In Your Space – Tristan Hodges



In Your Space With The Dankman: Tristan Hodges

 Ever take a road trip for one thing and end up on an even more epic trip than you imagined?

This happen to yours truly recently in Northern California. Work had drawn me there and a sense of adventure pushed me further.

I made a call and decided, I had to experience a life affirming trip through the Redwood National Forest and into Humboldt County. It is humbling to see what nature can sculpt 1st hand. Seeing Tristan Hodges blow glass and sculpt his imagination into glass art is almost as inspiring.

The shop space he has been working is in, Arcata, CA, and one of the more infamous shops still in operation. It was a cold February morning in 2003 when federal agents knocked down the door at 101 North, in this very location. Ryan Tuerfs and friends were hauled off in typical a Federal manner from their homes by body armor clad jarheads, assault weapons in hand. When employees showed up at the shop they were turned away and told they no longer had a job.

That day changed lives all over the country, it could be compared to a stock market crash. The people, in fear for their freedom, shut their doors and hid in the darkness away from the prying eye of the government.

When the sun came up again on the shop, it was one of the nicest men in the game that moved in, Piper Dan and the Arcata Glass School. The space continued to harbor many of Americas greatest glass talents and further the art glass community we call,”Pipers.”

In the late 90’s Piper Dan moved himself to a new studio and offered Tristan and Mr. Gray the opportunity to take over the shop. They wanted to create a space that could nurture the artistry in glass.

“I just wanted to make glass stuff.” Tristan says when you ask him what brought him to the studio. When he first moved in he had been melting for about 3 years, and as most artist he was tired of the old production work.

In the years to come the space pulled in many great talents. During past visits the shop was like one big family. I recall one of my first visits happen to fall a couple of days before Christmas. We all gathered at Banjo’s old house that Ari Bluegrass Man was living in to celebrate and enjoy the holidays. Banjo and Ari played as Tristan, Sakibomb, Milli Mike Warren, Reggae Rick and I listened and enjoyed the sights and sounds.

That was the feeling Tristan and Mr Gray had tried to foster, family and artistic growth. With growth comes growing pains, over the last year the shop took a much different tone. It is a hard task to keep a shop full of so much talent together.

With Mike, Saki and Ari gone, Tristan has decided to move on as well and leave behind the old space to a new young crew.

Tristan walks into a future full of open doors, taking his life lessons with him and continuing to create fantastic art.

I asked him what he had learned in the 5 years he spent in this space. He gave a humble and simple answer that rings true in all aspects of life,” patience, slow down be aware of the moment.”

It was a great time in Tristan’s space, I hope everyone that reads this enjoyed a little look inside the space that Tristan chooses to make his art!


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