On Sundays I reflect.
I didn’t drink alcohol this week. Choosing to abstain from alcohol nearly two years ago has saved me thousands of dollars I’ve been able to invest in my business and my studio. I’ve not had a hangover since I quit, which has allowed me to be even more productive. I’ve been able to be more intentional in my actions and behavior and I feel like I’m making tremendous progress in my life towards my goals.
I only got on my snowboard once this week, but we didn’t get much snow so I’m feeling ok about it. Now I’m praying for snow all day every day until our event (excluding any times that interfere with my guests travel plans).
The third annual Vail Cup Collectors Club is five days away. Our artists are making their way into town to collaborate before the event and take some warm up laps at Vail. I’ve been able to create some cups with friends of mine for the show that sent me prep, but now I get to spend the week producing art with my friends in my studio.
I’m feeling so honored by the artists who have contributed to collaborations with me for the show. I’m feeling so grateful to the artists who have made time to travel all the way to Minturn to contribute to the show. I’m overwhelmed by the support of artists, collectors and my team here in the mountains. I feel like we are truly prepared for this year’s event, which is a feeling I’ve never had for a show I’ve produced before.
So a few weeks ago I shattered a collaboration I made with prep from Seth (@firekist). Moments before leaving the house to be interviewed on TV for Good Morning Vail I knocked over the cup and shattered the top. I was in such a frenzy I didn’t even know how to respond. This week I remade the cup and it came out better than the first attempt. We will still be trying to salvage the bottom half of the first attempt, but at least I had some backup prep from Seth.
Making that cup the first time was a struggle which consumed a full day of my time, not including Seth’s prep. I’ve been struggling to perfect that cup design for almost two years. It’s challenging and intimidating, and my success rate is not super high. Even when they come out of the kiln, I’ll notice one wavy encalmo line or some other imperfection that makes me want to smash it. It’s a nauseating process that can sometimes psych me out for days or weeks at a time.
It took me over a week to get to a point where I could try again. The process was nerve racking, as I knew there would not be a third chance when I used up the last of Seth’s prep. I put on Iron Maiden and surrendered to the flow for maybe three hours without any distractions after the hours of prep work I had done. I didn’t check my phone once. I reminded myself to use more heat and not be afraid, knowing that at any moment with one wrong move I could ruin all of my hard work and Seth’s, again.
When I finally completed one, I had my criticisms but my friend Matty (@thelittleglassgallery) saw the sneak preview and told me he wanted to scoop it at the show. Great! Money in the bank before the show even starts, plus a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
A client walked in while I was in the middle of that assembly session. He was picking up a cup. I grabbed his package and gave him a pair of didymium lenses to watch me. We hardly said five words in the hour or more he stood there watching me. At some points I almost bumped into him because I had forgotten he was there.
And that’s elemental flow. I achieve this state when blowing glass sometimes, playing music, and snowboarding. It’s like a dream state where nothing else exists or matters. It’s the epitome of being here now. And the replacement cup came out as close to perfect as I could imagine. It’s far better than the first. I almost lost it during one of the last steps, while connecting a thick bubble of pink lollipop to the bottom of Seth’s thinned out prep. Initially I wanted to put another section in the bottom but I had to call an audible. I ran out of black stringers for the lip wraps, and I thought the weight of the last section was going to be too thick and heavy to blend into the cup.
Flexibility is the name of the game. I have to be ready to adapt at any moment, allowing myself to bend. My life has been rigid. My body is physically stiff and it translates into my behaviors. I find something I like and repeat it until I can’t stand it any more. I wear the same clothes every day. I eat the same foods every week. I play songs on repeat for sometimes days on end. So I’m working on being more flexible. I’m trying to go with the flow. I’m letting go of what’s in the past and allowing whatever will come next to surprise me.
The only constant is change, and resistance is futile. I’ve spent so much of my life looking for good things and trying to hold on to them, when I should be allowing myself to experience new things all the time.
Speaking of new things, SALT sent me a box of goodies for the show including both solo work and collaborations. It came to me mystery box style, and when I opened it I was beyond stoked to see what he sent. One of the pieces is a collaboration with another artist I represent, who I arranged to get prep to SALT over six months ago. The wait is over on their first collab and I hear there might be a second in the works.
We had Theo back to the studio to create more video content we’ll be releasing as soon as we make time to sort through his shots. I’m doing my best to prioritize more video content for 2020, as I’ve identified that as an area our brand is lacking. If you have feedback for how we could improve our content please don’t hesitate to send us a message. We’re doing everything we can to bring you the best content we can create, and your support fuels our ability to keep improving.
Over the next week we will transform my relatively clean studio into an immaculately clean space to host a show. I’ve begun getting rid of things that are taking up space. We will be rearranging furniture and cleaning areas that have been overlooked since last year’s show (like the tops of my hoods and kiln). It won’t be fun, but it will create the environment I want for the show so its worth it. Aside from the art and equipment my studio will be unrecognizable from our day to day operations. The office will become a gallery and the work space will be rid of excess stuff to make room for as many people as we can fit.
We sold out of Ned cups. We’re down to a pair of Gordon’s fumed pints and a pair of Gordon’s fumed mugs. Ed Wolfe sent a big box of tumblers and mugs in fresh colors. I scooped a little fumed cup from Sun Bear Glass featuring gold ruby accents that I think is the best cup he’s made since I started tracking his progress. If you’re looking for an up and comer making affordable work check him out for sure. I also won an auction to my surprise for an awesome cup from @firespiderglass that will be hitting the website soon!
We got the first batch of Eric Goldschmidt’s Goblets along with the box from SALT for the show. Krunk Studios has a box on the way and True will be bringing more with her when she comes out this week.
Our new Mug Monday Live at 5pm MST on Instagram has been great the last few weeks and we hope you’ll join us tomorrow. We’ll announce the winners of our Free Shit Friday giveaways, host live auctions, and maybe even show a sneak peak of some work for the show!
As a special thank you we are offering 20% off everything in stock on the website from now until the show. We appreciate all the support we’ve received leading up to the show and making it possible for us to produce such an experience!
Don’t forget to sign up for our email list for first look at available work from the show next week!
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I blew glass almost every day this week. That felt good, mostly. I’m working on a lot of repetitive projects and prep, which can get old. I’ve been able to squeeze a few fun little experiments in between the monotonous work, and overall I’m having a good time on the torch.
I’ve been working on a playlist on spotify for you to tune into, and a correlating blog with my thoughts and anecdotes about the chosen songs and artists. Check that out here.
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