Last week IgniteMe was given the pleasure of visiting another great local artist, Jasen Despres aka Mr. Xtra Crispy has only been on the torch professionally for almost a year now and already he’s doing his own production line as well as a plethora of commissioned work. Working with him over a span of three days was an absolute joy Jasen always took the time to explain how he did things, tell funny stories, as well as getting us involved in the creative process.
On our first day we began work on strictly commissioned work as well as creating a few ideas that had been in his head for a while. First we got to work on a reticello dish, being a favorite pattern of his he was eager to show us as well as explain how it was done. Creating a series of overlapping intricate lines he then blew out the shape into an orb then proceeded to fill in cross-sections in with different colors, the result we got was absolutely amazing. As an outsider looking in it is the most interesting to see the stages in which even simple things like a dish go through, constantly re-working patterns and designs into other shapes. We now fully understand why when working with Burtoni he would always tell us “You’ll just have to wait and see…”.
After the reticello dish was thrown into the kiln to settle down we quickly got to work on another dish, using a color pull called “Double Rainbow to White” Jasen started by a stunning wig-wag section. Next he used a white color pull to create a white lip for the dish, the end result was fantastic! Jasen claimed that he had never made a dish using this combination of techniques before, the white lip around the dish made the white sections in the wig-wag to really pop out. Sadly the dish was sold that night or else we would have been taking it home with us.
At the end of day one in the studio Jasen offered to make us a dabber, this was the first time we have been offered such a treat so we were very excited to get involved with the process. Inspired by Sara Shade’s popular Light Saber line Jasen does his own as well, although he does a different take on them by adding hilts, millies, as well was doing the handle in a few different colors. We picked a color pull called “Purple Luster” for the main section and we chose to get a white handle. The end result was amazing, Mace Windu would be truly jealous of our dabber! The colors erupted like a galaxy about to explode with brilliant purples and greens, he then gave us the first dish he ever made to pair it with.
Day two consisted of prep work and the making of a “travelers oil rig”. He had recently received a commission for both the traveller and a custom mini tube so it was time to get to work on both. We started the day using that same color pull “Double Rainbow to White” to make the worked section of the tube, by making two separate wig-wag designs he then put them together at just the right place creating a classic double wig-wag. After throwing that in the kiln for later use we got to work on the travelers oil rig, different from his production line he takes the time to tripple seal the section where the downstem connects with the curve. It took him a try or two to get it exactly right but the end result was both clean and very sturdy. Jasen then added the mouthpiece as well as green legs with matching horns on the curve for the final touches.
Day three started off on a quest to get a titanium sheet cut (grade two of course!). We headed down to a local machine shop and we got the work done quickly, what was once “the worlds largest ti plate” had quickly become about 80 or so useable plates. Jasen was very happy having been able to get this job done locally and for a good price. After our titanium odyssey we took our worked sections out of the kiln from yesterday and got to work on the custom mini tube. Designed primarily for concentrate use the tube was to stand about 10′ high with a worked beaker bottom, a worked mouth piece, as well as a worked section in the tube.
First we created the tube section, by separating the mouthpiece section and the double worked section with a clear piece of tubing you could really start to see the first signs of a tube come to fruition. After a considerable ammount of time working it out to the desired size and shape Jasen added another clear section under the worked section of tubing to set up for adding the beaker section. Making the beaker called for Jasen’s home made “lathe” which was actually just an anvil with a t-shirt draped over it, but Jasen worked it like a pro! We made the beaker and then added a larger “tripple beach ball” section to the bottom of the beaker. Unfortunately whilst making the hole for the downstem the clear part of the beaker shattered, so we had to salvage the “beach ball” section and put it in the kiln for another day.
Putting our accident behind us we spent the rest of the day working on a production line oiler. This went buy much easier than the tube which was good because doing it let us cool off some steam. The difference between the production line and the Traveller’s rig we made was that this time we would be adding a joint, a curve/downstem attachment to go with it, and the legs were a bit different too. Looking a bit like an “Oil-saurus” the end result was both cute and functional, we threw it in the kiln to settle down for a while and we called it a day.
All in all it was a great experience working with Jasen, we got to see him make a variety of different work which in turn showcased his many talents. We will be featuring a lot more of his work on IgniteMe in the future. Currently he is taking custom orders as well as working full time on his production line, if you’d like to contact him regarding either of the two his Official Facebook Page is the way to go. Be warned though, shops across the country are snatching up his production work so if you want one we suggest you get ahold of him ASAP!
If you’d like to see more photos from the studio check them out on our Official Fan Page!
If you’re interested in picking up one of his rigs for your personal collection or if you’d like to become one of the growing number of MXC authorized retailers please contact him through:
- Personal/Custom Orders: Official Facebook Page
- Wholesale Orders: firstname.lastname@example.org