The term “pipe dream” originated in the 1890s to describe opium users’ wild hallucinations and became associated with unattainable desires. For the past four decades, glass pipe artists have lived a pipe dream as they attempted to grow businesses while fighting for legitimacy and acceptance in the art world and with mainstream society, and all while under the draconian gaze of the federal government. But in 2021, millennia of glass art, pipe development, and marijuana legalization efforts will converge in the televised competition series Operation: Pipe Dreamers, a show which promises to turn these glass artists’ pipe dreams into reality.
Conceived by television director Jason Wald and glass-blowing entrepreneur Jason Harris, Operation: Pipe Dreamers will pit master glass artists against each other to fashion exquisite flame-blown bongs, pipes and rigs worthy of museum display. One difference from other competition shows is that all artist creations will be auctioned off for charity. Another is the community element implemented when a piece shatters – an inevitability when working with glass.
“Sometimes the glass gods take over,” says Harris.