I did not drink alcohol this week.
I spent this week in California and write this one from an airplane home. It feels a little different than the comfort of my own bed, which I'm eager to get in and catch up on sleep. The primary purpose of my trip was to meet Mr. Voorhees and pick up his first order for Drinking Vessels. Nick has made a few cups in the past, and when he posted a little murrini stacked cup experiment I reached out to set up our first release.
I landed in LA and shot straight over to see my friend Josh Jenkins (@callmefag) who is consulting me to help make my brand intersectional. I've been reading a book that was suggested to me "White Fragility" by Robin Diangelo in order to address white privilege and my position as a white man. This is a very complex issue we're facing today, and I'm working hard to incorporate the principals of equality into my personal life and business.
I headed up to Santa Barbara that night to link with Voorhees at his studio. We spent about three days together, in which he finished the order and made a collaborative mug with me. Our collaboration is one of my favorite pieces I've ever been a part of, and it sold before it was finished. I'm working on a blog post about Nick, so I'll save most of the details for that. It was great hanging out in Santa Barbara and getting to know Nick while he worked on the big drinkware drop!
From SB I headed down to LA for a few meetings before making my way to Newport Beach to meet a client. The Little Glass Gallery has been one of my biggest supporters for years, and despite the fact that we don't get to see each other often we always have a great time when we do. He also promised I would be able to come see his personal collection this time, but we'll get to that.
I met the group down at Mastro's Ocean Club in Newport Beach, after killing a few hours in the cafe down the block. My client had mentioned to me that he frequents the spot, so when the Maitre'd came up to whisper in his ear I assumed it was for special treatment of some kind. I realized I wasn't completely wrong, when I overheard the request for my client to remove his "Assholes Live Forever" sweatshirt but he was assured that his hat was not a problem. We started with a Tuna Jalapeño Sashimi and buttered bread, followed by a feast of filets along with brussel sprouts, broccoli, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and corn. As if that weren't enough, we followed up with a handful of decadent desserts including my client's favorite the Butter Cake. The food was some of the best I've had, and far more importantly our time together was truly wonderful. I teased him about the cups in the trunk of my car that he would have to wait to see until after dinner. He taunted me with the cups in his collection obtained without my assistance. There are not many people who I've met that have accumulated an 89 cup collection besides myself, and it's always a treat to be able to discuss cups with someone who appreciates the form as much as I do.
So after this lavish dinner in which we are the youngest and most casually dressed group in the restaurant we step outside to the car. I unpacked the entire Voorhees order along with the other cups I made before the trip from the gun case in the trunk of my car. My client made his selections in the parking lot, after a few minutes of deliberation. We then headed to the casino where he put me up in a suite for the night. Perks of being a high roller I guess. He spent a few minutes on the slots, before turning in for the night.
Yesterday morning I woke up in the casino and asked for a later check out. Eventually I dragged myself out of bed and headed to my clients smoothie spot Nektar. The smoothie was fine, but no comparison to mine. After years of admiring his collection online, it was finally time to see it in person. I won't go into too much detail here, as his collection deserves its own blog but I'll say that was the most impressive collection of glass drinkware I've ever seen. It's a true honor to have been able to help him build his collection, roughly half of which I've been able to provide for him. He's always let me know what he's after, and I've done my best to be able to bring a variety of work from each of the artists I represent. His collection features one or two of the most significant pieces from a handful of artists along with over 20 Ned Glassman fumed pints which are the ones that got him started. His passion for collecting Big Z pipes has carried over to his half dozen cups from Z alone, and his Stephan Peirce mug collection is in contention with one other collector for being the biggest with a half dozen of those as well.
Once I finished obsessively inspecting his collection, we grabbed some lunch and headed up to the Eusheen show at Harbor Smoke Zone. Most of the work sold right away, and people were dabbing out of pieces from the show by the time I arrived. I would estimate about a half million dollars in pipes were used at the sesh, allowing me the opportunity to try some of the best flavors I've ever seen from some truly one of a kind works of art. The new Darby x Gong was one of the coolest pieces I've hit in a long time, and the Eusheen redisculators hit like a dream. At one point the shop was so smoked out I had to step outside, where I caught up with Eusheen, Darby, Calm, Jameson, Hoobs and a few other glass artists along with collectors from all over.
So we'll have a photo shoot this week and I'll be able to release the remaining Voorhees cups by next week. I'm wrapping up a blog post on Nick to release with the cups, so you can learn more about our time together and Nick's art. I'm also already working on scheduling the next drop so stay tuned to see who else will be releasing cups through Drinking Vessels.
Before I wrap this up I'll share one more CUPDATE. Jason Lee made a fully worked Goblet, and it's on the way to me shortly. You may have seen it on his page, and I'm thrilled to be able to bring it to the page. I own a fully worked Goblet/Shot Glass pair in my personal collection that's not for sale. We will have to see if I sell or keep the new black and white one, but either way you'll love it when you see it!
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On Sundays I reflect.