Blown-Out Pipes: Artist Expands Everyday Plastic Tubes to Create Vases

Plastic piping original mass-produced to carry water from place
to place has found a likewise liquid-related second life in the
form of flower-holding vessels, blown out like glass into fresh
new shapes.

Adapting traditional glass-blowing techniques, Japanese artist
Kodai Iwamoto has created a series of signature vases
that still show elements of their past lives, including
production stamps. The above video illustrates the creative

The expansion process also naturally deforms these stamps as
well as the coloration of the pipes, creating a variety of hues
and details showing the origin of each piece. Custom effects,
like vertical ridges, can be achieved by creating slatted
formwork (then sliding the tube inside, so when it deforms its
shape is informed by the slats).

This ‘Ex-Portation’ series explores the intersection of
everyday object reuse and handicraft, turning cheap and
available materials toward a new beautiful and functional

More about the process: “by applying air pressure into a closed
pipe,” the artist “then slowly warmed the pipe with a heater to
make it soft and moldable. As with glass blowing, many factors
such as the shape of the mold, air-pressure and the speed of
heating the pipe’s surface affect the shape of an object.”

The whole process is remarkably straightforward, which is part
of its beauty — ordinary people can follow this artist’s lead
and use simple technology to craft similar works from local

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