In the modern era, the combination of glass styles, and the variety of glass water pipes and dab rigs proves to be quite the visual spectacle. They have been used in a number of different ways, and yet they also stand alone in terms of mere artistic integrity. These works of art are known to have existed throughout recorded history, however they have become more infamous in modern times, despite their long standing use.
Prior to its existence as a crafted commodity, glass was originally seen as a production of natural events involving sand, gravel, and heat. For example, the eruption of volcanoes was well known to create glass during the event. Crafted glass did not appear until somewhere between 1300 and 1600 BC.
During this time, glass was considered to be a far more precious commodity than it is today. This is in part due to the amount of work it took to craft the glass, which in turn caused it to be less commonly seen in many cities throughout the world. In ancient times, the process of creating glass was an extremely demanding and time consuming task. For example, in ancient Egypt, this process was accomplished through the use of natural materials such as sand, quartz, and plant ashes. The process also required extensive exposure to heat. The process took time to complete, but yielded glass in large quantities. This enabled Egypt to export glass to other areas for use in trade or artisan crafting. Ancient Egyptians also discovered how to create different variations of this material such as red glass, granting them a greater mastery over the process than neighboring cultures. Red glass is a type of glass that has not received sufficient oxygen during the creation process. As a result of the lack of oxygen, the glass is unable to oxidize, and thus it gains a reddish hue in place of a more standard blue color. This can be seen as an ancient version of experimentation with glass as an art form.
Egyptian glass was considered a valuable commodity, and as a result it was generally only available to individuals of high social status. The product was often used to create precious jewelry such as pendants and necklaces. Egyptian glass was also used in the construction of precious amulets, expensive furniture, and colorful figurines. Though less commonly seen, colored glass was periodically used for larger products as well. Some of these creations included storage containers for liquids, oils, perfumes, and other products.