We’ve been big fans of Carver B’s work for a while now, and we were pleasantly surprised to see a sort of new style come out of the works in his 2012 Clear tube series. His work with stratified color speaks volumes about his skill, and now we’re seeing him apply that same skill to clear work, proving himself even further.
To get a better idea of the Clear Tube series, we asked the Carver himself about his techniques and how his fine art comes to fruition. Here’s the exclusive and intimate view of what’s happening with Carver B these days.
What about the Clear Tube Series makes it unique for you?
“The ‘Clear Tube Series’ is the outcome of me finding comfort using a lathe. I’ve had a lathe for a handful of years and finally can take the time to learn how it works. Because of the incredible continued support of our fans since we started making Carver B work in the Spring of 2010, I’m afforded more time to expand my skills, techniques and practice.
“The ‘Clear Tube Series’ is representative of the next step or chapter in my career. I felt like I was literally unable to take time off the torch and grinding wheel to learn how to use the lathe because I could not afford the loss of time and materials.
“I give a great amount of props to my friend, Calm, for helping me realize that I was on the right track using the lathe and just needed more practice. My technique was there but my finesse was not.
How many tubes from the series have you made?
“I lost count of how many I made that were not up to my standards to release to the world. Ha! How many have made it out the Carver B Lab doors and into the world? 2 so far. I believe I currently have 2 more sitting on the counter ready for pictures and sales. I try to get a group of work together to fill orders for shops who have been waiting patiently for so long to get my work on their shelves. Will I be making more? Yes, absolutely!
Do you have any preference over working with colored vs. clear glass?
I LOVE working color glass, especially silver and germanium colors. When I’m making clear work I certainly am not bored because I am doing it to perfect a piece that is challenging me.
We noticed that these particular pieces are a little less heady than others. Was there any particular source of inspiration that drove you to make these clear tubes?
“Less heady. Whaaaaa?! Just kidding…
The reason for the simplicity and lack of color is because when I am learning a new glass technique I tend to make the overall process as easy on my personal sanity and wallet as possible. Clear glass is less expensive than color glass. Color glass, when taken to the grinding wheel has a tendency to crack, especially if I have formed the glass into a shape with which I am not super-familiar. I also love being able to see what each of the new carver perc designs do inside and out which clear glass allows.
“You will notice in collaborations I’ve done with Calm on tubes that we have color on the percs or in different sections on the tubes. This is because Calm is very skilled at the lathe and if we run into a problem, he is able to repair it quickly without too much loss of time/money.
“Sanity-wise, I like to know why things crack when they crack. If I’m learning a new process and the clear glass cracks there is a good chance that I know exactly why it happened and it can’t be attributed to the color not being compatible or ‘happy’ with its designated role. If clear glass cracks it is because I messed something up. Period.
“Going back to the financial side of things, I like to introduce our shops to new products that won’t break their bank. I know that shop owners are taking a big gamble putting high-end work on their shelves, especially work that hasn’t been out there and made a ripple across the industry of collectors. If I give them the “new out of the labs” work and I can be pretty confident it isn’t going to be the highest priced item on their shelves, they will feel more comfortable bringing it in to the shop and a customer may feel more comfortable trying out something new that they haven’t seen before. In the end, I think that the clear tubes are freaking CLASSY!
What can we expect from sir Carver B in the future?
“I honestly have no clue. I have so many ideas each second of the day! I’m having a blast learning the lathe so I know that there will be many more lathe pieces released. I’m also loving coming up with new ‘Carver Perc’ designs.
“I’m going to get back to my art origins in painting, mixed media and graffiti by doing limited edition pieces. Erika (wife/business partner) is going to be release limited edition prints from the photography she has done of my work over the years.”
The Clear tube series is made of heavy-walled glass all the way around, and is available in both 14mm and 18mm varieties. They vary in height but stand 10” tall on average.