Printabowl: Bringing Water-Pipes into the 21st Century


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The art of glass pipes dates as early as 3000 B.C. The first glass pipes originated in Egypt and Mesopotamia through a process that used molten sand to mold glass. These early glass pieces took such unprecedented skill to make that they were considered as valuable as jewels. Thousands of years later, around 30 B.C., the Romans developed the technique of blowing air into hot glass to shape it, the technique that remains standard to this day. Creating intricate glass water-pipes is a time-consuming art. The process can take days and need the hands of multiple artists to finalize a perfect piece. If one line is drawn crooked or worse, the piece is dropped, hours and hours of hard labor end up shattered on the floor.

This is where Chicago brothers, Al and Saul Jacobs, step in. During their time at University of Washington studying various forms of art, they took advantage of a unique opportunity to blend design, technology and cannabis (a few of Seattle’s favorite things). The brothers attended UW in the nucleus of cannabis legalization in Washington. Amid newly legal clouds of smoke and inspiration from a science-centered course on creativity and innovation, they saw a wide open space in the intersection of two huge industries: marijuana and 3D printing.

The 3D printing market is expected to grow from its 2015 evaluation of $1.6 billion to an astronomical $13.4 billion in just three years, according to Gartner. 3D Printing is appealing to the public on a hobbyist level as well as the educational and medical professional sectors. As you dive further into the realm of 3D printing, it becomes apparent that the possibilities are truly endless, from bioprinting organs and metal printing with powdered steel…3D printing can help us create, educate and now even medicate!

Al Jacobs, co-founder of Printabowl, tells, “It was a long research and development process with the initial prototypes.” He and his brother navigated through many obstacles before reaching the first Printabowl piece, “Though by now, everyone has heard about 3D printing, this is still very much an experimental production technology. We quickly found that glass 3D printing wasn’t feasible for us in our early stages. As glass 3D printing technology progresses, we’d love to 3D print upcoming releases in glass.” The process of Printabowl begins with a computer-generated model. The instructions to build this model are sent to the 3D printer and turned into a physical mold. These unique molds are then filled with a high quality ceramic, left to harden, glazed, and then fired in a kiln to complete the piece.


Pieces, from left:

Alpha, ceramic, 7.75 in, 19.68 cm, closed edition of 20, $300 – Conceptualized in homage to ancient hand-spun ceramic ware fabrication, Alpha‘s minimalist form, manifest in its subtle striations, exudes a serene elegance.

Ferro, ceramic, 7.75 in, 19.68 cm, closed edition of 10, $325 – Inspired from ferrofluid, a dynamic liquid reactive to magnetic forces, Ferro acts as a prologue to the design possibilities excited by 3D printing with a pronounced textural appeal.

Tessellate, ceramic, 7.75 in, 19.68 cm, closed edition of 20, $300 – Tessellate‘s angular geometry recalls the naturally sharp angles characteristic of smokey quartz, a semiprecious crystal renowned for its ethereal grounding properties. Replicating the positive essence that informs smokey quartz’ metaphysical allure, Tessellate roots the Cumulo collection with its imaginative form founded from Earth’s agency as a matter-shaping entity.

Learn more and shop the Printabowl Cumulo collection online at

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