December 30, 2018
On Sundays I reflect.
I didn't drink alcohol this week. It feels normal now, but it's also still an adjustment.
I've had construction going on in my studio for months, building a room for my saw, lapidary wheel, sandblaster, and other coldworking equipment. I don't do construction. It doesn't mean I won't help if it's happening, but I have no experience with design or execution. My cold room was built by friends, whom I couldn't have afforded to hire. When my friends realized that I needed help finishing a half built room, they just came over and did it. In between construction, my high school apprentice traded me work for glass lessons. He sanded walls and primed them, he helped me move equipment in, and then he got on the lathe and I taught him how to make blanks. A special shoutout to my buddy Van Grow whom I traded one of my fully worked solo cups like the one pictured on this post.
The cup you see here was my last solo cup of the year. This one was picked up by a collector that I really appreciate, who collects both the cups I make as well as cups from his favorite pipe artists. I've really been pushing myself to achieve certain shapes and volume, and the success rate definitely isn't one hundred percent. I've probably fucked up more on the last step trying to open the lip than I can count. Have you ever spent hours working on something, just to throw it in the trash at the end? Looking forward, my lapidary wheel will help me polish those lips and get more of these cups out in 2019.
The room's shell is complete and all equipment is inside. Now we just have to pipe in water, compressed air, and some more electricity which should be done in January. It's been a huge distraction, but in the end will be worth it.
Today I'll be heading to Aspen for the day to see a friend, and to meet with folks from the Aspen Arts Collective
and see how we can work together. I met the girls on the beach where they were exhibiting at AQUA Art Miami
, and look forward to connecting with other "local" artists and makers.
A few days ago I took some laps at Vail with Scotty Mickle (@liquidglassarts
) who also delivered his latest Dodecahedron Decanter to me. Unlike the first two, which were both entirely clear and sold, this one features primary color accents. The reflections of color are extraordinary. I can't wait to get pictures of this piece.
Speaking of Decanters, the latest drop from Davin Titland
just arrived. Davin works at The Mothership
doing production, but enjoys making drinkware in his free time. The newest decanters weigh over three pounds each, and the designs aerate liquid thoroughly. I wish I could keep one for myself!
So 2018 is over. It's been a hard year. I'll bring in the New Year with my friends Eminence Ensemble
at the Vail Ale House
. One of my oldest friends Taylor Hines runs their sound. Taylor used to live with Johnny who plays the keys, and both of them used to let me sleep on their couch when I was homeless in Denver. Those were the days, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. I also wouldn't have made it here without friends like Taylor and Jon.
As I write this, I'm realizing how important my friends are to me. I ask a lot from my friends, and I know sometimes this can be overwhelming. All of my friends know that I would do anything for them in a heartbeat, but most of them don't rely on my as much as I rely on them. This all reminds me of a story about a piece of art I just got framed.
When the Internet was in its infancy I was in grade school. My friend found some database of email addresses for celebrities. He told me I could email any celebrity I wanted. I wasn't very good at being put on the spot, but we played hockey together so I picked Wayne Gretzky. I sent some stupid email asking for an autograph, with about as much expectation as any 9 year old skeptic.
A few weeks later, I got a package with an autographed photo of Gretzky on the ice. The photo sat on my dresser for my entire childhood. I really didn't know much about Gretzky, except that he was a sports legend. I figured the signature would be worth something some day.
Wayne Gretzky was known for saying "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
I think about all the missed opportunities in my life, because I didn't ask. Sometimes I was intimidated or afraid. One day it clicked. What the hell do I have to lose? If I ask for something and a person says "no" nothing changes. If I don't ask for something and the answer would have been "yes" I've missed an opportunity.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"
Go for it. Whatever you wish you did differently or whatever you want to do, don't let fear hold you back. If I had let fear control my life, I would have moved back into my parents house instead of spending a year homeless in NYC. If I had let fear control my life, I would never have been able to ask Banjo
to contribute to my philanthropy project
years ago. If I had let fear control my life, I would not be where I am.
2019 is going to be the best year of my life so far. I've got big plans for Drinking Vessels, and also plan to launch Smoking Vessels. I want to continue exploring interior design, creating installations and lighting for hotel lobby and common areas. I'm bringing in a friend to help me produce my lines, and another friend to help manage my projects. My goal is to 10x everything in 2019, and I believe I'll be able to do it with some help from my friends.
Thank you for your continued support of me and my projects. I've really enjoyed getting to know YOU through this crazy project. Thanks for the likes on social media, and thanks for buying cups. Thanks for the messages of support for both my sobriety and my vision. It feels really good to be where I am now, which is a drastic change from my younger self. I spent a lot of my life living in resistance, but now I finally feel like I'm embracing it all and it's starting to come together. I look forward to the upcoming year with eager eyes, and I hope you do too!
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January 13, 2019
Just like your glass skills your writing skills continue to improve. Love reading your blogs and the way you are keeping it real!