Founder and CEO, Grav Labs
Sometimes the stories of how projects come to life are simply boring. I don’t want to start off on the wrong foot, but I should be honest and tell you that this was a boring story. Here is goes:
I saw Snic making these little rigs. I LOVED them! I asked him if we could license the design. He said yes. We made samples, added a size, changed some color schemes, and made a new Grav logo with his tag. He approved. Boring.
The non-story part of this story is the non-boring part. Sometimes we find designs in unlikely places. We’ve been told over and over again, “what do you mean design-by-Snic? He electroplates everything, and these aren’t electroplated!” – So What makes good design good? Is it the small details or the structure element? The color or the architecture? Function?!
Understanding artists and their processes is not something I will ever claim to understand. However, cutting through their creative process and seeing something truly unique, I understand. Snic is, objectively, one of the most talented glass artists and pipe designers in the world… and sometimes he electroplates stuff. I am in the business of finding talented designers (preferably with an already popular body of work) and licensing their designs. This has happened for years in other industries and the contemporary pipe world is not different. Charles and Ray Eames (now their estate) have been licensing their iconic furniture designs for decades. Mies Van Der Rohe, Arne Jacobsen, George Nelson, Milo Baughman, and Jean Prouve.. to name a few more.
I have been in search of great pipe design my entire adult life, although I’m only just now realizing it. I have the unique opportunity to bring that great (and often artistic) design to a much larger audience through GravLabs. More importantly, GravLabs gives back to those artists by licensing their designs. That mailbox money goes a long way for an artist with big ideas on changing the world to be a better place.
I’m grateful to Snic for being a trusted friend, neighbor, and confidante. I hadn’t realized how impactful our collaborations were until we started working with him. Stay on the lookout for more Snic designs (and other artists) in the future, none of which will be electroplated.