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Photo by Shipe Shots Photography

The Leaf Glass Special 2023: Alaskan Artist Dominic Garcia

Cannabis helps my creativity, or at least I feel like I have more creativity when I smoke... It helps with inspiration.

Blown on the Kenai Peninsula

Dominic Garcia’s journey with glass began with a glass bead torch gifted by his mother for Christmas 1998. A fateful accident left him immoble for a year, which became the perfect opportunity to begin his love affair with glassblowing. By 1999, Garcia was working with borosilicate and making pipes in California, and has spent the last 23 years working with glass art and pipes as he’s traveled around the world. Today he works from home on the Kenai, making glass that inspires him … whether it sells or not.

Shipe Shots Photography Dominic Garcia holds one of his glassblown pipes.

What inspired you to start working with glass?
When I was in junior high I collected beads of all types and started making clay beads, and I was always inspired by African trade beads made from glass. My mom got me a glass bead making torch for Christmas in 1998, but I didn’t start using it until I broke my leg. I had to move back home and I brought my bead stuff with me and it was a blessing in disguise. Because I broke my leg, I learned how to make glass beads and got really good at it – so when I moved back to California, I immediately got into glass blowing.

Shipe Shots Photography Glass pendants by Garcia.

Did you start making pipes in California?
I started working with borosilicate glass around 1999 … making pipes and messing around with techniques – doing a little bit of pipe making and some artwork projects as well. I love making pipes, and I love not making pipes. They are really fun to make and I love that people get to use them to smoke with.

Shipe Shots Photography Garcia’s glass drinkware.

What drives you as an artist to create new things?
Working with glass, whatever I can think of to try or achieve – I just go for it and see what happens. I’ve made so many different things: cups, seashells, sex toys, narwhals, beer tap handles … I even take broken pieces and scraps and make them into succulent planters. Cannabis helps with my creativity, or at least I feel like I have more creativity when I smoke. It helps me be a little more loose in my approach to things, and it helps with inspiration.

Shipe Shots Photography Close up of one of Garcia’s glassblown pipe.

Do you like smoking from your own artwork?
Yes! It’s fun to use my pieces because the ones that don’t work out or have a flaw, I work to save for my use, even though I wouldn’t sell them. With glassblowing it’s not what you make the first time, it’s what you can fix – and being creative about how you fix a mistake is where a lot of the tricks are.

Shipe Shots Photography Garcia’s glass seashells in matte finish.

How can people buy a piece from you?
I don’t sell my work at stores and I’m not a production glass worker. I make what I like to make and if people appreciate the art, then we can connect. I’m happy to sit and focus on my work and let buyers come through social media or word of mouth. I like to experiment and play with glass to make new pieces of art constantly, and to make a creative, functional and fun product to the best of my ability!

Check out Dominic’s work on Facebook.

Photos by @shipeshots

About Wes Abney

Wes Abney is the founder and CEO of the Leaf Nation brand family, which began in 2010 as Northwest Leaf magazine. Recognized as the first Cannabis publication in the region, Northwest Leaf defined and developed the medical and recreational Cannabis communities in Washington with free publications focused on quality content and truthful journalism. The model’s success has led to Oregon Leaf in 2014, Alaska Leaf in 2016, Maryland Leaf in 2019, California Leaf in Spring of 2020, and Northeast Leaf in Fall of 2020. Wes’s writing and publishing background began with his college newspaper, The Ebbtide, which included a love for multimedia and creating content on many platforms. The nickname “Bearded Lorax” came after years of publishing millions of free magazines, using his voice to speak for a plant and those that benefit from it. Wes is an activist not only for Cannabis but for alternative medicine treatments, ending the drug war and freeing prisoners who have been wrongfully incarcerated for non-violent crimes. His passion for reaching people with written and spoken words led to the concept of Leaf Life Podcast in partnership with Mike Ricker, which began development in 2018 and launched in January 2019. With the combined passions of Cannabis and a love for broadcasting, the creation of Leaf Life was a natural progression for Leaf Nation as it spread roots across the United States. With over 100 shows recorded, and printing over 100,000 monthly copies, Leaf Nation has become the world’s largest Cannabis media company, while still celebrating the humble roots and truthful journalism that the model was founded upon. Beyond leading a team of 40+ passionate Cannabis creatives, Wes is the father to two beautiful daughters and two furry cats. He lives in Seattle, drinks coffee, and enjoys Cannabis daily, and hopes to eventually transition from a successful Cannabis journalist to a classic coffee shop author as the Leaf continues to grow in the coming decades. In true Lorax fashion, he enjoys hikes in the forest, communing with nature, and reminding people that “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

This article was originally published in the April 2023 issue of Alaska Leaf.

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