Looking Forward: The Michigan Glass Project and Growth | Sunday Reflection 7/7/19

Looking Forward: The Michigan Glass Project and Growth | Sunday Reflection 7/7/19

July 07, 2019

On Sundays I reflect.

I did not drink alcohol this week. It's been almost fifteen months since I quit.

The Michigan Glass Project

The Michigan Glass Project (Instagram @themighiganglassproject) is coming up! I'll be volunteering throughout the weekend, along with donating a cup to the charity auction to benefit Art Road Detroit helping to get arts education back in public schools. This is an organization I've stood behind and supported for years, and I'm honored to be contributing again after taking a year off.

The Drinking Vessels Team is Growing

Justin "JCost" has been my graphic designer for almost five years. We met at The Boro School years ago when I did a month residency in Seattle. I got more work done in that month than most others, as it was the most stable situation I had during my years on the road.

Tomorrow is the day JCost moves to Minturn. I've been waiting for this moment for a few years. I don't blame him, I guess it's more appealing to move to an existing studio than to join me in a state of vagabondage traveling across the country.

Ditching Digital

For me, life is pretty black and white. I'm terrible at exercising moderation and operate on an all or nothing way of life. I've determined that I no longer have a need for a cellphone beyond running my business, and in fact it's inhibiting my ability to live life. The transition will be strange no doubt, and challenging.

I'm looking forward to making this transition, knowing that JCost will be able to keep up with the social media accounts. Before now, if I personally did not respond to a message or ship a package it simply would not happen. For the first time, that will not be the case. In my opinion this is what is necessary for Drinking Vessels to maintain, along with allowing me to get back to creating art. It's very difficult to balance art and business. 

I had a conversation with one of my oldest friends this week. He expressed his concerns about me "ditching digital" in the upcoming weeks. I've never felt closer to freedom in my life, which to me is what this has all been about. There are sacrifices that come along with freedoms, and ultimately we'll see if I'm able to keep it up.

Getting a Little Political

I try not to get too political here, but after 4th of July there are a few things I must share. It was not a happy 4th for me, while there is currently a humanitarian crisis at our border. Our president's lavish and wasteful ceremony to celebrate himself is an embarrassment, but more importantly it was a complete waste of resources. The amount of money spent on his parade could have provided detainees with humane living conditions. Instead the event was used to promote nationalism and ultimately support of the president as a person, not a role.

I'm sickened by the state of affairs in this country, which has strayed so far from the ideals on which it was founded. It seems the only ideal this country is upholding is capitalism, at the cost of morals and integrity. The bottom line always seems to be money.

Vail Mountain Art Collective

We have a new local resource opening today, Mountain Art Collective is a new workspace for artists in Vail. I'll be attending the grand opening this evening and look forward to being involved with this exciting new project.

Trading Glass for...

I put out a few items I'm hoping to obtain via art trade. I'm offering glass for a gong, 35mm camera, Polaroid camera, n64, blast shield flat press, and a record player. I've gotten lots of responses on Instagram and it looks like I'll have an n64 and some cameras by next week. Feel free to contact me for art trades!

Project Composition Notebook

And I wrote a few composition notebooks this week. They'll ship out by next week. If you want to communicate with me, just grab a composition notebook and write me a letter. You can send it to Ben Belgrad PO Box 1341 Minturn CO 81645-1341. I'll respond with a letter and a self portrait and whatever else I'm feeling like before sending it back.


Jason Gordon @gordons_glassware fumed pints were hot this week, selling almost every day of the week. I've just received a ten pack of mugs from @edwolfesgotglass in brand new colors yesterday (you can see some cups in the top image in this blog), and one sold before I even finished unboxing them. Max @blobglass sent me a few fully worked cups and a pair sold the day after they arrived, leaving just two left. Those will be on the website soon! I also just received my second package from Ryan Reich @ryanreichceramics who might be interviewing me for his new blog "CLAY is a four letter word" so be on the lookout for that.

The last little teaser is that I'm talking with N8 about a cup release. Nothing is set in stone but it's looking likely before the end of 2019. For this, I'm very excited!

Thanks for tuning in,

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