or just tell you that "it's made locally" which is the same as "it's import". So, why do many shops still choose to sell imported glass vs American even if the quality and craftsmanship is inferior? Imported glass pieces are much cheaper to produce than American made Glass pieces.
- Craftsmanship: Most imported glass pipes and water pipes are made in Chinese, Indian or Pakistani sweat shops under bad conditions by employees making a few bucks a day. There is no creativity involved. The finished product is rough and not put together well. Ever seen a "leaner" water pipe or bad cuts on a perc? That is imported glass that is made without the love and dedication American Glass Artists put into their work. Imported glass is most of the time a copy of American designs, cheaply made for a quick buck without any standards of quality or craftsmanship.
- Quality: A good example of quality difference is in the case of American vs imported glass pipes. Imported glass pipes have the holes drilled into the body after the item is blown causing glass shard residue that could be bad for your lungs. American glass pipes are not drilled but the holes in the pipes are part of the design when the glass item is blown.
- Functionality: American made glass is tested for functionality, imported glass is not. Functionality is for example making sure that a water pipe or rig provides a good pressure differential (also called drag) when the glass item is used. Most American made glass pieces are drawn out in 2D or 3D models before the item is made to make sure the measurements and functionality come out correct. If the item is not up to par, the artists go back to the drawing table. This level of quality control is unknown with imported glass.
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