On Sundays I reflect.
I didn’t drink alcohol this week.
Last Sunday I flew to Los Angeles to spend six hours with my client Matty. He and his girlfriend Des picked me up at LAX and we went straight to Smorgasbord, a weekly outdoor food truck festival. They were unable to make the show, so Matty flew me out to hand deliver his selections. This was not the first time I’ve been in and out of LA in a day for this type of delivery, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. We had a great time.
Rarely do I get to spend time with my collector turned friend, and quite possibly my greatest rival in cup collecting. I’ve written about Matty before, known on Instagram as @thelittleglassgallery though most of his collection is not for sale. Drinking Vessels would not be what it is without his support and I’m so grateful.
So we started with empanadas before coffee and some kind of mango beverage I had never had before. We grabbed some tacos and quickly realized most of the trucks were sold out. It was mid afternoon, and the only trucks remaining with food had twenty minute lines at least.
We headed to the parking lot where another collector met us to pick up the SALT x Teurfs espresso mug he had purchased from the show. We had a quick sesh and got to get to know each other a little bit. He’s a video producer on tour with a country music singer from Nashville. He comes to Breckenridge a few times a year and next time he does he’ll be making the trip out to my studio in Minturn.
As we wrapped up with Brandon it was already time to head back to LAX. Matty and Des took me back to the airport where we hugged goodbye. They told me I have to come back soon, so we can all produce a photo shoot in a change of scenery - and I can’t wait to see them again.
It’s weird going through security in the airport with a backpack and an empty gun case. Unrelated to that, after walking through the detector, a large red dot lit up on the screen between my legs. An agent told me I was in for a thorough examination, and offered me a private room. I was in a hurry and don’t find it any more comforting to have my crotch grabbed by a strange man in private than in front of everyone so he gave me the frisk right there. I think he was surprised when what he felt was between my legs but I didn’t have time to make a joke. I was in a hurry to get back to Colorado where a lady friend had invited me to spend the night before driving back to the mountains. After an exhausting day that began with a snowstorm in the mountains, I was excited to be done with the trip.
Upon arrival in Denver my date cancelled. I can’t say I was super surprised, arriving at 11pm on a Sunday.
I knew SALT was visiting Alex Ubatuba in Evergreen, so I gave him a shout. Before I got off the plane he told me to meet him at the studio and it was in my GPS by the time I got to my car. The drive wasn’t too bad until I got into Evergreen, when whiteout conditions made it near impossible to see. Fortunately nobody else was on the road, and I made it to the shop by midnight. I walked into a room full of legends melting glass and hanging out. Mike Raman was visiting, and Eusheen and his brother Shen were around getting ready for Eusheen’s show. I scooped a shot glass from Shen, and he gave SALT prep for a pair of tumblers I’m anxiously awaiting to be sent to me.
We hung out until 4am when Eush offered me a place to sleep and made me a pizza. I was exhausted and conditions were terrible and he could tell. I am again filled with gratitude for this scene I’ve been immersed in, always providing what I need in unpredictable ways.
The beginning of the week was spent getting the studio back to normal post show. We’ve been catching up on orders and listing cups on the site as fast as the photo edits come our way from Reda.
And then we got ready for Emily Marie to visit the studio and catch some laps at Vail. We’ve been throwing down since Wednesday and I couldn’t be more excited about the results. We put some of her protozoas inside a couple of cups, we made a decanter set with a pair of tumblers that only took a few tries after color boiling and cold working accidents. We even got out a pair of shot glasses before she headed back to Utah with more of my prep to make even more stuff at home.
We had a fun day riding Vail, but both of us overheated after expecting a bitter cold temperature like the day before. There was no fresh powder which I’ll rarely ride, but I did have a great time taking laps with Emily. We’ve been friends for years, since early days of my philanthropy project when we collaborated but this was our first time working together in a studio and she’s a ton of fun. She turned me on to a DJ called Hug Life that I’ll definitely be listening to on the regular.
She also brought lots of her own drinkware that we’ll be releasing soon so stay tuned for a blog post on Emily Marie paired with a fresh drop!
I’m fucking exhausted, but it’s a good kind of exhaustion. I’m doing what I love, and this week I spent more time on the torch than I have in the last few months.
This week Bryan Ratcliffe @surfratglass is coming up to shred Vail and collaborate in the studio for a few days.
I took a big risk building my studio in such a remote and expensive location and the challenges seem to be never ending. The reward far outweighs the challenge when I can host my friends and fellow artists in the place I call home here in the Vail Valley. I wouldn’t trade the exhaustion and stress for anything, because I’m living my dream every day. It’s been a long hard road to get here, and I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming my way ahead.
If you’re an artist looking to set up a ski/work trip, or you’re looking for a longer term rental please shoot us a message and we’ll set something up.
I’ll share one last thing before I wrap this up. When I got to the Denver airport last week, I received an email through the website from a stranger. She told me she visited a Chihuly exhibit in Florida and looked me up when she got back to Vail. She lives out here and began reading my blog after discovering a fascination with glass. She said she’s drank her whole life, and that my blog inspired her to quit drinking. She told me she was appreciative that I shared my experiences here for her to relate to.
I don’t care what other people choose to do in their own lives, but I do hope that my life is having an overall positive impact on others. I don’t think everyone needs to give up alcohol just because I have, but I’m glad that my experience has helped people who want to make that change in their own lives.
As always thanks for tuning in.
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