So far, you probably know about my passion for fine flowers. What you might not know about me though is that I share an equally feverish passion for high end, heady glass bongs. Millie marbles, wig-wags, rainbow re-wigs, line work, fumed work, I love all of it and have been collecting and ogling it for more than a decade.
While there are many incredible glass artists in California and the US, one stands head and shoulders above the rest in the eyes of the community, and this is Sovereignty. To the uninitiated,
Sovereignty has been creating some of the finest glassware and smoking equipment available on the market since 2007, helmed by the legendary glass artist known simply as Stephen C., or Steve, to the hordes of acolytes who follow his every footstep.
Today, a team of artists work alongside Steve to deliver their small batches of artisan glass bongs to head shops around the country in carefully staggered sequences known as “Drops”. Each drop will probably contain around 30 pieces.
The drops are usually announced by head shops and glass retailers via their own Instagram pages and websites, and raffle tickets are the preferred method for customers to sign up, which are often given out the day before or on the day of the drop, limited to one per person only.
As standard names are called in order the tickets were given out, or totally randomly as was the case with my own drop experience, with purchases limited to one piece and accessory per customer.
These events are the only place you will find Sovereignty glass in person, although it is worth noting the company also now holds auctions via its dedicated Instagram page – @sovereigntyglass_auctions – if you really need to find that coveted piece. If you choose this method for purchase you should be prepared to make bids through direct messages and come armed with your wallet ready. The dates of upcoming drops in each area can be found on their web page linked at the end of this article.
Coveted is an appropriate word when discussing Sovereignty – from its most basic line of pieces, known as 50 by 5’s and King and Queen Stemlines (referring to the height and width measurements of the pipe, and the type of percolation function inside of the bong) through to its more bizarre and complex models such as the infamous Treecycler, the Imperial or my personal favorite, the Peyote Pillar, each and every model is so highly revered and desired that many people will only ever dream of owning one.
It is important to note that the Sovereignty brand is not just about manufacturing and designing the best glass bongs in the industry. It represents an ethos of the artist and studio’s desire to reach the pinnacle of aesthetics, to push the envelope in terms of what can be achieved in design and drive forward the consistency of producing outstanding work time and time again. That’s their calling card, and that just goes for their everyday pieces.
If you want to really have your mind blown, go and check out some of the cold work (ornate geometric carving and engraving), the patented hemp star design or any of the other work Steve does on his own custom creations. Not to mention the ultra-faceted and fully worked colored creations he has up on the page, along with his special signature slides featuring Retti linework designs which often fetch thousands at retail.
This is the upper echelon of glass, with dizzying feats of design and function for days. These are the most collectible and sought after pieces around the globe, hands down, and for good reason.
You will understand when you get the chance to try one.
Sovereignty is unrivaled in terms of their design, flawless execution, extraordinary functionality, the quality and strength of the borosilicate glass itself and the vivid hypnotic selections of colors featured on the pieces.
From Cobalt Blue Satin to Grease Stain, Lava and Northstar Yellow, to Glopal, Serendipity and Amber Purple, each piece is adorned with stunning partial accents on the horned section of the bowl, known as PA, or the more eye-catching full accents, known as FA with colors featured from lip to seal to base of the bong. And of course the FA will be harder to come by.
As a hardened bong toker of more than a quarter of a century, I can tell you that these are not like other bongs on the market – they’re velvety, indulgent and luxurious. My wife refers to the sound of the bubbles as a “roar” which gives you an idea of what to expect.
Every smoker and weed influencer out there is trying to get one of these.
One of Sovereignty’s proprietary pieces, known as the Hollowfoot Natty Neck Peyote Pillar, is still known as one of the most sleek and forward-thinking pieces of design to arrive in the bong scene for many years, and will continue to be for years to come. Think of this as owning a house designed by Lautner, or a car by Rolls Royce.
Every detail has been thought of so painstakingly, that smoking once again becomes an experience. I’ve included a few images alongside this article of my own Straight Foot Peyote Pillar which I acquired at one of the drops earlier this year at Dementia Gallery in Woodlands hills, along with a quick video for you to check out the function of the piece.
Check out sovereigntyglass.com for more information on the upcoming drops around the country.
Dr. StrainLove is a long time lover of fine weed and is always hunting for the latest and greatest strains. His search has taken him from the Coffeeshops of Amsterdam to the boutique dispensaries of California, and lots of other places in between. He loves making music, playing video games, and using marijuana to ponder the mysteries of the universe. When he’s not doing those things, he enjoys spending time with his wife and cat.