For decades Hamm has been showing us things we’ve never seen. He’s an exceptional glassblower, sharing his extraordinary imagination as an artist, craftsman, and tool maker - he invented the recycler for God’s sake. Going back 10 years, anyone would be excused thinking that the 9’ tall rocking chair he and his team built at the 2009 Las Vegas Invitational was nothing more than a crazy one-off. He did, after all, unmake it a couple of years later in an alley behind a CHAMPS show. http://bit.ly/2BGXZ83 (Ironically Hamm forced a rule change for the CHAMPs Demolition Derby when no one could break his car.) But in spring of 2017 when the folks from Pilchuck asked him to teach a class, Hamm brought it full circle and resurrected the furniture concept. Shown here with an elegant coffee table (including service!) that he, his TAs, and students made this summer at Pilchuck, we can now officially add “furniture maker” to his impressive list of accomplishments.
Hamm is the best glass furniture maker on the planet!
In order to pull this off, from the spring of 2017 all the way through early 2018, Hamm formulated ideas, tested concepts, built gear, and iterated prototypes.
Things started to gel in early 2018, so he made a couple of side journeys – to a 4/20 event in Southern Oregon and to the DFO in Portland. During both of these events he offered us teasers of what was coming.
Without divulging too much, Hamm and Team Awesome (Travis Jones, Phil Davis, Max Caswell) thrilled crowds by creating large, mobile, functional pieces, using curtains of fire from the Large Format Dragon, a burner of his own making: 32 jets, 4 feet long.
We do plan to present a webinar with video captured during the DFO of Team Awesome making a huge rotating merry-go-round dry pipe.
Yes…they are roasting marshmallows in the shot above.
Having put so much into the project and not wanting to leave anything to chance, Hamm visited Pilchuck prior to his session just to make sure he’d be accommodated by the facilities. That visit included a conversation with Pilchuck staff that probably went something like:
Pilchuck: “Soooo…this is our lampshop where you’ll be working. Looks pretty good eh?”
Hamm: “Well, the ceilings are too low: my torch will burn this place down.”
He was not exaggerating.
Musings on everything flameworking- Art, Industry, and Culture.