Today we get to talk with Nigel Wade, the owner and artist of Poison Glass.
Nigel is most known for his “Shredder” glass designs. These hand pipes are a unique take on the spiky pipe and fit wonderfully in the hand. Beyond pipes, Poison Glass produces a variety of jewelry and sculpture.
I found Poison Glass at the THC Fair and was instantly drawn in. The overall quality of the Shredder pipes and Sacred Fire pendants was top notch. I was amazed at the consistency and quality throughout. The pieces felt bold and solid in my hand without feeling heavy. I eventually left the fair with one of his Sacred Fire pendants and couldn’t be happier.
I got in touch with Nigel after the event to talk a little more about Poison Glass and he indulged me. Now I get to share that conversation with you.
I am always looking for ways to improve myself and learn from others who are doing the right things. Earning a living for your creative expression is a dream of many (myself included) and it can be very defeating to put tons of time, effort and resources into a creative project just to have it sit on the shelf.
Getting some input from someone who has overcome such struggles can aid anyone looking to get into this niche of the cannabis field. I find reading/writing these stories are professionally helpful and creatively inspiring for me. I hope they are for you as well. Below are some notes from my confab about business with Nigel. I hope you are able to draw the support you need to follow your passions and pursue your dreams like I did. Enjoy!
Thank you for taking some time with me. I like to do this Q&A style so lets get down to the nitty gritty.
Q:Would you like to introduce yourself to the readers?
A: I’m Nigel Wade A.K.A. Poison Glass. I make unique, high quality glass art for your enjoyment and mine.
Q: And how long have you been blowing glass?
A: I started my glass apprenticeship over ten years ago in August 2005. Before that, I was melting beer bottles into pipes and researching borosilicate.
Q: What kind of glass are you known for?
A: I’m known for my high quality pipes especially the spike pipes which I call “Shredders” now. They are super thick and very well made. A lot of extra attention is put into making them clean and perfectly tapered.
Q: I love how evenly you get the wall thicknesses on those Shredders. How did you come to find that was your talent?
A: It took many years of frustration to get the Shredders down. I was determined to get them exactly as I wanted, and when I finally got it I was so stoked. I really enjoy making them and I get tons of compliments from glass artists and many others about the attention to detail and well done techniques.
Q: As well you should. So, what initially made you take the plunge and start working glass?
A: I loved art and sculpture and wanted to enjoy my life. I dropped out of school at 16, moved to Maui, Hawaii, and took on a glass blowing apprenticeship. I had the opportunity to get the basic tools to start and an apprenticeship with a very talented local glass artist, so I took the opportunity and stuck with it ever since.
Q: Wow, that story mirrors my own to a surprising degree. I’m glad you were able to find your calling, not everyone is as lucky or dedicated. When did you realize that this is what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
A: The moment I first saw a glass pipe when I was 14, I knew I had found my passion. I had to know how it was made and be able to do it myself. I knew I could make cooler pipes if I learned the trade.
Q: A little inspiration and a lot of spirit goes a long way. Keeping up that energy can be challenging for even the most determined soul. Who in your life has contributed the most to your success so far and how?
A: My family, friends, glass shop owners, collectors, and so many others have been huge in my career.
The most would have to be my girlfriend Jasmine. She motivates me so much on a daily basis. She loves my work, wears it, uses it, and talks about it all the time to everyone. She is a constant reminder of how to do what you love, be happy and enjoy it. She works with me at shows, makes jewelry with my glass, has great ideas for glass art, and helps with many aspects of the business.
Q: My wife is the same kind of supporting and stabilizing force in my life. Since you mentioned your time in Hawaii, let me ask you about relocating your business, family and life to the mainland. What made you pick Oregon as your new business location?
A: Oregon has some of the best glass artists, galleries and glass art shows around. I wanted to pursue glass, work with other artists, and take higher education for glass art. Coming from Hawaii, I had to live somewhere beautiful and inspiring. I worked as a zipline tour guide in Hawaii and the only people happy with their home and shared no complaints were people from Oregon. They had nothing negative to say about it. I also love snowboarding and skateboarding so I’m 20 minutes from the mountain and 10 from the skate park.
Q: Outstanding. I hope Oregon continues to spread the good vibes for you. Speaking of which, it’s about time for me to let you go but lets finish off with a question about sourcing. Is your glass art made in the U.S.A. with integrity and quality materials?
A: 100%. I have always focused on making high quality glass art and pipes, for wholesale, collectors, gifts, and myself, using only the finest glass and materials available.There is so much imported glass from around the world made in production sweatshops using toxic materials and low quality glass. They are made for profit with no care for the art. Poison Glass is different. I do all my own glass work and designs from start to finish in my studio in Bend, Oregon.
Thanks to Nigel Wade from Poison Glass for taking the time to sit down with me and sharing with the community. We will see you next time! Thanks for reading.