Sunday 1/10/21

Sunday 1/10/21

January 10, 2021

On Sundays I reflect.

I didn’t drink alcohol this week. I had a sip of champagne on New Year’s Eve out of my Tazza made by SALT and Stephan Peirce. It was my first time using the goblet and by far the most challenging cup I have ever attempted to drink out of. I haven’t written much here for the last few weeks. For that I am sorry. I think I have still been processing the year 2020 on my own, and it has been hard to find the motivation to write these essays on top of everything else.

2021 started pretty good. I have been blowing glass and snowboarding, in addition to running all of the daily operations at the studio with my team. We need more snow on the hill, but I have been able to make time for myself to go enjoy the few powder days we have gotten so far. I also got new boots this year and had them heat molded to my feet. This is the first time I have a good pair of boots after the last few years were spent accumulating snowboards and bindings that fit me and are comfortable. If you don’t ski or snowboard you may not understand how important this is, but I spent over a decade riding on second hand gear and this year I am seeing a world of difference in my riding and control. 

I have been making twisty cups when I can find the time, mostly for friends and family who have requested work from me. Most of my time is spent selling other artist’s work, but I recognize that people who know me outside of the scene would like to own something I made myself. My friends and family are the people who supported me in getting to this point and bringing so much of this art to all of you. Many of them have bought art from other artists through me or shirts and other merch to show support, in addition to giving me food and shelter along my journey when I had nowhere else to go. Over the years I have had very little of my own art available, and most of what I have been able to produce have been more expensive collaborations with other artists. It feels good to make these twisty cups and get them to these people, and every once in a while I am able to release my solo cups to the public. 

Rob and I have made a few collaborations over the last few weeks in preparation for a custom six piece set of pint glasses for a client of ours. All of our collaborations presold, and we have a waiting list of a few more people before we are able to release any again but you can find some with our friends in Nebraska at @thehighestcloud9 or Chicago with @darth_dabs_gallery We are grateful for their support! Recently I was able to help get some cups to a few other shops and galleries in Las Vegas and Massachussetes. If you want to see drinkware in your local shop or gallery please ask them to reach out to me. I would be happy to send a selection over to support our beloved brick and mortar stores.

Julia @jay_bake came up from Austin to work on a mural at the studio in one of the last remaining white spaces on the walls. She created a scene featuring some characters from Spongebob Squarepants in the corner next to my lathe. The space already feels more complete, and I am talking with a few other painters to fill in the last nooks and crannies around the studio. I got connected to Julia through a mutual friend, and I am stoked with what she created in my space. 

 If you are looking for some wall art feel free to reach out to me about Julia’s work or any of the other painters I have been working with. At the end of last year I was able to find a home for a painting done by my friend Ethan Meyer @void_walker666 with another good friend of mine who is purchasing his first condo. I have long wanted to have a piece of Ethan’s art in my personal collection and we have been discussing concepts for years. It was a real honor to help find a home for my friend’s work in the meantime, expanding my role as a curator beyond drinkware in the same way that I achieved with my Trashterpiece last year.

And on that note I have some great news. My team has begun the process of creating the next pieces in my trash art series (yet to be named). I have received multiple commissions from my clients for the work, including a request that I create another for the owner of the first one. The only information I am willing to share at this time is that there will be a green themed piece next which is already sold along with a blue themed piece that also has an interested buyer. After one or both of those are completed, I plan to begin a collaboration with my buddy Dylan @wiggedoutart which will probably be going to my client in California to join the original Trashterpiece. 

We have sorted much of the trash that accumulated since the last piece, including a donation from Everdream Studios. N8 is also sorting through some trash over at Everdream which I plan to pick up next week that will be added into the mix. A few other Colorado artists have been in touch about getting me their trash to avoid having it go to the dump. While we don’t have space to store everything, feel free to reach out if you are a glass artist to see if we can put your trash to use. Currently boxes are being built which will house the glass trash and resin, and frames are being prepared to mount on top once the resin sets. We still have many hours ahead of laying out our patterns and then pouring the resin which takes three days to set after being poured. It is very exciting to see this project moving forward. 

My brother sent me a picture of his trash casting finally hanging on his wall, but he told me I could not post it until he got a better picture. We made a test piece alongside the original Trashterpiece which I gave to my brother and the feeling of seeing it hung in his home is virtually unmatched. My brother has been working on DV since its inception and has yet to receive a paycheck. He has graciously forgone pay so that we can put every dollar back into the business. I am optimistic that one day this grows to a point where I can financially compensate him for his effort, but for the time being he has been accumulating quite the art collection! Many of you thank me on a regular basis when we interact and I genuinely feel appreciated, but my brother is operating behind the scenes so I want to make sure to mention here how much I appreciate him and couldn’t do this without him.

My car is having problems again, after multiple trips to Glenwood Springs an hour away and lots of money sunk. If anyone out there wants to trade me a reliable car with all wheel drive for art, please get in touch. Unfortunately the Cheese 4 Car Challenge years ago ended with a child’s motorbike which feels like quite the accomplishment but definitely can’t make it to the house from the studio. That being the case, I have a sweet mini motor bike for trade as well!

I think it is time for a CUPDATE after what feels like quite a while.

We have created a new weekly set of deals called Ben’s Backdoor Bodega

Here you can find a handful of cups I will highlight each week with a little blurb about the cup and the artist who made it along with DISCOUNTS! We try to share as much as we can about each cup and maker over on Instagram and social media, but this year I am going to put more effort into elaborating on the details here on the website. Please let me know what you think of this new idea and stay tuned for exactly the image you would expect to see at Ben’s Backdoor Bodega coming soon. It’s in the works with the team.

We are almost sold out of EWGG but another box should be arriving tomorrow. We are sold out of Jason Gordon, but he will hopefully have a box coming soon as well. We produced a limited run of 24 pairs of joggers featuring custom embroidery from a new local friend Sherrie and they have all sold out except one pair of XXL. We have full zip hoodies that should also arrive tomorrow and Marta will begin printing them ASAP. This is another limited run of sizes and colors which are selling fast already so don’t miss your chance!

We will also be releasing the lineup for the 2021 - 4th Annual Vail Cup Collectors Club if you did’t already see it on one of our artist’s pages. We will have VIP tickets available on the site tomorrow for 10 people to join our Zoom Room for first dibs on February 20 at 4:20 P.M. MST before we go live on Instagram to release the work. Unfortunately this year our event will not be hosted in person at the studio, but there will be options for delivery of purchased work as well as shipping. More details soon but don’t miss out on VIP tickets tomorrow!

On that note I need to get my day going and GET TO WORK because there is no powder on the hill and my mountain of work keeps growing. Enjoy your Sunday!


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