Ben's Lens: An Interview with Ned Glassman

Ben's Lens: An Interview with Ned Glassman

September 19, 2019 1 Comment

By now most of you are familiar with the legendary Ned Glassman, the Instagram cup king! I discovered Ned a few years ago when I came across his page and saw the incredible cups he was putting out below $100 which is a tough price point for me to source. It’s especially challenging to find pint glasses in the price range, and I remember reaching out to Ned to try to set up a situation where I could buy his cups wholesale to offer to all of you on Drinking Vessels. At the time, he said my only option was to try to win his auctions so that is what I did. Slowly I was able to accumulate a few of his cups and list them on my own page. We saw an immediate demand for his work, as everything I bought from him sold right away one cup at a time.

After years of this, I finally persuaded Ned to hook me up with a handful of assorted fumed pints once in a while. These releases of 6-10 cups would sometimes be gone the day I received them and sometimes would even presell before I got them in the mail.

With some heavy negotiation I was able to persuade Ned to hook me up with some of his fully worked pints and eventually he made me a fully worked mug, still available on the site.

Fully Fumed Mug by Ned Glassman

I love Ned’s system and hope I’m not interrupting it too badly. He puts everything he makes online the day it comes out of the kiln for reasonable and affordable prices. His auctions and flash sales contain all kinds of objects from simple pendants and accessories to his incredible cups. Typically I see his stuff sold moments after it goes live. Rarely do I see something sit around and whenever I do I try to grab it for myself!

I remember Ned responding to my story one time when I was in Washington Square Park in New York City. He told me he grew up in the building in the background of my photo. We chatted a bit about NYC, and I eventually discovered that his sister is a friend of my friend Joel the woodworker in Brooklyn. It’s a small world after all!

It’s been fun to watch Ned’s work evolve since I started carrying him a few years ago. Everything has gotten refined, and he’s been experimenting with some new techniques and designs that I enjoy thoroughly.

Ned is one of those artists that doesn’t like much feedback, so my typical orders are like, “I’ll take six blue pints if you feel like it, or whatever else you want to send me.” I haven’t been disappointed yet, and his boxes are always some of my favorites to open!

BB: What’s your name and where are you from?
NG: Ned Glassman from Florida.

How long have you been full time?
Blowing glass for 15 years. Full time for 11. 

Ned Glassman

Tell us about your business model before you started selling your work through Drinking Vessels. 
My goal is to make as many cups as possible and sell them to as many people as I can. 

Ned Glassman Pints

Who is your favorite cup maker and who inspires your work?
Love Micah Evans stuff. Always stoked to see Dosa make a mug. Anyone who makes a decent cup impresses me. I try to avoid inspiration from others, although looking at everyone’s stuff on Instagram all day I can’t help but be inspired by the glass community as a whole. 

Do you have a favorite cup you own? Do you have a top cup on your wishlist that you wish you owned?
I have this one cup I made 9 years ago, it’s 10 ounces. I drink water from it every day. 

You recently tried coffee for the first time. Can you tell us about that experience as a man in his mid 30s? I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone that has held out so long. Did you enjoy it? Would you ever try it again?
I did not enjoy the coffee, can’t imagine trying it again. I’ve drank hundreds of Red Bull’s over the years, I always just took a little sip off it though. Could never handle caffeine well. A few years back I realized there was all these things I’d never done. All kinds of things. A lot of foods. Had never ate bacon, never drank a glass of wine. Been enjoying trying whatever comes my way. Although I don’t plan to drink coffee ever again. 

Say something about trying everything once. 
Look at answer above

What’s your favorite food?
Plain bagel with cream cheese from New Jersey. 

Think you’ll ever come out to Colorado to throw down with me at Bat Country Studios?
I would really enjoy that. I don’t often blow glass outside my home studio. Next summer would be perfect. I’m losing the ability to blow glass during the summers in Florida.  

Do you ever make collaborations? I arranged for you to give some prep to another artist I work with, but that person has not yet assembled cups from your prep. I don’t think we should tell people who this collaboration will be with but we can let it be a surprise instead. Needless to say, I’m excited!
Very few collaborations over the years. Especially cups. I am very excited to see the end result of that collab. The sections I made for it were some of my best. I really can’t wait 

Do you have any other hobbies?
Not really. I take to nature a lot. Hiking in the woods, kayaking, riding a bike, going to the beach. I used to fish for bass in the pond in my backyard, but I haven’t caught one in years. 

Do you think I’ve bought more of your cups than anyone else?
A few people have bought a lot of cups off me. More than I can count. You might have bought the most though. 

Ned Glassman Pints

How long did it take me to persuade you to sell to me?
A long time. 

Top glass artist you want to take a class from?
No one in particular. I think I’d like to go to one of those big glass events, like the Michigan Glass Project. It would be cool to watch all those awesome dudes demonstrating their styles.  

What do you like to listen to while you torch?
Lately I’ve been listening to audiobooks. Currently in the middle of East of Eden. Before that I did Helter Skelter. Before that was Crime and Punishment.  In between books I listen to music. As far as music a lot of Ween over the years. Love their early stuff, love their live sets. 

What else do you enjoy listening to?

Favorite food? Favorite color? 

How excited are you to be done with this interview?
I’m stoked to be done. Nice to share a bit of myself though

Please add anything else you want to share about yourself or your process and I’ll make sure to integrate it into the blog so it flows. 
I got nothing dude. 

Please send a headshot and/or a pic of you blowing glass. Any pics of your work that you want featured would be helpful too, but I have lots of pics of your work.

Ned Glassman's Face

Instagram: @nedglassman

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September 19, 2019


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