On Sundays I reflect.
I drank alcohol this week in Vegas. Fortunately, it didn’t get out of hand.
Glass Vegas this week was the first time my company has had its own booth vending at a trade show. We also sponsored the new Drinking Vessels category in the World Series Of Glass at the event, and I was invited to be one of three honorary judges along with Mike Shelbo and Charlie from Stoked in Connecticut.
To say this week was hectic would be an understatement, but it was one of the most fun weeks I have ever had. So many of my friends were around, and cups had more of a presence in the show than ever before. It really demonstrated to me how much bigger the movement is beyond just my company today and I am thrilled to see it!
So we drove to Vegas Sunday in a rented cargo van packed to the brim. My friend Seth did most of the driving for what would be his first real exposure to the industry beyond my studio. Jeremy OLDGREED and Isaiah Inner Force Glass came with to help run the booth, and Willie the Pimp flew out from Chicago meeting us in Vegas the next day to help set up and run the booth. I can’t thank these guys enough for making it all happen as well as Marta holding it down at the studio in my absence.
I found so many new cup makers at the show, and brought back some incredible new inventory. Most of you probably saw the AKM x Stephan Peirce Decanter already, a set I deem to be the most significant piece of borosilicate drinkware of the modern era. Hopefully we will get some better pictures this week to be able to share with you. Featuring Andrew’s limited edition Grateful Dead Skull & Lightning Millie and sculpted skull for the stopper along with Stephan’s immaculate shaping and assembly this set has completely changed the game and lifted the ceiling for handmade borosilicate drinkware.
Rotational Science is an artist I was only familiar with online previous to this week, and the work he sent me home with is some of the most exciting new work I have found. His work is alluding to classic crystal cut designs and blending pipe art patterns like implosions and encalmos to show some of the most labor intensive cups I have seen. The amount of hours he spends making the cups is only exacerbated by his incredibly precise cold work and then flame polishing. These cups started selling as soon as I got home and I anticipate they will continue to be a best seller in our scene moving forward. The artist is including handmade wooden branded boxes with foam cut out to fit each specific cup or set, adding another level of detail that sets his work apart.
And Avant-Garde Glass takes the cake with innovation this year with his new line of drinkware that sold out before I could even get home from the show. Then when I got home the second batch he is working on for me presold without him even completing the work. About a year or two ago I asked SALT in an interview which artist I needed to know about in the scene that was flying under the radar. SALT told me about Dylan’s work featuring built in sippy cup straws that go through the walls of the cup like a maze when you drink. I immediately reached out and Dylan told me that as soon as he refined the tech he would release his cups through me. Well the tech is refined at an extremely affordable price point and these are going to be the most collectible cups of 2022 from my estimation. Do not sleep on this heat!
I haven’t seen Jolex in years but we reconnected and he sent me home with some killer pilsners. He and so many other artists came by the booth to purchase our Psychedelic Crew Neck Sweaters and told me they had been looking forward to getting them even before the show. It’s cool to see people I have looked up to for years walking around a trade show floor wearing my merch and supporting my brand in so many other ways. As I was walking around Bally’s and the strip I was seeing people in DV merchandise ranging from shirts to hoodies and crew necks. I can even admit some of the people wearing my gear I didn’t even recognize. I remember a few years ago when my sales were so few and far between I thought I knew everyone personally that had made a purchase with my company. I still try but it seems like we have finally grown beyond my immediate social circles.
I spent a lot of this week in Vegas reminiscing about the Circle Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel that used to be the center of the universe for our industry. Around a decade ago I started attending shows like AGE and Champs in Vegas when I was a young glass enthusiast before I started my company. Some of you remember back in the day when I apprenticed for Huffy making lathe production for years and helping rep his work at trade shows. I was a young kid that would fan boy as I looked around the room and saw all my favorite glass artists congregated at the bar. To me and so many others these pipe makers were like rock stars. I would walk up and introduce myself and try to get to know these artists I looked up to over drinks late into the night, only to wake up hungover the next day and do my best to man the booth I was working.
This week some of those artists I looked up to and shop owners I modeled my business after came up to introduce themselves to me at the show or the bar. They told me they’ve seen what I have been building over the last decade, and they appreciate my contributions to the industry. It was so humbling to hear these things from people that I might have been too intimidated to start up a conversation with a few years ago. I really felt recognized at this event, and reassured that the path I am on is the right path for me. One of the major shop/galleries in the scene wants to produce a Drinking Vessels show with me next year, and some artists that I have been trying to carry for years told me they want to plan releases with me over the next year or two.
So overall this week has been incredible, and now I am back home preparing for the 5th Annual Vail Cup Collectors Club coming up in just two weeks! Almost all of the submissions are in my possession and Graham will be working on photos and edits tomorrow. I can honestly say this is the most impressive collection of handmade drinkware I have ever released in one of my shows and I am beyond excited to share it all with you.
I want to write more about what is going on with me but once again I am starting to feel the pressures of limited hours in the day. There was a lot more I wanted to write about here today that I have been thinking about all week, but I am not sure my brain can handle getting those thoughts out until after my show. Yesterday morning I promoted the upcoming Vail Cup Collectors Club on Vail Valley Live, another local television station that interviewed me in the Vail Village. Tomorrow I will be back on Good Morning Vail TV8 once more promoting our event to the local community. For the first time between the TV spots and the Vail Daily newspaper coverage we have started to see Vail Valley locals purchasing tickets to the event on the website for an event that has historically been attended by our small scene of the glass community. This year I am beyond excited to share what we are creating with the local community where I have chosen to base my business.
I think with that I have to wrap this up unfortunately but make sure to tune in live on Instagram today for Sunday Specials and as a special offer anyone who makes a purchase on the website today will be entered to win a FREE CUP!
As always thanks for tuning in, and enjoy your Sunday
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Stay up to date with new releases and exclusive website content.