The popular questions on Thursday were “where can I get a fake Pukinbeagle?” and “who won the Glass Games?” Both important in their own right, the latter far more interesting — mainly because I already spent the first two days looking for a knock-off Thermal P.
In an action-packed closing ceremony, CHAMPS President Jeff Hirschfeld announced the big winners of the Grand Prize. Over the week, 15 shops from around the country won packs valued around $2,500 retail, but the grand prize went to Mojo’s Smokeshop in the booming cannabis state of… Utah. While we doubt too many Mormons are shopping for Motherships, the $5,000 retail pack is sure to bring some smiles to the faces of the Mojo team.
Following the prizes for buyers in attendance, CHAMPS announced their new program to help keep shop shelves across America filled with fresh heady glass. The CHAMPS team loves their dope glass, and with their new Interstate Headies Exchange, they provide an answer to the all -important question “what if a big money piece doesn’t move?”
“We have all these amazing pieces sitting in shops across the country not generating any buzz.,” he said. “Once something has been exposed to a local market for a year and a half, it’s not going to sell… There are only so many available buyers of things from people like AKM or Elbo in those areas.”
Through the exchange, CHAMPS plans to give shops the opportunity to exchange and purchase these higher-end pieces at no additional charge. While helping the shops rotate inventory (much like any other industry) they’ll also be providing a mechanism for the artists to get more eyeballs on their work and increase hype.
And the Winners Are…
Four artists ended up neck and neck for the grand prize of $10,000, and an additional goodie bag valued at around $5,000 in product. For our first dive into the results of the Glass Games Masters Invitational, we’ll simply run down the list of winners. In the months to come, we’ll dive into each piece and the artist’s efforts.
Fourth Place: Shabuh
In fourth place, Shabuh’s Forrest scene was ridiculous; his vision of a creature becoming trapped in a volcano and being encased in a petrified forest was surely one of the most vivid. The technique he used to create the wood grain and texture of the figure was hard to stop looking at.
Third Place: Orion
Finishing third (and most literally on heaters row) was Orion. After creating a fantastic rig, he got to work on his signature tubing, which everyone (including myself) expected him to attach as some ornamental treeless over the rig — boy were we wrong. What ended up happening was Orion bringing a fun new definition to a torch tube: the tubes he created sat in a half-crescent shape behind the rig, shooting flames. It was awesome, and provided many a “so that’s what he was up to” moment.
Second Place: Josh McDaniels
Runner up, Josh McDaniel’s, deep purple rendition of a Queen Lyoba Idia pendant mask — based on folk art and mythology from Benin, West Africa — was stunning. He told Instagram followers, “The Murrine head dress tells the Benin creation story,” he said. “Had a blast making it, really stoked with how it turned out.” As were the judges clearly.
First Place: Hendy
The Grand Prize winner of the week’s events was Hendy, who also took home the coveted artists choice award. The orange final product featured one of his signature samurai, armed with dual katana, sitting on top of a tripod-esque mountain of skulls. The altar felt very doomy, but also had a delightful tropical motif that featured an opal in the helmet and seven orange beams shooting out the back.
The glass games were amazing — stay tuned for a more in-depth write up on the Glass Games and all the other great artists who participated in the not too distant future.
TELL US, do you remember your first pipe?