Video Transcript

John:                            I'm John from The Cupboard and  I am here at DFO 2015 in Eugene, Oregon with AKM and Ben Burton, so tell me about the piece that The Cupboard bought. 

Ben Burton :                Skull Cock. 

AKM:                           It's Skull Cock.  It's a good piece, just meshing the two styles together, we had the peacock, we have the skull imagery. 

Ben Burton :                What!?

AKM:                           We didn't really want to make it one or the other so we went with the idea of a mask to kind of keep it interchangeable, the whole interactive presence that you have there when you have a piece like that. 

Ben Burton :                It was like the peacock was something I had developed for the DFO last year and we've worked together in the past and we wanted to do something different from the other collabs that we've done and this was kind of the next step.  It was a more dynamic version of what I would have done on my own because it has the skull, football style helmet that sits on top and then also when you flip it around the back, it almost looks like a skull wearing a headdress.  When artists get together, the pieces are always more dynamic because it's not something he would have done on his own and it's not something I would have ever done on his own.  But, because we each kind of have our own style that we're comfortable with, when we get together kind of figuring out a way to mesh them is usually pretty fluid.  Things work out and a greater product happens and is made because of that. 

John:                            Sure, that's really cool.  I want to ask you about this year.  This competition is the Master's Competition at DFO, how do you feel about being part of it?

AKM:                           Really lucky.  Ben wanted me to be on his team because he's an OG, winning DFO's and such and we got together in Virginia, and did a little bit of brainstorming and practice and came up with our idea and we both went home and worked on our own end and brought it back here and really left it all out there.  We went hard, big time. 

Ben Burton :                We went hard, we came, we did what we came to do, we're stoked. 

AKM:                           It's a competition piece.  We did what we could, everyone else did what they could and I'm really just happy to be here and be a part of it.  All these competitions, super stiff, and a lot of big ballers here that really know how to whip the glass so it was a pleasure doing it with them. 

John:                            That's really great.  What was one of the biggest challenges doing the piece today?

AKM:                           Kiln space. 

Ben Burton :                Andrew's armpit smell. 

AKM:                           That, and my armpit smell. 

Ben Burton :                Yeah, kiln space and we had a little, let's call it headwind that was happening so the flame from our torch was actually pretty much burning  my face all day. 

AKM:                           Yeah, the blow back was strong. 

Ben Burton :                I could smell my nose hairs singing.  It's a little shorter than it was when I came in but those are the things you have to deal with in any shop and especially in a situation like this, there's not much to do about it except work through it. 

John:                            That's really great.  I know we talked about it last year, about the relationship among all the artists.  I know our friends from Japan are here and it's just so cool that we can share the idea of glass blowing and the international aspects of it.  It's amazing just how fast it's growing too, having everyone watch you guys and showing everyone what you guys do is just great for the community too.  We're really happy that you guys are a major part of it. 

Ben Burton :                Us too. 

AKM:                           Yeah. 

Ben Burton :                Nice to be a member of this community.  I was a bead lady for a long time and I like these people way better.  I can associate with them a lot better than I could in the past.  It's a good industry to be a part of. 

AKM:                           Yeah, it's definitely like a second family.  When you need something everyone in this industry will come to your aid.  At least you know, the people are there for each other and it's really nice.  It's definitely home away from home.  For more Burtoni AKM, visit, they have a great selection of our work. 

Ben Burton :                It's The Cupboard where you find your glass pipes. 

John:    Thank you for being a part of The Cupboard's Artist Insights at