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The CHAMPS Glass Games Master Finals

A recap of the greatest Glass Games Masters Finals to date

When 37 of the world’s top artists come together in a glassblowing competition, you can expect the highest degree of creativity. The 2019 Glass Games Masters Final didn’t disappoint.

The Glass Games Masters Final is the culmination of the previous year’s contests. Much like the Masters Invitational in professional golf, entrants whose work has been recognized in the Glass Games of 2018 are invited to participate in this prestigious competition.

The torches were ignited and artists went to work on Wednesday, February 27th as CHAMPS opened its doors, celebrating its twentieth anniversary. CHAMPS has long hosted the Glass Games, starting in 2010 when it first made its debut as the Las Vegas Flameoff. Now the glassblowing contest is held at CHAMPS trade shows nationwide.  

The 37 artists competed in two, box-like corrals, with their torches pointing outward, allowing attendees of the CHAMPS to admire the craftsmanship on display.

Thousands of photos and videos were shot by CHAMPS attendees, then shared over their social media platforms thereby chronicling this showcase of live art in the making for the world.

The task of entrants was to create a functional glass art piece (i.e. a smokable pipe) that would reflect the competition’s theme: “art through time”—which, obviously, was open to wide interpretation.  

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On March 1st, following two days behind the torch, 33 of the artists were able to make it to the finish line hoping to win the grand prize of $10,000. (Breakage or imperfections in their final pieces caused the four other artists to withdraw.) Four judges determined the winners. The legendary Bob Snodgrass led a panel of four. He was dubbed “Judge Supreme.” His associates included Nathan Belmont, Dabbin’ Granny and BFF.

Bonelord was the big winner—and he more than fulfilled the requirements of the competition. He created a multi-faceted, skull-encrusted masterpiece that actually paints. That’s right, the piece paints!

Bonelord concocted a way of filling the pipe with paint, designing it to balance on a pendulum wherein the pipe actually renders a design. The resulting picture that the pipe creates isn’t unlike the designs generated by a Spirograph, the venerable toy that allows kids to produce intricate graphic murals.

The Masters Final was also the first Glass Games competition wherein one artist walked away with three separate awards. Shayla Behrman of Windstar Glass took fourth in the judged category and also won the People’s Choice award as well as the Artists’ Choice award.

CHAMPS trade Shows has been proud to host this elite competition for nearly a decade. It’s akin to the Super Bowl, a February event that kicks off the New Year featuring the crème de la crème: top artists exhibiting their craft to the world. Now the cycle begins again. With CHAMPS shows coming up in Atlantic City (May 21-23), and later in Las Vegas, Orlando, Denver and Chicago, the stage is set for an even higher level of competition in the 2019 Glass Games to come.


THE GLASS GAMES WINNERS LIST:

People’s Choice Award – Shayla Behrman, Windstar Glass
Artists Choice Award – Shayla Behrman, Windstar Glass
8th Place – Rob Morrison, Rob Morrison Glass
7th Place – Anthony Lacorte, Lacorte Flameworking
6th Place – John Fishbach, Fish
5th Place – Dan Hoffman, Dan Hoffman Glass
4th Place – Shayla Behrman, Windstar Glass
3rd Place – Zam
2nd Place – Karl Taylor, Grimm Glass
1st Place – Eric Swartz. Bonelord Glass



Check out these other images from The Glass Games!

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Dan Hoffman explains his piece to the judges
Shayla Behrman works on her award winning piece
This piece featured at the Glass Games Masters Finals was inspired by a cow skull
A dragon attacks at CHAMPS Glass Games Masters Finals
Anthony Lacorte inspects his award winning entry
Zam’s award winning piece from the 2019 Glass Games Masters Finals
The incredible finished piece by Shayla Behrman which won a record 3 awards

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