Finally, after generations of owning smoking materials only available in tie dye hues or plastered with ostentatious icons of pot leaves, the elements of minimalist design have finally reached cannabis culture. Tetra, a new online shop selling hand crafted, chicly designed pipes, ashtrays, incense holders and smoking paraphernalia has elevated the way we smoke, meeting our aesthetic standards when it comes to our favorite past time. “We believe in smoking as a ceremony,” say Eviana Hartman, who started the shop with fellow design writers Su Wu and Sight Unseen’s Monica Khemsurov. “It’s an experience to be savored in all its aesthetic detail.”
Leah Ball Pipe
Gilded Hand Dish by Helen Levi
A marbled ceramic pipe that sits like a miniature sculpture, a slick stainless steel water pipe that converts almost anything into a smoking apparatus on the go, even a 24K golden ashtray– these objects are as functional as they are attractive, meant to live outside of that dark, dank drawer of our embarrassing smoking equipment. “What we're doing is part of a general shift toward breaking the taboo of smoking through better design,” says Hartman. “We seek out objects that people can be proud to show off on their coffee tables.”
“All three of us have deep roots in the creative community,” explains Khemsurov, commenting of the array of artists that Tetra works with on product collaborations. “With the products we commission, lot of our process has to do with paying close attention to the way certain designers or ceramicists use certain materials or techniques that we’re interested in and recognizing the potential to translate that into the smoking realm.”
The Bullseye Water Pipe by The Principals
A recent collaboration between Tetra and the Brooklyn design group The Principals, who created the Bullseye water pipe tool, was a direct response to the need to create a product that was handheld, easy to use, and up to the standards of crisp design. “We'd always find ourselves in situations where we were machining hitter pieces and converting water bottles or beer cans into water pipes,” explains Drew Seskunas, remembering those late nights in his studio with friends and fellow designers of The Principals, Charles Constantine and Christopher Williams, trying to fashion their own water pipes out of the scrap metal lying around. The trio of designers have created art installations with institutions like MoMA PS1 and The New Museum, as well as designed a number of products and furniture, but for their Tetra collaboration they wanted to make something accessible and useful. “[The Bullseye] is kind of like a swiss army knife for smokers,” says Seskunas. “That's usually the deciding line for us in releasing a product: would our friends want this and can they afford it?”
Pipes by Ben Medansky
Pipe by Katie Stout
Tetra hopes to “make it easier and more pleasurable for people to engage in smoking as a social ritual,” says Hartman and Seskunas agrees. “By tapping into the global design community, websites like Tetra that are offering new options for smokers that are functional and stylish will inevitably broaden cannabis culture into new territories.” And with such a positive first impression after only launching in September, as well as an upcoming line of products the shop will be producing themselves, it seems that the movement is only expanding. Take a look around Tetra’s crisply designed online shop and go further into their curatorial sensibilities with their blog, complete with interviews with designers, musings on artist inspirations, playlists that match the bougie stoner vibe, and an overall aesthetic to upgrade your smoking lifestyle.
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