"The Millie Mini" – By Mr.XtraCrispy
As this is my inaugural article for GrassCity.com allow me to take some time to give you some background on what I do. I began my odyssey as a young "apprentice toker" if you will, after being introduced to sites like GrassCity from a friend of mine I immediately became obsessed with the counter-culture that was glass pipes. As my curiosities grew I found myself checking countless sites a day in search of the latest and greatest glass pipe art. To put it bluntly checking 8 to 10 different websites a day just to "get my fix" was becoming too much of a hassle, so like any other ambitious nerd I set out to make my own website. Since the inception of my site IgniteMe.co we have both sponsored and have covered some of the most exclusive happenings in art glass as well as the counterculture that surrounds the alternative smoking industry. From trade shows, to flame offs, to intimate studio sessions I and my dedicated team of writers, filmmakers, and photographers (it’s a 3 man operation) have made it our mission to educate the masses about this new and exciting artistic movement. So without further to do, let’s get glassy!
It was a calm and breezy summer night as I sped down the highway on the way to Jasen’s (aka Mr.XtraCirspy) studio. As I meandered down the highway I began to think about the borosilicate goodness that was about to come. For those of you who may be a little behind the term Borosilicate or "boro" for short has become one of the top terms for referring to glass pipes. Unlike soft glass, Borosilicate glass is more durable and resistant to breaking? perfect for a pipe!
Once arriving to Jasen’s studio we immediately got to business, after preparing his studio by bringing the kiln up to proper temperature and setting the correct oxygen and propane levels we sat down to plan out what we were doing that night. "I know it’s been a while, but we’re doing a tube!" he exclaimed to me as he showed me some haphazardly drawn schematics of what the piece would look like. Along with structural details plans for color options and accessory options, Jasen decided to go with a classic color Amber Purple? Without getting carried away Amber Purple is a classic color in my opinion, it’s ability to change from deep reds to brilliant purples makes it a top choice for collectors and glassblowers alike.
As I began setting up my cameras Jasen kicked on the torch and immediately started making magic. "I’m doing something I’ve never tried?" he told me as we grabbed some tubing and drew it under the intense flame "I’m going to attempt my first true chaos styled piece". In the glassblowing community, a "chaos" theme in usually utilizes the use of spastic color combinations as well as the addition of murrini’s or "Millies" in an un organized style to thus create one big beautiful piece of art. "millies" are colored patterns or images made in a glass cane (long rods of glass) that are revealed when cut in cross-sections, which can be made into a wide variety of designs.
Although a few artists have made this style their trademark since the style is spastic Jasen took the time to add his signature touches to the piece. Separating the tube into sections of "Clear w/ Milles" and amber purple encalmo’s the end result of the piece was modern, yet sparatic and playful?. kinda like Las Vegas if you think about it!
The Murrine he used came from a wide variety of different artists, featuring memorable images from everyones past like; Spongebob, Scooby Doo, Pac Mac, and Bill Dotreve from King of the Hill just to name a few. In signature "crispy" style Jasen completed the mini tube with a matching dome, titanium nail and downstem to ensure the pieces owner would be able to plug n’ play from day one. We were happy to find out immediately after the piece was made it had been sold to an avid collector and glass enthusiast in the United Kingdom.