Amorphous Symphony Glass
Who hasn’t dreamed of seeing a dinosaur? Unfortunately, dinosaurs vanished from the planet some 65 million years ago, and if you’ve watched any of the Jurassic Park movies, you know that the only way to de-extinct a stegosaurus, brachiosaurus or any other kind of aurous is engineering one from a sample of Dino-DNA. You would also need to fill in the sequencing gaps with the DNA of a frog, but that’s best left to mad scientists/amusement park owners. Brandon Spencer, you could say, is a dinosaur expert, even a dinosaur freak, you could even call him the John Hammond of the pipe making because he’s bringing dinosaurs to life as bubblers and dab rigs.
“I love Jurassic Park, and as a kid I was like, “We need to do this in real life!” says Brandon, Philadelphian and owner of Amorphous Symphony Glass. “I wanted to be a paleontologist until I found out that you needed to learn like 13 different languages. I still go on Google and research everything I can on dinosaurs and then try to like to recreate them as realistically as possible.”
Brandon’s prehistoric glass menagerie is home to tyrannosauruses, diablosaurus, triceratops, pachycephalosaurs (code named Ram Head in Jurassic Park as the species used their skulls in intra-species combat), pterodactyls, and even Chilesaurus, a plant-eater that lived about 145 million years ago in Chile.
“I honestly love them all. Dinosaurs are just insane,” Brandon exclaims. “If Jurassic Park was real, I would move there and get a job blowing glass in a dinosaur cage.”
Brandon has been blowing glass since 2017, and while he’s been into art his whole life, he’s self-taught at the torch.
“I was just messing around and one day I started sculpting and then, boom, that’s where I am now,” Brandon says. “Honestly, I got to a certain point where I was like, ‘I’m going to keep doing this and I’m going to make it so great that you can’t look away.”
What a dinosaur looks like is up for interpretation. Not all of Brandon’s sculptures are mean and green, he also imagines them in a variety of colors and pattens. There’s a wig wag pterodactyl and even a UV-reactive T-Rex with ramen noodle skin and chopstick wings. Brandon’s also come up with a “funky technique” where he takes a dozen different cadmium colors and breaks each one down into a little tiny chip, stacks them in a spiral pattern, crunches it down into a cane, and then strikes clear rod over it to give it a sand art effect.
As jaw-dropping as a dinosaur may be, as a pipe it needs to function correctly. Rigs usually have the joint on the back and the mouthpiece on the head. Brandon also designs the pieces with a removable downstem, which is easy to clean and allows for personalization.
“I want people to be able to rip it as hard as they can,” Brandon says. “When I was a kid, we’d smoke from whatever we had around — sometimes it was a pop can with holes in — but smoking from an artistic glass pipe is legit and really adds to the experience.”
“I love working with smoke shops because I can give them something cool that they can promote and that will grow their customer base,” Brandon adds. “I’m really into embracing the cannabis culture, especially the artistic side of it, and creating some dope pipes that gives people a different mindset about what we as glass blowers are able to do.”
Instagram @ amorphous_symphony