On Sundays I reflect. This will be my last blog for 2022.
I haven’t had alcohol since Monday. A new venue opened in Vail and I went with Seth to check it out. I tried a few of their cocktails, one of which was served in a borosilicate ship in a bottle serving device.
I went back to Chasing Rabbits Friday night for an event and I made the intention to not drink. I had some friends planning to join me but due to an ID mishap they were unable to come in with me. I made my way to the bar knowing nobody and I ordered a mocktail. When I was handed the drink and went to pay the bartender waved me off. He could have charged me $20 for club soda and juice. Maybe he knew I was sober and maybe he didn’t, but the gesture was greatly appreciated.
I found a few people I knew and met a few strangers. I had social anxiety in a new space without any of my friends. I hung out for about an hour and considered having one beer. Instead I left, which sometimes is what I have to do.
I haven’t been blowing glass as much this week. It’s been cold in the studio, and we’ve been working on bigger projects like getting ready for Glass Vegas and the Vail Cup Collectors Club. My prep got to a few of the artists I am currently collaborating with, and I’m working on more prep for the artists whose prep I already have waiting for assembly.
My dude Log made a few collab pendants, cups, and a bead this week with my prep and I think everything he made has already been sold. Log was my shopmate for almost 3 years and we used to collaborate regularly but since he’s moved to Michigan we have had much less chance to work together on the torch. When we realized how fast everything he made would find a home I put another piece of prep in the mail so he can make a few more things next week. Thanks to everyone who grabbed something from this batch, the extra sales helped us both out during this extra cold holiday season!
I got on my snowboard this week after taking almost a week off waiting for better conditions (and focusing on work). I should have waited longer, or taken it easier. One of the days was so cold I took two laps through the trees before calling it a day. The powder was great but the wind was brutal, so much so that they couldn’t open the back bowls (which had previously opened and I had not yet hit this season). The following day I thought I was headed for a powder pile for my first run through my route of the season. Unfortunately, it was wind blown and conditions were sketchy. Then in the trees off China Bowl I found the powder I was looking for, only as I should have known it wasn’t fully filled in. I came out of the trees too aggressively and lost control on some ice, causing me to fall on a down tree which did not feel great. After two days of rest I’m feeling better, but I’m reminded to take it easy.
Yesterday my parents arrived to town to spend the week with me. We would have spent this time with the rest of the family but a number of things came up for people which caused plans to change. My brother and his wife Pri have been focusing on their side project - a bakery called Miami Bitez. They’re not currently taking orders outside of Miami, but when they are you’ll be the first to know. Pri brings her Brazillian background and traditional Brigadeiros to dessert in a way you will not want to miss out on!
So 2022 was a crazy year. Hard to believe we’re in the final week.
I made a lot of art this year. It feels good to say that finally. I was able to make around a half dozen fully worked solo cups as well as the proudest cup collaborations of my life. My sculptural ash tray project is moving along with 3 sold and the 4th almost complete. This project allows me to collaborate with Red Cliff Bob and OLDGREED on what I finally feel is a completely original contribution to the world. These rare opportunities for me to feel like I’m working on something unique have been limited to a few pieces I’ve made on the torch, the Trashterpiece and resin casting series, and these ash trays. I’m grateful for the opportunity to take the time I need to get these ideas out into the world, supported by a team of people who believe in my vision.
Sometimes I play one song on repeat for a few hours, or days. The other day (or maybe it lasted a week) the song was Castles In The Snow by Twin Shadow. Right now it’s Everybody Here Is A Cloud by Cloud Cult.
It’s like a meditation for me. I can’t sit still and my brain goes a million miles an hour. “Ready? Fire! Aim.” Is the way I operate. The music takes me to a place that helps bring me to the present moment. “Be Here Now” is the mantra. It doesn’t mean I’m always present, but I’m trying to be.
I’m working on the balance next year, between work and life. It’s especially hard when work is life. My life is my work and there is nothing in life that I am equally passionate about, but there are other things that I love. In the past I have been unable to prioritize my life over my work, and while I have no regrets about the sacrifice I also don’t want the next 5 years to look the same as the last 5. Maybe that’s growth.
I’ve gotten a lot of support over the years and if you’re reading this you probably provided support in one way or another. Thank you immensely. I wouldn’t have made it here without you.
During this last year I have been working with Marta and now Eric to build Drinking Vessels into something more than just me in a garage beating my head against the wall trying to figure out how to manage every single aspect of this business. Early on I knew I needed to outsource certain things like product photography and graphic design. I could have spent my time learning those skills, but it didn’t feel like the proper use of my time. Now I have help with daily operations and big picture projects. I accept that we have grown to a point beyond what I can manage myself and I’m full of gratitude for the help Marta and Eric have been providing me.
If you’ve stuck around for the whole rambling today, a special thanks. This is where I unload my brain, with the hopes to share some insight into who I am and what this company is. I’m eternally grateful for your support!
Enjoy your holiday season!
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