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Talking Out Your Glass podcast

As editor of Glass Art magazine from 1987 to March 2019, Shawn Waggoner has interviewed and written about multitudes of the world’s greatest artists working glass in the furnace, torch, and on the table. Rated in iTunes News and Noteworthy in 2018, Talking Out Your Glass continues to evolve, including interviews with the nation’s finest borosilicate artists making both pipes and sculpture on the torch. Other current topics include how to work glass using sustainable practices and how artists address the topics of our times such as climate change, the political chasm, and life in the age of technology.
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Your Podcast Source for Interviews and Information on

Hot, Warm and Cold Glass!

www.glassartmagazine.com

Mar 10, 2017

 

Widely regarded as one of the godfathers of the functional glass community, Banjo works glass in a torch to create mind-blowing psychedelic sculpture that transcends its functionality. In doing so, the artist has attracted a legion of faithful fans and collectors, many who do not smoke marijuana.

Banjo’s glasswork brings to life interdimensional biomechanical deities that represent the emergence of sacred feminine energy within the post-modern techno-industrial matrix. He also pays homage to pop culture, crafting thousand-plus piece Transformer robots, motorcycles, cars, and Star Wars characters in borosilicate glass.

Though it’s happening, Banjo and his contemporaries don’t need gallery support or acceptance from the mainstream art world in order to sell their work. The functional glass community has always been tightly woven with the fibers of social networking. With over 150,000 followers on Instagram, hungry collectors devour Banjo’s new work the minute images appear online.

“Pipe-makers, glassblowers, and even glass collectors make up an entirely new class of cannabis celebrity,” wrote Ben Parker Karris, editor and correspondent for Kind Stash, Los Angeles, California. “With the nationwide legalization of marijuana, more artists will be inspired to enter the glass industry, because the demand for pieces is growing so quickly. This heightened demand creates a rise in the value of the work as well. Artists who were once barely earning money for their work are sometimes pulling in as much as $30,000 per piece.”

In 2016, Banjo had his first solo exhibition, Sacramental Vessels, held October 8 through November 13, 2016 at Gregorio Escalante Gallery in Los Angeles, California. Featured alongside other visionary works by Alex and Allyson Grey, Amanda Sage, Chris Dyer, and Luke Brown, Banjo’s android-goddesses snuggled in amongst their pistons and gears, represent harbingers of another incremental step towards normalizing and celebrating marijuana culture as part of creative life. Goddesses in vibrant transparent colors mingled with those created in opaque glass, each one surrounded by the hundreds of detailed nuts, bolts, screws, and knobs of Banjo’s mega-mechanisms.

In terms of industry growth over the next few years, many believe the functional glass movement has a chance to become one of the biggest art movements in recent history. According to Banjo, the government called glass pipes a billon dollar industry as far back as 2003. He estimates that currently between five and 10 functional glass artists are earning half a million dollars per year, with over 300 artists bringing in over 100K each.
Nice and tidy.