This week, some of the world’s best lampworking pipesmiths competed at 2018 Champs Glass Games Masters Final to take home the trophy and a $10,000 prize.
Over the course of two days, competitors shaped their entries while the world’s largest and oldest smoke shop trade show went on around them.
On day one, the 40 glass artists each embarked on their different paths forward. Some began to sculpt larger works right off the bat, others crafted many smaller pieces for future assembly, and still others prepped crazy pairings from the color spectrum to go wild with later. Every competitor had earned the right to be here, and from the start, it looked like nobody planned to squander this opportunity due to lack of effort.
Things really came together on day two. Favorites quickly emerged as the full spectacle of what these guys and gals were producing came to light. Artist Byron Keirnan often had a crowd around as he assembled his take on “world peace.” The multiple-time competitor told Cannabis Now what it requires to plan for a competition like Glass Games.
“Pretty much all the time as you can possibly have,” Keirnan said, when asked how long he needed to plan his world creation. “[I started planning] as soon as I had won in the summer games in July. And even before that, any time you can try something new and push the boundary in any way, it gives you more incentive than you already had to push it as far as you possibly can.”
Keirnan said that he believes creating challenges for himself to conquer is the best method he knows for pushing himself to make amazing art.
“I think that for this event, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and give yourself some obstacles you can jump over. I mean, the best you can do is actually make something that’s actually a masterpiece considering this is the Masters Finals.”
Keirnan said that the full field of competitors was making “insanely crazy pieces, super detailed and super big.”
On the second day of competition, Keirnan said that he had no idea who would emerge the victor. “I honestly don’t know how it’s going to go, there are so many good pieces here and everybody is so talented,” he said.
In the end, a man who had previously won the silver on two occasions would take home the gold with a stunning self-portrait piece. The winner, Josh McDaniel, said that his expertise in the ancient Roman stylings of millefiori allowed him to draw a fairly accurate representation of his face and, unbeknownst to all for most of the glass games, the t-shirt he’d be wearing for the final day’s judging.
Prior to the announcement of his big win, McDaniel shared his thoughts on the contest.
“The competition is looking really tough this year, there are some amazing pieces out there. I’m excited about how well everyone did,” said McDaniel.
He went on to describe the inspiration that led to the top prize.
“The theme this year was to make a statement,” McDaniel told Cannabis Now. “So I took a large dose of LSD and asked the universe what I was supposed to make, what I wanted to make. And what I came back with was to see and honor the sacred in others you have to see and honor the sacred in yourself. So my piece is an attempt to recognize and explore my own spiritual nature.”
Here are the top seven winners from 2018 Champs Glass Games Masters Final:
- Josh McDaniel
- BFF Glass
- Hicdogg – Artists Choice
- Unparalleled Glass
- Fish Glass
- Byron Keirnan
- Hedman’s Headies – People’s Choice
TELL US, who do you think should have won the 2018 Champs Glass Games Masters Final?