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Nikolas Bentel’s Wiggle Pipe is a celebration of the absurd
The Wiggle Pipe by Nikolas Bentel
Image: Courtesy of Nikolas Bentel

Nikolas Bentel’s Wiggle Pipe is a celebration of the absurd

The pipe exudes an aura similar to the American designer's Loopy Chair and Squiggle Glasses.

by Almas Sadique
Published on : May 13, 2022

The squiggly Wiggle Pipe, washed in pop colours that are reminiscent of the Memphis style, evokes childhood memories of scrambling around the vibrantly coloured swings and rides in our nearby parks and playgrounds and the senseless paraphernalia that we’d seek as kids to play with and accumulate as tokens of adventurous experiences. Crafted by Nikolas Bentel out of porcelain, the handmade smoking pipe, with its expressive design is a perfectly manufactured piece that enchants the users just as well as the content it carries does. “The pipe took about a year to design and finalise due to its extremely complex shape and manufacturing process. I had worked with a porcelain factory to get the most accurate shape,” says Bentel about the limited edition pipes.

The squiggly shaped pipe is made out of porcelain Image: Courtesy of Nikolas Bentel
The small size of the pipe makes it easy to use and carry Image: Courtesy of Nikolas Bentel

Nikolas Bentel is a New York based artist and designer who experiments with materials and colours to forge designs that are innovative, unique, aesthetically pleasing and that engage and inveigle people to explore alternate roles and forms for everyday objects. He dabbles in the fields of product design, performance art and advertising and imbues each of his creations with a strange and exciting aura. Some of his previous pieces such as the Moon Chalk, Loopy Chair and the Squiggle Glasses carry the same playful undertone as his latest pipe design.

Nikolas Bentel with the Wiggle Pipe Image: Courtesy of Nikolas Bentel

While the overall form of the pipe appears to stand in contrast against the usual straight or slightly curved pipes that one sees, the squiggly shape by itself appears to be fairly simple in composition. However, shaping the pipe was a Herculean task that took several attempts to accomplish. “I had previously tried to design the pipe in glass, which did not turn out as accurate,” says Bentel, who then decided to use ceramic for the Wiggle Pipe, instead. After several iterations, the designer was able to create the final piece out of porcelain while also maintaining a large enough airstream.

The piece is crafted in dimensions that are easy to hold Image: Courtesy of Nikolas Bentel

Bentel cites his inspiration in the weirdly scattered and boldly coloured lines and shapes that characterise the patterns and designs of the Italian design and architecture group, Memphis Milano. The contrasting yellow, blue and white colours on each part of the pipe clearly demarcate the stem, the mouthpiece and the bowl respectively. Calibrated in the dimensions that enable ease of use and ease of storage, these pipes come in a box and include a total of 100 pieces only.

The three parts of the pipe are coloured differently Image: Courtesy of Nikolas Bentel

An additional carb on the side of the bowl meant for placing cannabis herbs increases the air intake, thus enabling a smoother experience. Another aspect that enhances the user experience of these fun ceramic pipes is the satisfying 'clink’ that they emit when placed on solid surfaces after a smoke. Built as a piece that is durable, the pipe can be cleaned and washed easily at regular intervals.

Serving as an addition to the myriad objects fabricated by Bentel in an attempt to intrigue audiences and encourage conversations, the Wiggle Pipe also exhibits how creative boundaries can be stretched to augur and encourage innovation in design.

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