Welcome to my very first blog post! I'm about to take you on a journey where you will learn how Monkey Boy Art was created, how I became a glass artist, and some incredible secrets into the glass industry and the art of GlassBlowing. Like many of you in the Monkey Boy Clan, there was a time that we didn't know much how Glass Art was made. I got my start in this industry, 7 years ago when I was hired to work at Peace of Mind smoke shop in Seattle, WA. Over the year that I worked there I learned an incredible amount about glass art, different glass pieces, and even got to connect to some of the Glass Artists. During my time there I led the store in sales and learned some really important lessons on treating customers right and having great customer service. Over the next few years I started seeing more and more American Glass pieces that I thought were truly beautiful and wanted to buy, but I could never afford the high price tags. This fueled our desire to learn GlassBlowing because we not only wanted to make beautiful and affordable pieces for our personal use, but saw a hole in the American Glass market that needed to be filled. Now don't get me wrong, many of the higher priced items definitely deserve that high price due to the cost of the time and materials by the Glass Artist. The Monkey Boy Clan really started from a desire to make unique pieces without breaking the bank while maintaining the quality.
With this burning desire, we saved up our money and purchased a glass torch, ventilation fan, all the hoses, connectors, and safety equipment needed. We spent the next 4 months just practicing and making small pieces that allowed us to really focus on our connections and beginner glass blowing skills. During that time we continued to save up and purchased our first glass kiln from an amazing company in Oregon, called Glass Hive. If you are looking for a recommendation on glass kilns I highly recommend going with the Glass Hive company. They are the only company I know of that will custom make your kiln to any size or specifications you need. With that purchase, our first studio was fully set up and ready for production.
Thus, Monkey Boy Class was BORN! Glass Blowing is an art that is constantly changing within the industry. The industry itself began hundreds of years ago when classical glass blowers would make vases, bowls, goblets, and other items used in everyday life. It wasn't until about 20 years ago that the modern glass pipe industry we know was born. If you want to learn more about the functional glass art industry then I would check out the documentary, Degenerate Art: The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes.
Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will be revealing how you can get started with Blowing Glass without spending ANY MONEY.