Whether a chameleon, a crested kingfisher or a Cristo Rhinoceros hornbill, Devin Somerville’s high-end art pipes begin with custom millies that are stacked and assembled into mind-blowing and unforgettable creatures. Also known as Crunklestein, the artist’s take on the ancient Italian technique of millefiore has become his aesthetic signature. Once a process amongst many used by Crunklestein, when friends, fans, and fellow artists came face to face with his colorful, ornate millie pipes, the artist was encouraged to make all of his work using the chip stack technique he developed.
Somerville,aka Cap’n Crunk Glass, resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and produces a variety of dab rig styles, specializing in the mini or tiny tube design. His small dab rigs usually include mini encased millies throughout the neck and body of the piece, while his full sized incredibly detailed and realistic sculpted oil rigs showcase his unlimited range of talent and creativity.
Blowing glass since before the year 2000, Crunklestein currently creates the largest work of his career for an exhibition and workshop to be presented at Level 42 Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. On Friday, August 16, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Somerville will teach his millie making techniques, and on Saturday, August 18, his stacking and sculpting processes. Later Saturday evening, an exhibition of new Crunklestein functional glass and collabs opens at Level 42 Gallery.
Amongst other career highlights, Somerville is the only two-time champion of The Bern Gallery’s Pipe Classic, held in Burlington, Vermont, each of the last 14 years.The Pipe Classic is the world’s first and longest running pipe-making competition, bringing together 12 of the world’s most prolific pipe-makers for an annual event that forever changed competitive pipe-making as we know it. Names are made, heroes are born, and champions are crowned. This year’s field features three past champions, and a who’s-who of the medium’s masters. Twelve artists, 12 hours, 12 pipes, one champion! Be there at Pipe Classic 14, held September 23 – 29, 2019.