Salt:  

Once I saw glass blowing, I knew I had to try it. And then once I tried it, I was pretty much hooked. And that was almost seventeen years ago, or sixteen years ago now.

Fan 1:  

It's great to see one of my favorite glass blowers for the first time. I brought some of my collection of his stuff out. And I guess I got to see some more of the scene. Got some new artists to check out, stuff like that. I'm hoping they get some more artists like that in the future also. I'd like to see Snic Barnes come through. That'd be pretty cool.

Fan 2:  

I realized Salt was in the area and I talked to him a little bit at the Michigan Glass Project in July. And figured out paths would cross again down here while I was in the area.

Salt:  

I designed a piece that I call a soul window, which is a rip curl with the eye on the side that's a clear window. So you can see into the inside of the piece because the eyes are the windows to the soul, you know?

On this I put a little line of that pink, just to get that tooth material of like where, because this is hollow right?

Interviewer:   

Yeah.

Salt:   

So I do a little solid pink, and then a stripe of this other color and then get that all melted in smooth. And then I take my scissors and I actually cut that into the separate teeth.

Interviewer:   

Mm-hmm

Salt:   

And then I got back and kind of move them around and melt the backside, because like all those little cuts put stress in the glass and then it wants to crack right there.

Interviewer:   

Yeah.

Salt:   

So I'll go back behind and take as much of that out as I can so it's still looks like separate pieces but really it's like kind of half fused back into one thing. You know what I'm saying? Does that make sense?

Interviewer:   

Yeah.

Salt:   

Then these are all just individual little pulls.

Interviewer:   

What's the longest piece you've done?

Salt:   

I've got one at the house that I didn't even get to see because it was still hot when I got on the plane. But I spent like two weeks on that one getting ready for this show at the end of the month. Glass--it's the way I make my money. It's how I kind of, it's like a catharsis you know? It's like how I like deal with my shit or whatever. But it's also how I have connected to some of the people that I'm closest to in my life. And so the fact that that stretches across the world. I mean I could, I really can't even imagine any way that I could have made those kinds of connections with people.

Interviewer:   

Yeah.

Salt:   

I mean even like meeting you guys here. You know, to be here in Cincinnati. I'm here because of this, you know and so it's pretty special. Usually when people are talking about functionality they're talking about how something bubbles and how well it bubbles. And so, that's a matter of problem solving. You have to move the smoke vapor from an elevated position down to the bottom of the piece where the water is right? So the water level will be somewhere, whoops, somewhere above this down stem. And the way that problem is normally solved is by using what is traditionally scientific technique.

So the scientific industry is glass that's made for chemical processes and separating vapors and other liquids from each other, distilling and there's any number of different processes. But all like these ground joints, these complicated seals on the inside, this is all based in the scientific world. That's where it comes from, it's adapted to the pipe. So these seals work and they're great, but they don't allow me to be so detailed and add my carving and texture.

So what I did was ask myself, “how can I solve this problem in a way that allows me to do what I want to do and not be held back aesthetically by the function by adding the function.” And that's what was happening. Clear glass, you know, clear's funny because in some ways clear is like the beginning. But it's also one of the most difficult things to work with because you can't hide anything. You know? If you make any mistakes or there's anything's dirty. And this can be like the last step. You can kind of screw the clear up. So there was a time when I didn't have the patience to work with clear and I didn't understand all of the stuff. Like you have to like wipe down all your tools and kind of really maintain you know just run a tight ship for the clear to work. But it's also a part of what we do involves this functionality.