CHAMPS Glass Games
The CHAMPS Tradeshow includes an annual Glass Games pipemaking competition. There are multiple opportunities around the country for open competitions with fun themes or challenges to participate in. Winners of these smaller events are invited back for the winter Las Vegas show which hosts the Glass Games Masters competition: a more serious version of the smaller games where each artist has a full weekend to devote to one piece following a theme and with very limited premade prep allowed. Competing in these contests as I was travelling extensively in 2019 and 2020 helped me grow my community, meet some great friends, and bolster my confidence in creating more unique pieces and working in public settings.
In 2019, the theme was 'Art Through Time' and each artist was required to select and model a specific genre of their choosing. I selected Visionary Art, with a focus on the shamanic ayahuasca fueled drawings of South American indigenous peoples, such as Pablo Amaringo. My piece was more focused on the scientific background of how these entheogenic brews containing DMT and MAOIs may cause shifts in our DNA and allow for perception of extrasensory realities. I was proud to place 5th overall with this piece. This piece was displayed at Ruckus Gallery in Philadelphia, PA and is no longer available.
In 2020, the theme was 'Energy and Flow'. I decided to create a kinetic piece, while also modeling the flow of glass as a medium through the history of human civilization and advancement. My piece consisted of a simple spoon pipe, mounted on a towering pedestal with two kinetic portions: a large scale model of the amorphous structure of silicon dioxide that gives glass its many properties, and a carousel of small discs containing sculptures related to how glass has impacted humans: A lab set representing alchemy/chemistry, a telescope representing vision through lenses, a telephone representing fiber optic cable and communication, and last but not least a tiny bong and wig-wag representing the counterculture around pipemaking.This piece is still in my personal collection and is available for $5,000.