Hello World of Bongs Community, let´s talk with Colton Baker (Sqwishy Glass), a new and young artist from Kansas:
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN GLASS IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I first got into glass after my mom had gotten a job at a local store called Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs Kansas and is kind of a local legend. I got a job there shortly after and started watching demos and selling marbles. My mom decided she wanted to get into making marbles herself so we started to build a studio in our garage and then sometimes after work we would go to a coworkers house and watch them work so we could start to practice at home.
WHERE DID YOU LEARN YOUR SKILLS?
In the super early stages of my glass working I learned from my Co-worker David and my Mom who pretty much taught me the basics on how to round a marble. The only other techniques I was taught was the basics of a cone vortex and how to make compression flowers. Ever sense then I’ve learned almost everything I know through personal experimentation, watching others, or talking to other artists. I’ve have never taken any classes before but I do plan on it in the future. I did go to AGI “The Art Glass Invitational” this past year and met some amazing people and learned ALOT.
DO YOU CREDIT ANY OTHER GLASS BLOWER WITH HELPING YOU ACHIEVE YOUR SUCCESS?
I give almost all of the credit to my Boss Bruce Breslow, my Mom Donna Baker and my Co-Worker David Shatto. Without Bruce the moon would have never been made and I never would have started in the first place and without my Mom and David I never would have been pushed to start working glass.
TALK TO ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR STYLE.
Right now my big thing is my Dichroic Checker Board Vortex’s because they are done in a completely different way than most vortex’s and give a whole new illusion and allow for many new varieties of the simple vortex style. I personally credit the style/Idea to David as he was the first to share it with me but I’m not sure how many people know the technique or who started it but it’s very different than traditional cone vortex’s.
WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU MOST LIKE TO WORK WITH?
I mostly work with 104coe soft glass which in my opinion is much more of a challenge than 33coe borosilicate as soft glass is much more temperamental and unforgiving in my opinion. I enjoy the challenge of using soft glass but do plan on transitioning more to boro to further my knowledge of glass and try techniques that are easier or more applicable to borosilicate glass. I also want to get into more hollow work in the future.
WHAT’S THE MOST FAVORITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER MADE?
The first marble I ever bought was a space scene created by Benjamin Cornwell and I credit that piece to most of my inspiration so I would say my favorite pieces I have ever made were my early space scenes in marbles in honor of that piece.
WHAT WAS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT ON THE PATH TO “MAKING IT” AS A GLASS ARTIST?
Luckily So far I haven’t had any bad or embarrassing moments since I’m still kind of new and only a little over a year on the torch but I have had a few 104 rods explode from thermal shock and create some nice cuts and burns on my face that aren’t easy to explain to normal people.
AND WHAT WAS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT?
I think my proudest moment has to be either my first sale ever at my first glass event which was the 2018 Marble Crazy show at Moon Marble or when I Won the scholar ship offer given by Matt Kelly, Chad Parker, and Andrew Lazenby to go to AGI in 2018.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW GLASS ARTISTS?
As a new glass artist myself I would just say keep the glass grind going and don’t beat yourself up. Always finish a piece no matter what goes wrong because you’ll always learn something new from it and don’t be afraid to step off the path and try new things, there is always something out there to learn so never keep yourself from learning.
IF YOU COULD MAKE YOUR “DREAM” PIECE, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
I’ve always wanted to make space scenes ever since I bought my first piece so My Dream piece would have to be 3-4” space scene with a crazy amount of depth and tons to look at, I love the way fume looks in any color spectrum with that and dichro you can creat the illusion of stars and space gasses to add color along with sculptures of planets and moons.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR GLASS ARTISTRY IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY?
I think that there is a lot of work going on in the functional industry right now but I’m not really in that yet but I think right now marbles and pendents are getting pretty big again. There is a lot of people starting hider groups around the country to get people into buying handmade glass and starting their own collections through finding hiders and trading and stuff like that.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO?
My music taste is not very specific but also not very normal, I listen to everything from the Beatles to Trap Metal. The only music I don’t listen to often is country music, so you could play anything from classical to punk rock to rap music and I’d be happy.
THANK YOU, SQWISHY GLASS, FOR THIS NICE INTERVIEW! WE WAIT TO SEE MORE AMAZING ARTWORK MADE BY YOU!