There was a time when I was homeless. I was traveling the country working in any glass studio with a lathe that would have me and ended up at The Boro School in Seattle. I was living out of an 80 liter camping pack and another backpack I would wear on my chest opposing the behemoth on my back. I remember buying a Tupperware tub at the goodwill next to that studio so I could carry more with my arms beneath the front backpack. I was also lugging around full tubes of 75x5mm which I would cut in half when I got to a facility with a big enough lathe. Those times were tough physically and emotionally draining. Nate Dizzle provided me, and countless other glass blowers a place to go in times like those. For that I am eternally grateful.
On my second trip to The Boro School, I offered a class on lathe work and building a brand based on giving back. My students were eager to learn how the lathe could help them, and even more interested in how they could use their art and skills to help other people. This mentality was fostered at Dizzle’s studio.
Keegan kept in close contact after meeting me at the class. He told me he would eventually buy a lathe so I kept my eyes and ears open for a small bench top model. One day I got a call from Stephan Peirce with news that Grav Labs was liquidating equipment during their facility relocation. I was able to have a small Litton F lathe shipped to my studio between the legs on the much larger Heatheway that I purchased for my studio. Keegan came out to pick it up and has been running it in Seattle since.
Ben Belgrad: Tell us a little about how you got into glass blowing before my lathe class.
Lintz: Art has been my outlet for as long as I can remember. I was really lucky as a child, my aunt (Nancy Russell) is a very talented painter and was my biggest supporter for creating art as a kid. Anytime she came to visit she'd always bring me a new art tool or medium to try out, graphite, pastels, inks, paints, watercolors, drawing pads, etc. I continued to create 2D art through my childhood and teenage years doing a lot of different mediums but always coming back to ink or pencil. Glass didn't even make its way into my field of vision until I was 18, and my room became a storage unit for my friend's pipe collection. Then in 2013, while I was on bed rest for 6 months after a long hospital stay. A close friend of mine came over and showed me the movie Degenerate Art, it was like he was a heady missionary sent to my house to convert me to the glassblower I am today! I immediately had to find out more; a couple months later my mom had bought me a coupon for my first class at my new house of worship, the Boro School. After my first class there I was hooked, and a couple weeks later I made an unpopular decision and dropped out of flight school and went full force into learning more about glassblowing. I immediately lost support of a decent handful of people in my life but I couldn't have been happier to leave what I thought was going to be my career for this art medium that speaks to me better than any other medium. The Boro School became like another home to me and eventually I became a part of it. Not just having my own spot to blow glass there but I got to contribute too. I was taken on as an intern/apprentice for J. Cost to help him with graphic design work and screen printing. He taught me so much more about 2D art during my time working with him, and it really reinspired my drive for drawing. This was the peak of my time there, being apart of such a crazy and cool community is something that really can't be beat.
I met Ben back in early 2017 when I took a class at the Boro School, called “Building a Brand Based on Giving Back”, where he became my teacher and introduced me to the lathe. Once Ben showed me how to turn the lathe on and it started spinning glass I was immediately mesmerized by it and knew this was something I needed to pursue. I remember by the last day of class I was ecstatic because Ben, Frit glass, and Creep glass agreed to walk me through making my first bong on a lathe (also my first bong ever). I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to lathe work. Ben and I spent some hours after class each day discussing Drinking Vessels and lathe work. He broke down how Drinking Vessels worked, the philanthropy side of things and how to accomplish that myself, lathe techniques, and how I could go about planning and starting my own lathe setup. Talking with Ben on how he and his brother conduct Drinking Vessels inspired me immensely to start planning more for my future, not just how I could grow my lathe skills and build my business but also how I can take what I’m doing and use it to affect others positively. This class and meeting Ben was and still is potent accelerant for my flameworking passion.
Less than one year after my class with Ben, I got a call from him saying he could hook me up with a Litton F lathe but I had to act fast. He was kind enough to offer to finance it to me because he knew that I would do well with it and without hesitation, I said yes. Then late October of 2017 my friend and I made our way from Seattle down to Minturn, CO and picked up my lathe in person from Ben. Arriving there was easily the most exciting day of my glass career and changed everything for me from then forward. I brought that machine home in the truck of my little Jetta TDI; stripped it all the way down to the skeleton, cleaned every part, learned how it works inside and out, and put it all back together like new. The lathe became an indispensable tool for me that I use everyday. I can say with confidence that I wouldn't be where I am today without this tool Ben taught me to use and all his help before and since then.
What is your perspective on the cup scene? Who is your favorite cupmaker?
Watching what the borosilicate cup scene (and cup scene overall) has become since then has been outstanding. I love seeing so many fellow pipemakers ball out on such stunning cups. And to have a cup curator such as Drinking Vessels is crucial, it's such a great collective representation of what us flameworkers can do. It's so hard to say who my favorite cup maker overall would be but currently Tim Drier has been blowing my mind. Overall, I'm extremely excited to see what's in store with the cup scene.
I’m also a huge fan of Keegan’s non glass artwork, and wear one of his hoodies regularly, which we featured in an Earth Day show I produced in Long Beach California a few years ago. Since he apprenticed for our very own J. Cost back in The Boro School days doing graphic design and screen printing, carrying his cups really brings everything full circle for all of us.
Can you talk about your artistic pursuits beyond glassblowing and how you balance multiple projects?
I try really hard to keep my life going outside of glass as well, though at times it can be about 90% glassblowing. I still have plenty of projects and things I enjoy doing outside of glass. Printing and ink drawing are still huge for me, whether I'm drawing a new pipe/cup design, doing typography, or just drawing Blunt Dog its so important for me to keep doing it cause its my creative roots. Limiting myself on how much time I spend blowing glass has become more crucial because I have a workaholic mentality where I feel like I constantly need to be productive, even if I don't bare workaholic results all the time. Just giving myself a day or two a week off to do non-glass responsibilities, see my family and friends, pursue my other interests, or even just relax and not do shit is vital. I've had to do a lot in the past 5 years to get this balancing act going; from changing my entire diet (forced to from a chronic illness called Eosinophilic Esophagitis), exercising often, starting stricter wake up times, making sure all glass orders are in order and taken care of, day jobs here and there to keep it going, keeping more records of things, keeping up with social media so people know your stuff exists, continuously planning for the future, etc. it's coming together still but everyday I stick to my plans and regimen it gets easier.
I hope this first pair of tumblers is the first of many to come from our dude Lintz Glass so keep your eyes peeled for more!
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