Hello World of Bongs Community, today we talk with the impressive Scotty Mickle (Liquid Glass Arts) about his work as glass blower:
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN GLASS IN THE FIRST PLACE?
The first time I stepped into a head shop was in Boston with my brother Ian when I was 14. He knew I had never seen anything like that before. We were skipping school, it was probably around 2002, all those multi sectioned linework pieces just blew my mind, like… how on earth is all this even done? I finally got on the torch for the first time in 2010 when I was 22. I’d been asking my friend Tim to dig out his old setup for a couple years by that time. He finally did one day and after melting for the first time I knew I wanted to blow glass pretty much every day for the rest of my life. He ended up gifting me his entire setup, torch, kiln, glasses, tools, everything. He showed me how to make a spoon, how to not blow myself up and even introduced me to a guy I could trade nuggets to for tanks of oxygen. That was easily the greatest gift anyone has ever given me.
WHERE DID YOU LEARN YOUR SKILLS?
For the first few years I learned most of what I knew from the Melting Pot forums because there were barely any glassblowers in Boston where I lived back then and I didn’t know any of them (this was before IG and FB took off) A few years later I moved to Boulder and I met a lot of talented glassblowers who I learned stuff from and by then there was starting to be a lot more information going around the internet
DO YOU CREDIT ANY OTHER GLASS BLOWER WITH HELPING YOU ACHIEVE YOUR SUCCESS?
My friend Nelson, he’s been on the torch since the 90’s, he taught me some of the basics I was lacking after I got to Boulder and he taught me a lot about theory which helped me advance myself into more complex builds.
TALK TO ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR STYLE.
A lot of my style is mathematically/geometrically inspired. My mind works a lot in numbers, statistics and proportions and stuff like that. I’m inspired by the natural world too, like astronomy, psychology, the one and many internal and external universes, the macro and the micro.
WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU MOST LIKE TO WORK WITH?
I like to work hollow forms, because playing with fluid dynamics is challenging and making molten glass flow with your breath is indescribably fascinating.
WHAT’S THE MOST EXPENSIVE/BEAUTIFUL PIECE YOU’VE EVER MADE?
My latest collab withRobert Mickelsenentitled “Therianthrope” is probably the most beautiful piece I’ve ever been a part of. It has a tropical theme with tons of sculptural elements, a vortex of multicolored leaves, flowers, toucans, chameleons, frogs, and the therianthropic female antelope in the center. Finishing that piece up at the DFO was incredibly exciting.
WHAT WAS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT ON THE PATH TO “MAKING IT” AS A GLASS ARTIST?
A few years ago I put someone on blast for copying one of my designs. It was way beneath me to do something like that. I let my emotions get the best of me and I behaved like a child. Luckily no one really remembers that now, but I do.
AND WHAT WAS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT?
Pretty much every time I push myself to do something new I experience the greatest moment again and again. When I successfully pull something challenging off that I’ve never tried before, it’s one of the best feelings I know of.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW GLASS ARTISTS?
Don’t make your goal to make money, just have fun. If you only try to turn a profit you will sell yourself short of your full potential. As artists, we have the capacity to heal others, by bridging what has been lost, with love, but you will never achieve that by thinking about money.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE STRAIN/EXTRACT, AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE TO DAB IT IN?
That’s like asking me what my favorite Dead song is… I could maybe name my favorite 10, but old pieces with sentimental value are my favorites.
IF YOU COULD MAKE YOUR “DREAM” PIECE, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
I make my dream pieces all the time but then I sell them so I get to make new ones!
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?
Never really thought about that. I guess probably my brother, he passed away a few years ago, just before I started blowing glass. The first time I ever smoked weed was with him. I think he would be proud of me and what I’ve done with my life since the last time I saw him.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR GLASS ARTISTRY IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY?
I think we have reached the pinnacle in glass innovation for the time being until they reinvent the wheel on puffing again like they did with dabs. As far as artistry though, we’ll all just keep pushing the boundaries. I feel like the boro world bridges the soft glass world and the scientific world to create something entirely new. Seems like every other week someone drops a new bomb that blows everyone’s minds.
IF YOU WERE SHIPWRECKED ON A DESERT ISLAND AND YOU COULD ONLY HAVE THREE ESSENTIAL PIECES WITH YOU, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE, AND WHY?
I would just want a clear marble to start a fire with so someone would find me and bring me back to the studio where I belong!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO/DAB TO?
I don’t actually puff while I work, in fact I’ve barely puffed at all for the last couple years. Just lots of good coffee and the occasional 25ug of Alice D… Music though… phish, dead, some chillstep lately, but I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work… usually fantasy/science fiction… I value imagination more than knowledge ::)))
THANK YOU, SCOTTY MICKLE, FOR THIS NICE INTERVIEW! WE WAIT TO SEE MORE AMAZING ARTWORK MADE BY YOU!