Hello World of Bongs Community, we got a interview with Turtle Time Glass, artist and owner of Dichroic Alchemy:
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN GLASS IN THE FIRST PLACE?
The first time I saw glass pipes was at the World Hemp Expo Extravaganja (WHEE) in 1998. It was a high times sponsored Hemp Fest outside of Eugene Oregon. Many of the artists that are now my good friends were there showing off their amazing work. I was gifted my first glass pipe, a small color changing fume chillium. I also became infatuated with the work of Jamin Diaz and Jordan Lucas (SheepDawg). Their booth was filled with the most amazing sparkling shiny glass pieces I have ever seen. What I would soon learn was dichroic glass. That event opened my eyes to the world of glass. That’s when I first fell in love with glass.
WHERE DID YOU LEARN YOUR SKILLS?
I was going to college at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. It just so happened that Jamin and Sheep Dawg also lived in Corvallis, as did many of the most amazing and influential glass artists of our movement. Over the coarse of the next two years I began exploring the Corvallis counter culture, through the local music scene. Music was the thing that connected all of the local artistic community. That’s where we would meet new friends and deepen our connections as community. In 1999 I started a portfolio business, taking digital portfolio pictures for the other artists in town. That how I met Banjo. In 2000 a good friend of mine Ryan Whitmore (Wag Glass) decided to drop out of engineering school to start blowing glass. He took a class from Marc Rudak to set a foundation of techniques. When you start blowing glass it helps to have a buddy that is learning with you, someone to keep you company in the shop and to discuss what we have learned from todays experiences. So I started out as Ryans work buddy. I would just make little aquatic sculptures out of the scrapes on his little hand torch.
DO YOU CREDIT ANY OTHER GLASS BLOWERS WITH HELPING YOU ACHIEVE YOUR SUCCESS?
I am the product of the amazing glass family in Corvallis. It is the greatest honor to be connected to the lineage that is the Corvallis glass family. There are so many artists that have helped me along the way. Without whom I would not be the artist I am today. Starting from the initial inspiration of Jamin and Sheep Dawg, to my friend ryan who gave me the opportunity to melt glass for the first time. Firefly (not the gorilla guy) and Dan Leo where I rented my first bench space. And Clinton Roman who transformed me from a hobby artists to the skilled working artist that I am today. He believed in me and pushed me to become a true artist and master of the flame. With out him I would still be working in construction.
TALK TO ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR STYLE. WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM?
I went to college for Marine Biology. So a lot of the driving influence in my work comes from my love of the ocean and my years of science education. I always wanted to make things as realistic as possible. I wanted my art to reflect my scientific understand of the world. I wanted to inspire people to see the beauty in the natural world and see deeper into the mysteries of life. My work always pulls towards nature, the ocean, and the great mysteries. Dichroic also became a huge part of my style. A cord that grew from the seeds of my experience at WHEE, that was nurtured by the many Corvallis artists that pioneered the early borosilicate dichroic applications. Then in 2010 I became the owner of Dichroic Alchemy a company that makes boro specific dichroic coatings. At which point my work became almost exclusively dichroic applications. While still influenced by the natural world this focus on dichroic allowed me to explore other inspirations as well.
WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU MOST LIKE TO WORK WITH?
I will be forever infatuated with Dichroic Glass. I refer to it as living color. The dance of light and color, ever changing. It breathes life into the glass.
WHAT’S THE MOST FAVOURITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER MADE?
My 2013 Champs Masters winning piece will forever be a highlight of my glass career. It is called “More than the sum of our parts” the face of the pipe movement. You can see it with the artist statement on Youtube. It is the story of the two driving forces of the glass pipe movement, the fire of artistic Passion and the drive of Money. This piece is now in the collection of Lost Marbles Gallery outside of Detroit Michigan.
WHAT WAS YOUR WORST MOMENT ON THE PATH TO “MAKING IT” AS A GLASS ARTIST?
I don’t have a single worst moment. The life of an artist is a constant balance between failure and success. For every high there is a low. For every big sale there is a month without sales. Learning to trust in my self in the face of these ever-changing tides is the true test of any artist.
AND WHAT WAS YOUR BEST MOMENT?
As far as achievements winning the Champs Glass Games Masters will forever be a top moment. But the lasting fulfillment comes from the incredible relationships I have developed with all the people that have supported me along the way. All the stores that have believed in my work, all the artists that I have created with and been inspired by, and especially all of the collectors that are inspired and moved by my art work. I was just at the Oregon Country Fair and I had two friends who buy a little something from me each year. This year they bought a Reef Recycler. They told me about them saving up all year so they could come get a special piece from me this year. That is why I keep doing it. I blow glass for myself but im an artist because of the fulfillment I get from my collectors. To all of them I say thank you.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW GLASS ARTISTS JUST STARTING OUT?
The path of the glass artist is a long journey that never ends. Enjoy each moment. Cultivate belief in yourself. Stay true to your calling. Do it for the love of it and because you can’t not do it. Always listen to the glass it is our true teacher. What goes around comes around, every interaction we have is laying the foundation for the relationships that sustain us through this journey.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE STRAIN/EXTRACT, AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE TO DAB IT IN?
Super Silver Haze and Sour Diesel are some of my favorites. I really like the fruity flavors. The taste is a huge part of the experience. I have had so many wonderful pieces. Each one becomes an old friend. Right now my daily drivers are nice pocket sized warden sherlock for herbs, and sweet dichroic recycler for dabs. I use a Mini Nail for my recycler. Both are pieces I have made.
IF YOU COULD MAKE YOUR “DREAM” PIECE, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
I have made my dream piece several times over. Its so amazing to get to keep dreaming and that my skill and experience can create what I can envision. My favorites usually involve humpback whales.
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?
It is always a great honor to make a piece for a hero or other inspiring artist. My celebrity pick would be Jason Mamoa, Mos Def, Bootsy Collins, or Donald Glover. I love making art for people who inspire me, artists and heros like Michael Franti, Ani Defranco, Emily Kell, Alex Grey, and Mark Henson. I love making custom pieces, so the best part would be to spend some time with each of them and to craft their perfect piece. Something that connects deeply with what inspires them.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR GLASS ARTISTRY IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? FIRST WE HAD BONGS, THEN THE RISE OF DAB RIGS HAS SERIOUSLY ELEVATED THE STATUS OF GLASS ARTISTS ‐ WHAT’S NEXT?
Well legalization is bringing big changes to our industry. The pipe market was in some ways protected from the influx of mass production. But now that it is becoming normalized those protections are going away. Legal markets are being inundated with low priced foreign production. This will make it harder for people to get started, there will be less of a stable market for the entry level pieces. I think this will drive a divide between the art pipe market and the production pipe market. As artists it will drive us to continue to innovate and recreate ourselves. Each of us finding our individual artistic voices will be essential to standing out from the mass produced goods.
IF YOU WERE SHIPWRECKED ON A DESERT ISLAND AND YOU COULD ONLY HAVE THREE ESSENTIAL PIECES WITH YOU, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE, AND WHY?
Well my trusty warden sherlock would be essential for blazing new trails on this island. It fits in a pouch, its tough, and just feels great in the hand. I would keep my dichroic recycler for all my daily dabbing needs. The final piece would have to be one of LaceFace’s princess rigs or the Banjo/Joe P White Buffalo devi, or the mayan dragon devi.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC TO WORK TO/DAB TO?
Music is crucial to finding the right headspace to create. Some of the top people in my spotify stations are Michael Franti and Spearhead, Rising Appalachia, A Tribe called Red, Beats antique, Rage against the Machine, Dessert Dweller, Led Zepplin, the Beatles, Xavior Rudd, Trevor Hall, Alcyon Massive, Indubious, Marv Ellis and Emily Turner. There are so many inspiring artists I could never list them all. What inspires me is meaningful lyrics and some funky booty shaken bass.