Three years a charm
EAGLE-VAIL – Growing up outside Gary, Ind., the only business that sold smoking supplies – the Shirt Shop – would move locales about once a week to shake the fuzz. Finding it was like a game of hide and seek.In comparison, the Get Hi Gallery in Eagle-Vail is marking its third anniversary today, in the same location, selling the same high-quality glass pipes and advertising with the same tongue-n-cheek radio spots.
Get Hi Gallery’s longevity could be due to the fact that the mountain community is a pretty liberal and tolerant one, and, there’s no denying the demand for smoking devices in the High Country. But after talking to owners Dan Glickman and Jey Henk, the real secret to their success is that their business is much more “gallery” than it is “get hi.” What inspires Henk and Glickman is the functional art work made from glass, displayed behind the glass.”The hardest part about this job is we don’t get to use these beautiful pieces,” Henk said.
“We want to make it hard for people to pick out their piece because we carry so many great pieces,” Glickman said.The Get Hi Gallery only sells glass pipes blown by Colorado artists, and they hand select each piece. Eighty percent of the purchases, Glickman said, are made in the store. That’s because Henk and Glickman like to meet the artists first to make sure their heart and their skills are in the right place.”You don’t get notoriety as an artist by making glass pipes,” Glickman said. “You do it because you love it, and like working with the material. We need people who are serious about expressing themselves artistically.”
Glass is an extremely difficult medium to manipulate, Glickman said. It’s temperamental and can decide to crack or burst in the artist’s face at any moment. Glickman said that he has seen a lot of advances in the industry from the colors artists are now using to the techniques that allow the artists to add intricate details to the pieces. “Price is determined from the talent of the artist and time that went into the piece,” Glickman said.
Pipes range from $9-$750. Some of the pipes are blown into shapes of colorful fish swimming around coral and others feature metallic colors blown into geometric shapes to create a unique composition. “People have developed their skills. No one could do some of the things they are doing now a days because the colors weren’t available.”
Henk and Glickman also work with the artists to produce a product that smokes properly and will fit certain occasions, like pipes for on-mountain smoking or at-home smoking. Where you are going to use the pipe will determine how thick the piece is or how much detail is on it.”We give the artist a target,” Henk said. “Maybe it’s a thickness of the pipe or color, but then we want their artistic inspiration to come out.”Vail, ColoradoHenk and Glickman will be celebrating – not working – for their three-year anniversary tonight at the Sandbar, and since they each work two or more jobs to make ends meet, time to relax is hard to come by. They hope one day that the Get Hi Gallery is the only job they’ll have to work. After three years, they are well on their way. All Strung Out plays tonight for the occasion. For more information on the Get Hi Gallery, call 748-9995.
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