An Interview with Jawn Owens
On February 24th, 2018, Juan “Jawn” Owens descended from Mount Krushmore and came to Stoked for an unforgettable experience.
For his first ever solo show, Jawn brought style and flame to Connecticut. Having mentored under the almighty Germ and worked alongside of some of the biggest titans in the game (Diet, Yook, Queso, and Trevy Metal) to name a few, Jawn has spent years perfecting his craft. In an industry where an artist has to constantly innovate, he had to push the boundaries to make his mark.
Juan spent over a month leading up to the show crafting a series of pieces that came in at various price points. He stocked up an army of (solos and collabs) mini and micro travelers, removable downstem mini tubes and micro tubes, and banger hangers. The goal was to make sure everyone at the show would have the opportunity make a good scoop
Style is only one part of creating incredible functional glass art. A scientific aspect has to be applied to bring the functional aspect of the work to life. Enter the Jawn Owens GyroCycler.
A pinnacle of style and performance, the design relies on advanced seals known as Jesus seals. With total of four seals, two in the bottom can and two up between the discs, the Gyrorcycler delivers some the cleanest function you’ll see in the industry today.
Before the reveal, Jawn hopped on the torch and put on a hell of a show for the collectors, fellow artists, and enthusiasts who came from all across the states. Juan’s parents even flew out from Fresno to watch their son put on his first solo show. It was a humbling and intimate experience that everyone was stoked to be part of.
The quiet didn’t last long though. After a few seconds, everyone swarmed in and began function testing and getting closer looks. The tubes and banger hangers flew to the checkout counter alongside Gyrocyclers. There was truly something for everyone at this grassroots show which is what embodies everything that Jawn, we at Stoked, and all artists in this incredible industry try to achieve.
In one of the rare moments of downtime, Stoked’s Rigsquad Mike caught up with Jawn for a little Q&A:
Stoked: Where are you from? Where do you blow glass?
Jawn: I live and work out of Philadelphia, I work in what I consider to be the east coasts central glass working hub.
S: How and why did you get into glass blowing?
J: I started working at a head shop and was looking to better understand what was being sold, a pivotal tipping point came when M. Slinger released “Degenerate Art.” Shortly after taking a Germ class, I moved out to southern New Jersey to study at Salem Community College. Later moving to Philadelphia into Krushmore.
S: Tell us a little about your motivations in the art.
J: As far back as I can remember I’ve always been attracted to the idea of crafting objects. I enjoy the challenges presented in working with glass and the unlimited possibilities it has. Without really realizing, I’ve been taught lessons in the responsibility of each artist to push themselves beyond their comfort levels. I strive to test my abilities that I’ve gained thus far and to keep reaching for more.
S: What’s your favorite color(s) to work with in glass?
J: It’s hard to really say which exact color is my favorite, the evolving transparent colors from Glass Alchemy have been the foundations for my work. The workability and reliability of their vast pallet is why I use their colors in almost the entirety of my work.
S: What’s the best part about being a glassblower?
J: The best part for me about being a Glassblower is being a part of something bigger than myself. The realization that you’re apart of an artistic revolution of an art form brings a sense of satisfaction to me. From the artists to the collectors, the sense of community and belonging is the best part.
S: What’s inspires you to wake up and grind?
J: What drives me is the challenge that glass poses each day. The amount of variables and attention to detail with working glass keeps you wanting more. The frustration and defeat humbles you with every step. There is nothing more satisfying than coming to the studio and reaching in the kiln for that treasure you built the night before.
S: On a scale of 1-10 How Stoked are you?
J: I’m beyond stoked!!! More stoked to share the experience with my friends and fam!