Hello World of Bongs Community, as the whole family of Mako Glass is working with glass, we got to a interview with his brother Patrick Entenmann (Entenmann Art Studios) about his impressive work:
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN GLASS IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I grew up teaching myself tradtional art techniques. Through school, I had taken every art class offered, and was a teachers aid for several semesters. By the time I graduated high school I was regularly selling acrylic, oil, and watercolor paintings and commissioned portraits in graphite and charcoal, both through local galleries and private sales. By the time I got married at 21, I was a full time glassblower.
My brother was the first one to get excited about glass, and shortly after he started, he wanted to share what it was all about. At that time I had never heard of, let alone seen flameworked glass. Even just starting out I was able to make a good deal more money per hour playing around and learning glass than drawing and painting. It was also a way to explore a 3rd dimension, and satiate my creativity.
Unfortunately, shortly after the economic downturn in 2008, I was just finishing my undergraduate degree in pre-law, my wife was laid off from her job, and the local prospects were grim. We were forced to rent out our home and move north to Eugene, Oregon, ironically, a glassblower mecca, I sold all of my equipment and left my studio behind. I took up my skills in tradtional art and once again, began selling commissioned graphite and charcoal portraits and began painting again. It wasn’t until we again moved north to portland several years later, that my brother began planting seeds for me to take glass back up. Once convinced, I took every cent I could scrape together, and rebuilt a studio, and started playing with pendants, which were totally foriegn to me at the time, I originally worked inside-out patterned tubes, so you could say I really started twice.
WHERE DID YOU LEARN YOUR SKILLS?
Again, I have to credit my brother. He had a much better handle on the culture in which glass art really started to take off. I originally intended to get an art degree in college, but soon realised it wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to go, so in addition to working with my brother, I consider myself reletively self taught.
DO YOU CREDIT ANY OTHER GLASS BLOWERS WITH HELPING YOU ACHIEVE YOUR SUCCESS?
By now it should be clear, without my brothers interest in glass, I’d never have gotten very far. To clarify, my brother is Mako. Much of my style is similar to his for obvious reasons. Other than that, I intentionally try to limit my exposure to other artists. It’s so easy to copy a style, intentionally or not, and as professional courtesy, I try my best to avoid doing so. I probably limit my potential, but I prefer to be mostly self-taught.
TALK TO ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR STYLE. IS IT TECHNICAL OR MORE ORGANICAL?
Interesting question. Organic, perhaps? I don’t spend much time on labeling my style. I just do what comes to me. I lack the patience for intricate patterning, I just try to keep things clean.
WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU MOST LIKE TO WORK WITH?
Striaght color rod, canes, and millis. I did a lot of fuming work when I first started, and I think I’d like to add a least an element into my current work.
WHAT’S THE MOST FAVOURITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER MADE?
I’ve made double and triple bubblers that would probably go for a decent price, but my favorite pieces to make are the dragon heads. As far as I know, no one else does them, or at least not how I make them.
WHAT WAS YOUR WORST MOMENT ON THE PATH TO “MAKING IT” AS A GLASS ARTIST?
Being routinely interrupted on my path. Like I’ve stated, I had a bumpy road. The forced move really hurt, and for many years, I was certian it was a death knell. Not too long after I finally got my shop up and going again, we once again moved due to a job change. This time taking us all the way to the east coast. This time however, it was only a few months hiatus until I was able to convert a garage/workshop into a functioning studio.
AND WHAT WAS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT?
Probably the first sale on my etsy store. It was a inexpensive pendant, nothing I would say was extrodanary, but it was proof of concept that I didn’t always have to rely on distributors, or spend time hocking my work in head shops. It was also my first sale since re-starting in glass.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW GLASS ARTISTS?
Just do it. You have to sell a lot of crap before you can start being proud of your work. I’m sure not everyone is cut out for this. It does take some talent, but mostly its just putting the time in and learnign the skills. If you can find people willing to buy that first crappy glass, you are ahead of the game by financing your learning.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE STRAIN/EXTRACT, AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE TO DAB IT IN?
This might be heretical, but I rarely use cannabis personally. At least not enough to have personal favorites. So I’d have to say whichever and whatever is available.
IF YOU COULD MAKE YOUR “DREAM” PIECE, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
Since in my case it would be more ornamental that functional, that opens up the realm to the more delicate. I like the look of the mythical, skeletal dragons, in earth tones. that is to say the large pieces with lots of little welds, and lots of potential for breaks.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE, MOST OF ALL IN THIS WORLD, TO HIT YOU UP FOR A PIECE, AND WHAT PIECE WOULD YOU MAKE FOR HIM/HER?
I’ll let you know if and when something like that happens. I like making things for the everyman. I try not to overcharge, and still provide quality glass. The gratitude I get from someone who can’t afford high dollar glass, but can save up for something relatively simple from me, is every bit as important to me than making something extraordinary for some celebrity.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR GLASS ARTISTRY IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY?
American innovation is awesome, and as cannabis becomes legal in more areas, it opens the potential for all kinds of things I’m not clever enough to forsee. I’m excited for what the future holds.
IF YOU WERE SHIPWRECKED ON A DESERT ISLAND AND YOU COULD ONLY HAVE THREE ESSENTIAL PIECES WITH YOU, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE, AND WHY?
Hopefully this dosen’t come off as snarky, but shipwrecked on a desert island, I’d like something heavy and blunt, something sharp, and something with a parabolic lens.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO/DAB TO?
I’ve odd taste in music according to most of my close friends. I love blues, and americana. Throw in some Pink Floyd, R.L. Burnside, John Prine, I’m a happy artist!