Hello World of Bongs Community, today we take to Wisconsin and talk with Joe Howe (JH Glass):
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN GLASS IN THE FIRST PLACE?
In college our Art Department had a small furnace work setup for soft glass which my friend Josh
Laabs introduced me to my first semester. While I took the pre-requisite class, Josh introduced me to
one of the soft glass artists there named Garrett Arnold, who had a flameworking studio near the
school. Garrett was the first person to teach me the ways of borosilicate and a huge reason I am
primarily a pendant artist.
WHERE DID YOU LEARN YOUR SKILLS?
I owe most of my knowledge of the material to Garrett Arnold and Will Yates, but have picked up a lot
of knowledge from classes and working with various artists. Garrett was my push into the furnace
work and pendants/cabuchons and Will introduced me to the world of functional art/pipe making.
Both have been great friends and a huge help in learning the medium.
DO YOU CREDIT ANY OTHER GLASS BLOWER WITH HELPING YOU ACHIEVE YOUR SUCCESS?
Too many to name. Anybody who has ever given me tips/advice, worked on projects together, shared
my work with others, bought my work, etc. This community is generally inviting and encouraging,
most artists I talk to are more than willing to bounce ideas and techniques back and forth.
TALK TO ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR STYLE.
The biggest reasons I do the style of work I do are the challenge of always going smaller and more
intricate, and the monotony of placing dots can be surprisingly meditative, especially in the geometric
WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU MOST LIKE TO WORK WITH?
Pretty strictly borosilicate right now but I enjoy working with most mediums when I have the
WHAT’S THE MOST FAVORITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER MADE?
My favorite piece I have made is probably the Grizzly Bear pendant.
WHAT WAS YOUR WORST MOMENT ON THE PATH TO “MAKING IT” AS A GLASS ARTIST?
The worst moments are usually losing a piece right at the finish line, but nothing too crazy comes to
AND WHAT WAS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT?
Being able to collaborate with some of the artists I have looked up to for years are some of my
proudest moments so far. Landing new techniques/difficult pieces and seeing my friends in the
industry doing the same are also some of my best moments.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW GLASS ARTISTS?
You get what you put into it. Set goals, manage your time, take care of your physical/mental health,
budget, learn as much as you can with the resources you have. Above all do it because you love it
and be patient with yourself.
IF YOU COULD MAKE YOUR “DREAM” PIECE, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
I have always been a huge fan of sculptural work and earth-tone colors so something along those
lines with a bunch of super tight dot work incorporated. Some sort of forest/sea creature would be
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE, MOST OF ALL IN THIS WORLD, TO HIT YOU UP FOR A PIECE, AND WHAT PIECE WOULD YOU MAKE FOR HIM/HER?
Tom Fleming, my sculpture/glass professor in college. He has always been a huge inspiration to me
and has taught me so much over the years. Tom always gave me the freedom to grow and try new
things and always had the knowledge to help me out along the way.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR GLASS ARTISTRY IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY?
Every year more states approve medical/recreational, in my opinion the scene is only going to get
bigger. Not too sure what comes next honestly. I never underestimate the ability of a functional artist
to adapt to new products in the industry. Going from hoods/domes with titanium nails to male joints to
low profile females with quartz to who knows… it is definitely exciting to watch.
IF YOU WERE SHIPWRECKED ON A DESERT ISLAND AND YOU COULD ONLY HAVE THREE ESSENTIAL PIECES WITH YOU, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE, AND WHY?
If we are talking glass pieces, a clear marble for a fire starter, an ETR arrowhead to hunt/fish (in theory), big sheet of dichro for an SOS signal.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO/DAB TO?
My music taste is all over the place, depends on the day/what I’m working on. Explosions in the
Sky, Black Dahlia Murder, Circa Survive, Battles, Cake, Chon, Modest Mouse, Maps and Atlases,
Punch Brothers, Outkast, Fear Before, etc.