The Degenerate Flame Off presented by Northstar Glassworks, recently went down and we were super stoked to have been able to attend. Known as the DFO Family Reunion: Functional Glass Art From the Underground, it was such an amazing event, being immersed in the creativity for a whole weekend. This incredible contest features the very best glassblowers competing, with a massive variety of demos happening as well. For anyone in the glassblowing industry, it is a weekend not to be missed.
About the Event
Kind of like a closing to the 420 events and celebrations of the year, the Degenerate Flame Off, or the DFO, happens yearly in Portland, Oregon. It has been an annual event since 2011, however, it is the first time in three years the event has been held. It is a beautiful uniting of the national and international glassblowing communities as a celebration of talent and innovation. This year, it was held from Friday, May 20 - Sunday, May 22 at Zidell Yard. The contest happened on Friday, with judging going down on Saturday, and on Sunday, awards were handed out. As far as industry celebrations go, despite being held a month after 4/20, the DFO is really one of the most incredible events of the year.
The competition held on Friday was pretty phenomenal. There were 10 teams of 2 members, and the creations were beyond sick. The lineup included:
- Etai Rahmil & Andrew Certo
- Ethan Windy & Cha
- Punty & Tocquahontis
- Nathan Belmont & Kaleb Folck
- Pinky Brewtz & JFell
- Subliminal & Scoz
- Windstar & Hicdogg
- Eusheen & Murdoc
- Hoobs & Ryno
- AKMglass & Saltglass
One of the most amazing aspects of this competition is the amount of support everyone has for one another. Despite there being a good bit of competition; every team wants the top prize; there is also a really great sense of camaraderie and encouragement between everyone. The People’s Choice Winner was Hoobs & Ryno, for their incredible borosilicate glass piece, The Ducky Half-PIPE featuring 4 separate functioning pieces. 2 recyclers with built-in drains for cleaning were included, resulting in a wicked, 23-lb original creation. The Runner Up prize went to AKMglass & Saltglass for their brilliant collab, creating an unbelievable work of art full of detail and pure genius.
On Saturday, the event shifted to total exhibition, with an extraordinary array of artists demoing on the torch. Among those we were blessed to witness work their magic included:
2Stroke, Big Z, Cowboy, DaniGirl, Darby, John W, Jolex, Jworthit, PurpSkurp, Rocko, SakiBomb, Sarita, BMFT, Bowman, Buck, Gato, Goliath, Hex, Hoodrattshit, Blossom, Bluesoldier Art, FionaPhoenixFire, Kyle White, Flexglass, ESP, Richvilla, Sibelley, Chris Carlson, Mike Gong, Mike Luna, Northern Waters, Pieces of Art, Domer, Firefly, Freeek, Jahnny Rise, KTScissorbaby, Les Moor, Lisa's Pieces, JD Maplesden, Kevin Murray, Liz Wright, Micro, Trip A, Vogel, Wicked, Robin Hood, Mia Shea, Sherbet, Joe Peters, 4winds, Trav the Marbleman, Ben David, SolFire, Calm, Color of Neon, Ubatuba, Tony Kazy, and Scott Deppe.
Now if that isn’t a killer lineup of glassblowing’s finest, I don’t know what is!
The Cold Workers
And then there were the cold workers, who showed up and showed out on Saturday. These artisans included a range of greats as well, such as Facetmama, On the grind, Artist Stylie, Glassbyging, Gramp Facets, and Trevy.
So after 3 years of long-awaited community and networking, the 2022 Degenerate Flame Off was able to go down without a hitch. When our tribe gets together in the name of celebrating and creating art, the finest events happen. So glad to have been a part of it and we cannot wait for next year!