Desi is a fixture both in the AZ glass community and the national glass competitions. I have been a fan since I scooped one of his tiny rigs from Paraphernalia Boutique almost a year ago. Everytime I mentioned him in any cannabis circle people only had nice things to say about him as an artist and genuine funny guy. My rig is named Desiree Bianca and is known for traveling around the world always finding its way into five star dab sessions. We have dabbed out hikers at the tops of mountains, waiters at restaurants, cashiers at Walmart, and many others along the way. We tell admirers that Desi B is short for Desiree Bianca and that he produces from a small island off the coast of Italy. Heady stuff. Limited edition. The truth is that he lives in Phoenix and splits his time between his home studio and traveling around the country entertaining national heady crowds at glass competitions like Champs and Glass Vegas. We visited his shop to hear about his take on glass art and our community.
When were you exposed to glassblowing?
I think the first time I saw glassblowing was the people in the mall making figurines and what not. I was always interested in the fire. I started in 2012, I took some classes at Mesa Arts center. I was fortunate enough to learn from Laurie Nessel, James Lynch (HicDogg), Jerilyn Alderman (firechilde) and Matt Eskuche. That’s where the root of my skills have derived from and I use things I’ve learned from them in my day to day routine on the torch. Then I was also lucky enough to gain employment at Home Blown Glass here in AZ which led to helping me get a job at No Stress Glass where I was able to pick up and share some tech from Hendy and learned how and what it takes to make production work and how to translate that in to the heady market.
Tell us about the way you like to work?
I lean more in to the scientific style pieces. I like making recyclers (floaters or Kleins). I’ve been tuning in the function trying to find a sweet spot for a good portion of my career. I prefer working what I call “over under” when I shape any vessel I’d say it’s a more ventilation style approach to flameworking that allows more control. I also enjoy making difficult seals, fillacello disc flips, and blowins. I haven’t made a fillacello in a while, but I started them very early on the torch and they have probably brought me the most satisfaction in creating something. My favorite pieces I make are probably my alien abduction series. I don’t sculpt or carve too often but the alien abducting the cow makes me smile every time I finish one up. I love the concept. They probably take a good 6 hours or so to get together.
What is special about the Arizona glass community?
Well what’s pretty awesome is that it really does feel like a community. When dfacto held open torch nights, or at the Arizona projects everybody got together and worked sharing techniques and collaborating with people they just met. It’s pretty humbling when you get together with a group of people that all share an interest and work towards a common goal of just making cool shit out of glass. For it being one of the hottest places in the country this state has some of the hardest working people behind a torch. Pretty much every artist I’ve met or worked with has been open to sharing knowledge and I try to do the same.
What do you have planned for 2019?
I like what I’m doing honestly. 2019 should be a nice continuation. I’ll be pushing my skills and improving and evolving every day like I currently do. I’ve never stopped learning and I probably won’t stop till I’m dead.
Where can people scoop your glass at?
What else should the world know about Desi that they don’t know?
Well if you don’t know, glassblowing kinda saved my life. I didn’t have much going for me before I stood behind a torch and now I feel overwhelmed at how lucky I am to be able to create things that people can appreciate and enjoy. I have love for everyone that likes my work. Or not, I’m not a hater.
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