Menacing monkeys. Peeled bananas. Bad-tempered bears. Uniquely original Munnies. Daniel S. Coyle’s whimsical, toy-inspired aesthetic in concert with mind-blowing skills on the torch have earned the artist a hefty 116K following on Instagram. The artist recently celebrated 10 years of being a full-time pipe maker with an exhibition at Ziggy’s in Huntington Beach, California. Decade Arcadia featured new work, collabs and early pieces from Coyle’s personal collection.
He says: “Often my work is playful in nature and can remind you of toys. I guess I like to bring the viewer (or user) back to their childhood and also remind them to not take life so seriously. Why pipes? Making an object into a pipe will allow someone to bond with that object. They will have experiences with it, develop a relationship with it, and in time it will become more than a piece in their collection—it will become sentimental.”
Coyle began blowing glass in 2003 while taking a workshop with artist Jerry Kelly. As his interest in the craft developed, he pursued education in glass working techniques at Salem Community College, the only school in the US with a program dedicated to scientific glassblowing. Graduating in 2006, the artist began his career as a laboratory glassblower for a chemical company, leaving after five years to pursue his artistic vision in glass pipes. Coyle’s work has been displayed in galleries around the world, and has been seen in print and web publications including Vice, Huffington Post, NY Times, and in the books This Is A Pipe and his self-published Munny Project book. Now residing in Western Massachusetts, he works alongside some of the state’s top pipe makers.
In March 2021, Coyle participated in a virtual seminar sponsored by Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, New Jersey. Pipe Art: Understudied Glass considered the glass pipe as a fluid work of art fundamental to the art history of glass. Sometimes demoted by law or public opinion to the category of “paraphernalia,” the artwork of the pipe nonetheless defies its sometimes categorization as sub-sculpture. Celebrated artists Kim Thomas and Coyle, whose works were featured in the accompanying exhibition, and Luken Sheafe, whose artist name is SALT, presented their pipes. Joined by Susie J. Silbert, curator at the Corning Museum of Glass, the artists further contextualized their work within the field of pipe-making.
Post Covid, 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Coyle, including a residence at Pilchuck in July. In September, you’ll find the artist at Molten Art Classic, Southern California’s premiere glass flameworking event. Team leader, Adam Whobrey, also known as Hoobs, handpicks some of the top borosilicate glass artists in the world to create an exquisite one-of-a-kind piece together at Classic 33 Studios in Huntington Beach. It is the largest collaborative art event to unify top borosilicate glass artists from around the world, all adding their respective influences and unique flair to the collective piece.