Meet the Accessory Artisans Kickstarting Philadelphia’s Cannabis Industry

Glass blowers and ceramicists are putting the city of brotherly love on the cannabis map.

Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

Philadelphia decriminalized cannabis in 2014 and has since welcomed a more casual attitude toward its use. Still, the plant remains illegal for the rest of the state of Pennsylvania, and the legal cannabis industry continues to drag behind surrounding states like New York and New Jersey.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of artists already carving out more weed-friendly space. Whether we’re talking about the local glass blowers gaining national recognition or ceramic standbys at beloved flea markets and Fishtown storefronts, Philadelphia artists are putting the city on the cannabis map. Here are four artisans we’re paying attention to right now.

Kenni Fields

At first glance, you might not notice that Kenni Field’s Demi pipes are pipes at all. They craft each half-circle, dome-shaped piece from porcelain or stoneware with pigments added directly into the clay for vibrant color. For Field, experimenting with color—mixing pastels with black, as one example—is how they intentionally “queer their palettes” that would “complicate a straightforward, gendered reading of the piece.” As a Black, queer artist, Field is less focused on a target audience than an honest and liberated expression of their identity.

“I turned towards smokeware as a connection to something I cherished that played a central role in my social life. It felt so personal, and I wanted to intervene in a market that at the time was almost monopolized by the head shop aesthetic,” says Fields.

Field’s one-of-a-kind pipes and ashtrays function not only as funky smokeware but as a reflection of the artist’s learning experience in the space of modern cannabis identities.

Cloud 9 Clay

Peyton Flynn’s love for clay began at a young age with polymer clay and paint-your-own pottery sessions. Now, the ceramicist is the founder and creative mind behind Cloud 9 Clay, a ceramic studio and storefront boutique in Fishtown, Philadelphia. Striving to create work that is inconspicuous and beautiful to look at, Peyton’s work focuses primarily on wheel-thrown stoneware forms, as well as patterned slabs, big sculptural vessels, and wood-fired wonders. Cloud 9 Clay currently offers a variety of home decor items and ceremonial pieces, each small batch, limited edition, and one of a kind.

“I started playing with making little one-hitter style pipes around 2017 before I had my own studio,” says Peyton, who, over the years, has since expanded into ashtrays and a few styles of pipes. “I try to push the limits of what a pipe could be,” Peyton explains. “A lot of my smokeables today are very unsuspecting—I normally have to tell people, ‘That one is a pipe,’ and the looks I get are often priceless.”

Jess Wolf Glass

Jessica Wolfert is a Philadelphia-based glass blower known for crafting eccentric body-positive pipes. Each one is uniquely designed with various feminine silhouettes, colors, and textures, and include details like body jewelry and tattoos. Wolfert describes her work as representations of things she is grappling with or exploring within herself.

As she started smoking cannabis around the same time she began blowing glass, the two went hand-in-hand naturally. “I was inspired by the fluidity of the glass and smoke, as well as the way that breath is utilized in both smoking and glass blowing,” Wolfert says. “I’ve always been fascinated by the thought that I was exhaling into my pipes while making them, and then later someone was inhaling through the same pieces while using it.”

In addition to her website, you can regularly find Jess Wolf’s Body Pipes at local events like the Philly Punk Rock Flea Market and community happenings at the city’s numerous glassblowing schools and studios.

Moka Melts

Gina Rose is a Philadelphia-based glass blower crafting some of the most eye-catching pipes and joint-holders on the market. After dedicating almost a decade to her craft, she’s a regular at various local markets in the city. Her Moka Melt pieces take form with quirky colors and fun textures that are as smooth in your hand as they are on your lungs. Highly influenced by graffiti and street art, Rose counts cannabis as a key part of her creative process—that, and disco. “Music and flower thrive in my creative process… I throw on some ’80s disco and get to work,” says Rose.

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Rita Thompson is a freelance writer and cannabis advocate based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her work has been featured in Emerald Magazine and Billboard Magazine. She is also the co-founder of Patchwork, a community-based group curating art-centered events in the city.