Pass the glass

Locally owned Glassphemy in downtown Pullman offers every accessory for high times

Glassphemy+clerk+Felix+Alatorre+displays+a+bong+crafted+by+Mike+Porter%2C+featuring+one+of+his+signature+glass+coils.

SANDI KOBIESA

Glassphemy clerk Felix Alatorre displays a bong crafted by Mike Porter, featuring one of his signature glass coils.

JOSIE GOODRICH, Evergreen reporter

On any given day, you might find Willow Falcon behind the counter at one of her two businesses: the bottle shop Noshies or next door at Glassphemy, Pullman’s only woman-owned glass shop.

Falcon opened Glassphemy in downtown Pullman in late 2009 with her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Mike Porter. Porter was a glassblower, making pipes and other art pieces that were being sold to other shops, Falcon said. 

“We were wholesaling his pieces to other shops, and we lived in Moscow and realized there wasn’t a smoke shop in Pullman or Moscow for that matter, and we decided it was probably a good place to open one,” Falcon said. “We had been to a lot of other retail shops across the state of Washington, and it really seemed like one would fit in here.”

Porter began glassblowing in 2003 in his friend’s garage in Lewiston and made products for a company based out of California, he said.

“Initially, a lot of products were what I was making, and then when we opened the store, we started buying from other people,” Porter said. “Now, we mostly buy from other people, and I offer a few things.”

Porter has created various types of hand pipes, such as chillums, stones, Sherlocks and water pipes that range from bubblers and hammers to oil rigs, he said. 

“I do a special rig that’s kind of my own where I have a coil, like a coiled glass wrapping around the outside of it,” Mike said. “It’s hollow, so smoking water travels through it and spins around the piece, so that’s kind of more of my personal style or signature.”

Glassphemy specializes in a range of products from main glass pieces to accessories and nicotine devices, Falcon said. 

“We have bongs or pipes, and then you’ve got the bowl accessories and downstem accessories, and dabbing has gotten pretty popular as concentrate products have come on to the market,” Falcon said. “A good percentage of our stores also like the new nicotine devices. We started selling that way early when people didn’t know what vaping was, but as it’s come on, we’ve been some of the first people in the area to bring vapes in.” 

Because of the cleanliness that a glass pipe brings compared to paper, glass is the most popular in the store, Falcon said.

“Glass pipes tend to be the most popular because they really produce the cleanest smoke possible. Other products will be like stone, ceramic, wood and people use a lot of papers,” Falcon said. “So glass really is the cleanest smoking experience. You’re not burning wood, and ceramic can be porous, and things get stuck in there; with glass, you can get it all the way clean every time.”

In honor of 4/20 approaching, Porter will have a booth set up outside of Floyd’s Cannabis Co. to demonstrate how to glass blow as well as pieces he has created for sale, Falcon said. Additionally, there will be a special on glass pieces at Glassphemy and there will be “stoner treats” available for customers. 

Glass has something special to it with the amount of artistic creativity involved, and as a culture, it is fun to see the playful expressions that are shown, Porter said. 

“Imagine how many different shirt and skirt combinations you could come up with to dress as an outfit for your own particular aesthetic that you want to portray; the same is true with smoking, it is a lifestyle choice, and you kind of develop your own aesthetic with that,” Falcon said. “Along with that comes the size, shape, color and function of your piece. A lot of people use more than one, so you could have a little tiny piece with flowers on it that you keep in your medicine cabinet in the bathroom, or maybe you have a big large piece that you put right in the center of your coffee table with cartoons on it.” 

For Porter, the same idea rings true. The concentration and work that goes into glass blowing makes it similar to a zen experience, he said.

“It’s hard to explain because you don’t blow glass with words you know, but it becomes an extension of yourself,” Porter said. “As it bends and moves and gravity’s pulling it downward, and you’re blowing into it and then you’re also shaping it while it’s cooling off. So you sort of become one with the glass in a way, it’s very zen-like, which is nice. It’s meditative.”