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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.