As we flew high above the clouds, the Stoked crew was eager to land in Madison Wisconsin. It is time for the 2016 GlassRoots Art Show, an industry trade show focused mainly on Glass. At this point it wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t ironically run into the legendary Bob Snodgrass at Madison airport. Picture us, a rowdy squad wearing our stoked flying attire and bob is rocking the epic aviator jump suit!
With Neck pillows & Crunk Lion in tow we wait for our hotel chariot to arrive. We enjoyed a few epic stories from Bob while we waited, then gladly heard some more on the ride to the hotel. Once we checked in priorities kick in and its time for a sesh! We spoke about a game plan, got some grub and called it a night.
GlassRoots kicked off with a new industry talk show deemed the “Tito Bern Show”, which was packed full of knowledge and Information for Glassblowers, Shop owners, and anyone else involved in the industry. With the birth of the GlassRoots Education Project comes much useful insight for your glassblowing tool belt; whether its tools/tricks/tips or technique. Tito & his co host Raj Singh accompanied by Mike Shelbo as the show’s narrator sat down with guests like Hamm, Matty White, & Jason Harris. They thoroughly discussed topics like Operation Pipe Dreams and the effect and development of our market place. There was a lot of content discussed so if you’re interested you should check it out the full video avail on YouTube. Next up was Germ’s demonstration “A Quest For Balance” which included an in depth narration, as well as interactive discussions on the idea of finding balance within yourself and in your daily work. Throughout the 3 days of the event many lectures and demos occurred including a few epic prespectives by Raj Singh, Roger Paramore, Darby Holm and Robert Mickelsen.
So while the Glassblowing demos are in one hall the convention is in the other. For us shop buyers; this is the main event! The line forms at the entrance and we patiently wait for the doors to open. The announcement was made, the door was opened, and the black Friday style rush began. A layout of the exhibitor booths had previously been released so Competitive shop buyers knew exactly where they were heading. As we divide and conquer to make our scoops the trade show has begun. Artist booths like Steve Sizelove, Piper Dan, Micro & Crunklestein were rushed upon by shop buyers eager to grab the pipes that caught their eye. After an initial rush the crowd spider webs onto the showroom floor with a mission to restock their shops with new innovative art, bread & butter sales items and their choice of top of the line products our industry has to offer.
Throughout the 3 days, a ton of live glass demonstrations took place. With names like Aquarius, Berzerker, Takoda, & Piper Dan taking the stage, many artists/teachers showed us how to rage boro in the flame. In lamp working most of the time there is a right and a wrong. There are also unorthadox scenarios where there is no right or wrong answer which is what makes this art form so versatile and diverse. We appreciate the craft that is Glass Art and the families that form within our community. There are many stories and memories so I’m going to intrigue your imagination with a list of great highlights from those few days in Madison: All of the Insane Demos that took place in the Monona Terrace, Freeeks studio party, Free Massages from Detoxify, hearing epic stories from Snodgrass, Interviewing Piper Dan, mobbin with the Bern fam, chatting 1000 cranes with Germ, drinking old fashioned’s, the MACA party we never made it to, Whip its, Hangin with Raj, Zac killing it at the Auction, Food from The Great Dane, especially the poutine, chillen with chadrienne, sailor mouthing with Jerry Kelly & overall having a great time. Whether we purchased your glass, had an hour conversation, exchanged smiles, gave you some swag, danced with you, ate good food or even just had a dab/drink we were Stoked we got to hang with you! Thank you GlassRoots 2016 its been real my Friends! Until Next Time… its Lit!