To help all of us non-glass artists better understand the industry, evolution and art and science behind how our pipes, bubblers and bongs are made we’ve asked one of Colorado’s most prominent and best-known artists to take on a quasi-regular column we’d like to call: Glass Class.
This week, we’d like to introduce our glass guide and guru, Scott “Trikky” Saed. He’s a humble guy with a lot of talent, but he’s always looking to learn and explore glassblowing more and spread knowledge and skill to the growing world of new-school American glassblowers and pipe makers. Enough of our flattery, we’ll let Saed introduce himself:
The first time I saw a glassblowing torch (a proper one, anyways- not a blowtorch) was in March of 2009. But it all really started on a sled hill outside of Boulder, Colorado in 2008.
I had been living in Colorado for about six months and during one of the first big snowfalls of the season, I decided that it would be a fantastic idea to go sledding with friends at a hill we had been eying up in the mountains. Big mistake. We made it to the sledding spot, and to make a very long story short: sledding plus me does not equal fun.
I nearly died of exposure to cold after shattering my ankle in six places in -14 temperatures and near-blizzard conditions. Fortunately my friend was able to haul me most of the way back to the car on the sled. After getting to the final hill before the car, my exhausted friend had to give up the pulling.
I laid there, being covered in snow for maybe ten minutes, and came to the conclusion that I’d die if I didn’t move myself. So I army-crawled, using only my arms back to the car. The break was so bad, doctors had to place five screws and one large titanium plate in my ankle to hold everything together. I recovered over the following three months, but still have the plate in my ankle today.
Up until my injury, I had been in a community college in Colorado and studying for my Associates Degree in Arts with a plan to transfer to the University of Colorado in Boulder to major in English. I was fairly ambiguous as to what I really wanted to do with my future, and figured I would stay in college as long as I needed to become a college English professor. It seemed sound reasoning since the only thing I enjoyed doing every day that I thought someone would want to pay me for was being in college, or in my case teaching it.
But near the end of my three-month recovery period, I spent a lot of time smoking weed and surfing the Internet. It was a fairly unproductive period of time. But I was in serious pain and was on painkillers, so I was in no condition to be doing any schooling.
I had a small collection of pipes at the time that I began to realize that I appreciated differently than an average consumer of cannabis. I began to really get into it and found myself spending a good deal of time on blown-glass and pipe-related related forums.
One day I saw a posting on a glass blowing forum advertising for an apprenticeship position at a pipe making studio in Berkeley, California.
My parents had no idea that my affinity for cannabis extended far enough to want to work (for free) making pipes to learn the trade. They considered it for a couple weeks, and finally gave their approval. After speaking a few times to the owner of the studio in California, I made the decision to take the plunge and move to California to learn how to blow glass and create pipes of my own.
Check back next week for the second half of Saed’s story of how he came to glass blowing and became a featured artist in galleries around the country.