The Goods: Ceramic Paraphernalia by Gatorbeug

The Goods: Ceramic Paraphernalia by Gatorbeug
November 24, 2016 Gene Lim
In ART, CULTURE, FEATURED

Perhaps an insane understatement, but everyone loves dope shit, and the people that are drawn most to anything aesthetically outstanding are those that get high – for obvious reasons. Australian-based paraphernalia brand Gatorbeug has hit all the marks when it comes to creating dope af shit, and they’ve tailored it for just right right audience by specialising in ceramic and glass bongs that look unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Take note of the bug-eyed Otto bong that will have you drawing kush from atop his head so that you too can become an Otto. And then there’s the “Crazy Brittney,” where no explanation is needed, as well as everyone’s favorite fuck face Trump. But perhaps most synonymous with the brand are their Gatorade bongs – a range of glass and ceramic water pipes cast in the iconic shape of a Gatorade bottle that will absolutely do the opposite of keeping you hydrated – instead, it’ll keep you highdrated (just thought of that after writing the word “hydrated”. I’ll accept your applause).

The brand also crafts a number of goods outside of just bongs, such as Nike-centric ashtrays, deflated basketbowls and the love child of Gucci Mane and Kim Jong Un, the “Gangster Kim Jong Un Ornament,” complete with Gucci Mane tattoos and Kim Jong Un’s caterpillar brows. As for “how much?” Gatorbeug’s prices vary from $80 USD (approximately $60 USD) to $900 AUS (approximately $673 USD) for their range of bongs – ceramics being on the lower end with glass being more top-shelf priced). Either way, there’s definitely something at Gatorbeug for you, and if not, you need to check yourself. Make sure you peep the range of products here, and follow their Instagram account here to keep posted on new offerings and to see pictures of Ed Sheeran sporting the cheekiest of smiles. Once you’ve done that, allow yourself the pleasure of watching this well-dressed lady eating laksa noodles beside her very own “Crazy Brittany” bong (https://youtu.be/djkHaHrMCMs – hyperlink)

How did the concept and brand name come about?

Gator – Gatorade, Beug – bong. Psychadelicize Suburbia. There’s a million names for a bong… “beug” was the word at the time. At lunchtime in schools in Australia, kids would go and smoke plastic bongs in the sand dunes at the beach. During one of these sessions, while staring at a crumpled blackened Gatorade bottle, we thought it would be a significant challenge to take something associated with low culture and elevate it to high culture. So we created a super shiny gold ceramic version of the Gatorbeug, and then a series of mould-blown coloured glass gatorade bongs.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the team behind Gatorbeug?

It used to be myself and a guy I met at university, Tom, but Tom has got other art projects going on, so he’s more like the godfather of the Gatorbeug. I do design, marketing, sales, manufacture, emails, and dispatch. I get friends to shoot photos and model for me. I also have an assistant that helps me out in the studio from time-to-time.

Could you walk us through the creative process behind coming up with, and deciding on, a pop reference to build a new product from?

It’s a combination of things, including range, architecture, colour and process. People give us ideas or I’ll just wake up one morning and decide to make a Kurt Cobain bong or whatever. It’s a really visual product, so it’s just expanding the range while balancing everything.

Describe your typical customer.

It varies. I’d say young adult males, but I sell to a variety of ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and locations.

The aforementioned Gatorade bottle is obviously your flagship product, but what other pieces stands out the most to you and why?

The Mike Tyson Bong is a classic item. The banana pipe and Jail bong should also be a staple item in every household.

Have you ever tried making something that pushes the boundaries a bit too far?

Not really, I think as an artist your job is to find ruptures in the way people understand things and expose that in a new light. So everything I do is quite critical, but it does have a component which allows it to be consumed by a mainstream audience. I’m making a Nike TN. In Australia, it’s common for people to drink out of their shoe as a party trick. It will be a professional ‘shoey’ that people can do at their birthday party with their friends. I doubt it will even register on Nike’s radar.

Why bongs in the first place?

When starting a business, you just have to find a niché and explore an area. We decided to make it difficult for ourselves by starting with a gold gatorade bong. It’s also commenting on people’s shifting attitude towards weed in general.

Ed Sheeran. What’s he like?

His record label’s General Manager linked that up for me, but by all accounts he’s a good dude. I was as surprised as anyone when that photo came through. He’s got the cheekiest smile on his face in that photo – so funny.

What big (or small) plans do you have with the brand?

We are trying to become more self-sustainable by having a range of glass (including a Powerade bong – the Powerbeug), all unique and designed in-house. I have a background in clothing design as well, so I’ll probably start making small runs of staple items for friends and see where that goes.

Words by Alexander Lendrum

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