Dan Hoffman the Science Wiz, Expensive O2 and Family | Sunday Reflection 10/11/19

Dan Hoffman the Science Wiz, Expensive O2 and Family | Sunday Reflection 10/11/19

August 11, 2019

On Sundays I Reflect. I didn’t drink alcohol this week. It’s been a while. 

Blowing Glass with Dan Hoffman the Science Wiz

I did blow glass quite a bit more than usual, thanks to my good friend Dan Hoffman. He kept me up all night on his way across the country. We made four cups and two were sold that afternoon. After that we took naps and let the kiln cool down.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Dan Hoffman is a glass artist who just completed a dual art and scientific glass blowing degree at Salem Community College in New Jersey. Before that he got a chemistry degree from UCSB and the dude is an absolute wiz.

He’s one of my favorite people to blow glass with from a conceptual standpoint, incorporating caffeine molecules into coffee mugs and citric acid molecules into orange juice cups. He’s also one of the most talented flameworkers I’ve ever met. His understanding of the molecules he’s making, and his ability to go smaller than anyone I know with borosilicate glass makes him an incredible resource to the scientific community as well as a huge asset to the art world. 

During our overnighter, we listened to a shuffling of J Dilla’s music, ultimately settling on “workingonit” on repeat from around 4 a.m. until the end of our session after sunrise. If you’re unfamiliar, I highly suggest giving it a listen.

Also, if you didn’t know this about me I sometimes listen to single songs on repeat. Sometimes it’s just for a few times through, and sometimes it goes on for days. I’m working on a blog series to share to music I jam to. I feel like I’m able to achieve an absolute flow state through music, and usually that’s obtained after hours of hearing the same song on repeat until I lose myself in the glass or whatever other tasks I’m doing that day. 

Balancing the Bad with the Good

My oxygen company tripled my lease price on me, without telling me. I found out when I got the bill and they told me it was not negotiable. I’ve been with this company two years, and I referred three other nearby studios when I signed on with them.

A lot of people outside the glass blowing industry are not familiar with the challenges of sourcing things like oxygen or raw materials (tubes, rods, color, etc). Prices are subject to change, and availability is limited. Adding challenge to these frustrations, I’m located in a remote area with few options. It’s hard enough sourcing these things in major cities. Where I live the oxygen company is delivering from hours away, to a town that has one two lane road that is currently under construction. 

I haven’t really mentioned the construction here. Minturn is renovating the entire road and sidewalk on the only road through our little town of 1,200 people located between a river and mountains going up either side. It’s not like there is some alternative route we can take to get anywhere, so I’ve been spending a lot of this summer sitting in traffic or planning my driving times strategically to avoid construction. 

But there is this really friendly construction guy who is heavier with a big beard and glasses. He’s always directing traffic to stop or drive slow and he smiles and waved at every single car. He does a little curtsy and tips his hat, or flashes a peace sign. I don’t know his name but he makes my day every time I drive past him during what’s otherwise an absolutely miserable situation. 

Sometimes it’s about the silver linings. 

Checking Out Skye Gallery in Aspen

So yesterday I went to Aspen to attend an art talk by Gemma Danielle at Skye Gallery. She creates work completely freehand with ink and gold leaf, the contrast of black and white with gold accent is visually pleasing. Her work creates a kinetic effect that feels like an energy coming from the pieces and their creation. I had seen her work the week before when my parents and I attended Art Aspen, an international art convention I like to check out every summer. It was my first time meeting Gemma in person, after long admiring her work. 

Family in the Mountains

My family left this week after a nice visit to the mountains. My parents stocked the studio with groceries and took us all out to eat. My brother made a quick visit too for a few days, and I was finally able to step away from work and enjoy my time with them.

My brother met JCost for the first time despite having worked with him over the internet for the last few years. A handful of my parents friends also came to town and I was able to give them a tour of my studio after having slept on some of their couches and in some of their guest rooms across the country. I’m so grateful to have the support of my family and their extended family and friends. 

Connecting in the Digital Age

I’ve written about this before but it’s always hard for me to articulate. I’m connected to so many thousands of people on the internet, but many of them I never hear from or see. Friends come and go as we get swept into our own lives and lose touch. I have a few friends I talk with every week, most of whom don’t live near me. We’re working on transitioning fully to composition notebooks.

It’s hard for me to process not having spoken to dear friends in so long, people I used to see every day in college or childhood. People change and circumstances change, but make sure to reach out to the people that are important to you. I got to see a few old friends in Aspen yesterday, and it meant the world to me. 

Thanks for tuning in,

Ben



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