On Sundays I reflect.
I had a few beers at Closing Day at Vail last Sunday, and haven’t been drinking other than that. It’s better when I don’t drink.
The best ski season of my life has come to an end. I got 40 days on the hill and at least 30 of them were powder days. I hit a tree with my leg early season and the ground with my rib late season, but I didn’t break anything. I pushed myself this year, to get better at riding my snowboard. It was fun.
This week’s jam came from my Discover Weekly on Spotify. I’ve been listening to New Birds by Arab Strap on repeat for a few days. Yesterday NüBen (the apprentice) asked Giashreddi after a few hours if we were listening to the same song on repeat. G said “Welcome to blowing glass with Ben”.
I’ve been blowing glass almost every day this week. NüBen has been coming around for 2-3 months and I don’t want to speak too fast but he seems like he’s committed to the torch. He’s putting in the effort to learn and pushing himself to try new things. One day he might actually be helpful. I try to remind him of when I was “The Worst”.
Giashreddi has been our mascot for a few years now, and he’s dabbled on the torch here and there. Yesterday G got his first torch, a GTT Mirage made in 1999 from our neighbor Red Cliff Stan. If you don’t understand the significance of this, Willy and Wally tried to buy the torch back from Stan to put in their museum. The torch was made at Willy and Wally’s mother’s house on their first lathe. Unlike today’s models the body has two pieces of metal welded together at a seam. The torch is in better condition than my six year old backup mirage.
And after a 12 year break, my dude Red Cliff Stan is back on the torch and y’all better get ready. Stan turned on a torch for the first time in 1997 and I’ve been trying to get him back into it for at least as long as I’ve been in the Valley.
So now as my dad would say “We’re cooking with gas!”
If you are living under a rock you might not know about my next show; The Connecticut Cup Collectors Club at Stoked in Bridgeport happening on May 6 at 420pm.
This is the biggest show I’ve ever been involved with producing. We have over 50 artists and maybe 200 cups ready to release next weekend. I’ve been planning this show for two years with Stoked and I’ve not been this excited for a cup show since COPA.
The other day I ran over to Evergreen with G to get a few errands done for the show. I had to get Eusheen to sign our collab cup for the show, and I got some collabs started with Ubatuba and Calm for the show as well.
Talk about crunch mode.
Today hopefully I’ll finish my solo cup for the show. At least I got prep going. And yes, I know I’m past the submission deadline and I’m sorry to everyone I’ve been so firm with on deadlines. This show has a lot of moving parts and I’m doing my best to stay on everything. As usual, my own art and glass blowing has been put to the side in order to prioritize the bigger picture, but I’m grateful to be able to create my work for the show.
Before I go on here, if you want to learn more about the show or get your tickets visit this link https://stokedct.com/blogs/news/stoked-presents-drinking-vessels-connecticut-cup-collectors-club
I’be been pushing myself on the torch lately. I’ve been trying to spend more time blowing glass. I’ve been paying attention to details and taking the extra time to make the best work I can.
There are still flaws.
Sometimes that’s how life goes, and all we can do is try our best. Even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough.
Today I’m going to eat some breakfast and get to the studio. The guys are coming to melt, and I have a photo shoot. I’ll make my solo cup between running Sunday Specials and listening to Stan’s stories from back in the day. G and NüBen have almost no idea what it was like back then.
I can only share so many stories about sleeping on the floor at Delong’s studio all those years ago. I can only speak of the flower shop walk in freezer my teachers Huffy and Dene started in that I never saw. I can only imagine glass life before the internet and infinite resources at our finger tips.
We’re living in a different time and I always want to remember where we came from. I want the people in my shop to know what this is all about.
This is counter culture.
This comes from a protest for freedom. They told us drug pipes were not art. They told us we had to get jobs and work for the man and perpetuate the status quo.
We said no and here we are.
Sometimes it’s as simple as not giving up, something I used to write about a lot when I thought I might give up. Some of you remember those days.
I have tried to stop writing about my financial challenges because it felt like it was getting old. Today I’ll keep it simple and say I need to move some glass in order to free up funds for upcoming projects.
I have often referred to the personas I embody as Business Ben and Ben the Artist. If you want to support Ben the Artist today jump over to the shop here on the website and find something that would fit in your collection and know that you would be buying me time on the torch so that I can focus on my art.
I’ll still pop on the live streams today and be available via DM to assist with sales and acquisitions, but my time is running out before the Stoked Show and I need to prioritize finishing these last projects before I head East.
As always, enjoy your Sunday and thanks for tuning in! I’m off to get a bite to eat and then into the studio for a 12-20 hour session or however long it takes to get the job done.
I hope to see some of you in Connecticut, and I can’t wait for the first ever Connecticut Cup Collectors Club.
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