Sunday 8/27/23

Sunday 8/27/23

August 27, 2023

On Sundays I reflect.

I had a few beers at Jake Colito’s Pints With Friends show at Explore Gallery last night. There were no non alcoholic options at the event, so I ended up drinking 2-3 beers. It’s better when I don’t drink, and I’m grateful I was able to keep myself under control.

Today’s entire blog is going to cover Jake and his project, though there was some other excitement this week at the studio and in my personal life. I won’t have the time or energy to share that here this week.

Jake Colito is one of the founders of Mothership. Since leaving that project, Jake has continued to establish his role as one of the most collectible pipe artists in the world. Prior to the project “Pints With Friends” Jake had sporadically released solo and collaborative drinkware. I was fortunate enough to be able to obtain and help broker some of these works over the last five or so years. Very few pieces that have come through my hands have impressed me as much as Jake’s work.

This is the kind of work that makes glass blowers ask “how the fuck did he do that?”

I currently own one of Jake’s solo worked pints and it is the crown jewel of my entire art collection. It was one of three made in its style, one of which Jake gave away as he considered it a second quality piece.

So in order for me to understand the technique applied in the series I’m referring to, Jake had to draw me a diagram to explain what he had done.

As a glass artist and broker who has spent over a decade completely obsessed with glass and technique, I should mention that it is pretty rare for me to not be able to reverse engineer a piece put in front of me that is made from glass. With Jake I have been completely stumped on multiple occasions.

Jake spent the last almost two years creating “Pints With Friends” which is a collection of almost 100 pint glasses Jake made offering his canvas to the most innovative pipe makers in the glass scene today. On each glass Jake showcased the other artists iconic imagery or pattern work, representing the absolute top of our industry in a mind blowing collection.

The cups were released at Explore Gallery last night, Denver’s premier glass gallery. In addition to friends, family and collectors there were probably at least thirty of the top pipe artists in the world in attendance. Not only were these artists in attendance, they were equally as impressed if not more impressed than everyone else in attendance. Nobody else in the room, nor our entire scene could have accomplished a feat like this.

Wrangling one hundred artists into a timeline is not easy task. Jake and I laughed about the idea of trying to pull this off when he first came up with the idea and then again last night at the show. If you know anything about artists, you know they march to the beat of their own drums. Artists are inherently terrible at deadlines and commitments, which makes something like this nearly impossible to pull off.

Before I go on I want to say congratulations to Jake. He proved it could be done, and he hit it out of the park. There are very few cups from this collection that I would not want to add to my personal collection. All together this was the most impressive collection of cups I have ever seen in one place. I would go as far as to say this was the most significant release of handmade drinkware to have ever happened. I can acknowledge that there could have been a more impressive collection of work historically that I’m unaware of, but certainly not in borosilicate glass and certainly not featuring pipe art.

Jake will be releasing a book which documents all of the work in one place as a keepsake for the community. I will be helping to find homes for some unsold cups from the show in the coming weeks so feel free to reach out about acquiring what remains from the show if you would like to support the project.

I’ve never been in a room that had such an impact on me, and I’ve never encountered a body of work that spoke so specifically to my life and my passions.

Even though I was not involved in producing the event, last night was one of the proudest moments of my life. A number of people thanked me for bringing cup culture to this point and others acknowledged my role within that niche. It felt really good to be recognized. A few of the top artists in our scene approached me to thank me for what I have helped to build. I noticed artists and collectors thanking my team for their hard work.

Marta has been with me for three years. In the car on the way home I asked her if she would have believed this could have happened when she first moved to Minturn. She said in a million years she didn’t think she would have been in a room with that kind of work and in that quantity. It was special to share the moment with her as there are very few other people in the room who have dedicated the last three years to cup culture and the community. Marta has completely dedicated herself to our movement and many of you know her from
the studio or online. I’m so glad she got to see last night’s show, and even more grateful to all the artists and collectors and friends who were eager to catch up with Marta and who make her feel like a valued part of this community in a way like many of us feel about the artists who comprise this community. We artists without our support teams are pretty worthless, and I’m grateful to the people who recognize and appreciate all of what it takes for this art to exist.

NüBen was recognized from his morning videos on our social media and I know it made his night when certain artists approached him to let him know they enjoy his content and contributions.

Stan reconnected with artists he’s met at our studio and our shows, and also mentioned certain top level artists recognizing him from our content and branding. He also told me how grateful he was to Jake for taking the time to discuss the work with him and explaining techniques and nuance. I can say with certainty that after a decade off the torch, what Stan saw last night was on a completely different level than any room of glass art he had been in previously.

Grace was there to help capture content which we will share with all of you as soon as she makes her way through edits. I saw her jaw on the floor from across the room a few times. It was a lot to take in, and I’m thrilled my team was there to experience it with me. I can’t wait to talk with them about the work when we get back to the studio (after catching up on sleep).

Of course my partner Eric and his roommate Chris came, and as a special treat it was Chris’s birthday yesterday so we had a little meet up for lunch with the crew to celebrate the homie. These two guys have been there for me in more ways than I can count, and it felt special to celebrate our friend’s birthday in such a special way.

So I could keep going about how amazing the show was but now I need to get my day going. Congratulations and thank you to Jake, the artists, and Explore Gallery for putting on the most impressive show I have ever attended. Also a special thanks to my team for coming with me and being a part of this movement.

I’m feeling so grateful to see our movement growing and expanding in so many ways. Thank you for being a part of this.

Enjoy your Sunday,

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