Enjoying its sixth year of showcasing the hottest innovations, and innovators, in the deeply talented glassblowing industry, the Degenerate Flame Off (or DFO) kicks off today in Eugene, Oregon.
Hosted annually since its inception by the beloved local glass supercenter, Cornerstone Glass, along with Northstar Glassworks, the DFO brings together the cream of the crop in the functional glassblowing world, along with mobs of their fans, for a scene that is equal parts competition and celebration.
With artists and fans arriving from all points on the map, there were surely some friendly sessions and shared laughs around Eugene last night, but the official festivities are set to begin today at 10 am pacific, with demos being kicked off by renowned artists HAMM and Bahndu.
Tickets for all three days are $40 to the general public (18+), and grant you access to witness mind-boggling talent on the torches, plus a weekend of live music and tasty eats from a variety of local vendors and food trucks. Online ticket sales have ended, you have to get them at the gate now.
The event runs through Sunday, and in all, will feature 43 demo artists, along with 16 competitors for Saturday's Flame Off creativity contest.
The demo artists include:
• Arron Siverson
• Bob Snodgrass
• Carsten Carlisle
• Charles Lowrie
• Facet Mamma
• Gemini Glass
• Grateful J
• Herb C and Kraig Hansen of Boro Farm
• Jason Lee
• JD Mapelsden
• Jessica Boggs
• Joe Peters
• John Bridges
• Justin Jenicke
• Matt Eskuche
• Matty White
• Micah Evans
• Robin Hood
• Robert Mickelsen
• Roger Parramore
• Steve Bates
• TEAM JAPAN feat. Slop, Rose Roads, Tak, Takao, Akio, Happa
• Texas Tubes
The names on that list represent some of the most talented glassblowing and lampworking talent of our generation, if not of all time. This year's list of demo artists has grown from last year's record-breaking roster of 40.
On Saturday, 16 of the most sought-after creators in the functional glassblowing industry will square off in a torch to torch encounter to see who will take home the top prizes in this friendly, yet still ultra-competitive event.
DFO Quave getting down at the DFO 2013
The artists stepping into the ring for the 2014 Degenerate Flame Off include:
• 2 Stroke
• Chad G
• Kurt B
• Tyson Peltzer
The three top prizes will go to the artists who can prove their skills in the categories of Most Creative, Most Technical, and the People's Choice. The 2013 DFO saw Salt win both Most Creative and Most Technical with his epic black dragon piece, while Elbo took home the People's Choice award with his awesome rendition of the tortoise and the hare.
Both of these wildly popular artists are back again in 2014 to defend their titles, but the pool of talent is deeper than ever in what promises to be a day (and night) full of incredible technique sharing and essential community building.
The event is a true grassroots effort, sustaining itself through ticket sales and the generous amount of top-name sponsors that the DFO has begun to deservedly draw. Some of the top smoke shops and head shops in the country top the list of sponsors, as they aim to stay on the cutting edge of a skyrocketing facet of the industry.
DFO Joe Peters' entry from the DFO 2013 was out of this world!
This year's DFO has been dedicated to the memory of Michael "Mermonkey" Steeler, a very well-loved glassblower who was taken too soon when he passed away earlier this year at the age of 45. He may be gone, but his spirit lives on through the art he created, and through the hearts of those he worked with, and all those who venture into Eugene this weekend for the Degenerate Flame Off.
Full details and schedules of the weekend's events can be found on the Degenerate Flame Off website @ http://cornerstoneglass.com/dfo/
DFO The "hare" from Elbo's award winning entry in last year's DFO