It’s no secret – women love shoes. Dellene Peralta has a passion for footwear, but her stylish stilettos are made of glass and designed to be smoked out of and look sexy doing it.
“My sister was a vintage clothing fanatic and had a huge collection of high heeled shoes. Most of them fit my tiny feet and I grew up wearing them,” Peralta says. “Turn one upside down and it looks like a Sherlock pipe.”
Peralta has become known for making “girly” glass. She’s also recognized as one of the first female headie glass pipemakers.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Peralta grew up in a family of cannabis growers, and loved smoking from a young age. She moved to Eugene, Oregon in 1995 and started blowing glass with the help of Clinton Roman who taught her old-school gold and silver fuming techniques. Her shoe-shaped pipes started as a production line for Chameleon Glass. Far from being a headie, it was was simple dry pipe that took her 15 minutes to make and sold for $22. Over the years, Peralta has used a variety of techniques, from fuming and sculpting to adding custom-made millis and glass gems, to accessorize her boro creations and turn them into elaborate dry pipes and concentrate rigs.
In the early days, Peralta sold her pipes at the local craft market. Because marijuana was still illegal, she couldn’t put up a vendor booth, so she ironically set up shop on the nearby courthouse steps.
“We were total degenerates,” Peralta says with a laugh.
“In the art world, they mainly wanted to see if you graduated from art college, and if you didn’t, and they found out you made pipes, they really disregarded you as an artist,” Peralta adds. “The beadmakers didn’t really care because they’re a bunch of pot smokers too — but art people and the scientific glass people, totally hated us.”
Glassblowing wasn’t exactly female-friendly either. “It’s always been a male-dominated and twenty years ago, was pretty hardcore. It’s taken a long time for women to get the courage to start making glass, and now there are some very talented young ladies involved with the craft,” Peralta says.
And her advice for her sister artists: “Don’t give up and kick dicks in the dirt.”
Now, in the age of the internet, Peralta has a worldwide fanbase. Her Instagram page, with more than 24K followers, showcases not only her glass shoes, but also fancifully sculpted animal pipes, goblets, terp marbles, and pendants encasing actual dried flowers and mushrooms.
“It’s been an awesome creative outlet,” Peralta says. “I like fire and being able to melt the glass and change it into all kinds of shapes. There’s only so many ways to design a pipe so it will function correctly, but there are infinite ways to add your artistic vision to a piece.”