Last weekend Borofest took place in Oxfordshire. The festival site, consisting of three fields and a barn, was located in an idyllic spot in the Great British countryside, and craft vendors, glassblowers and enthusiastic attendees all came together for the event.
Borofest is a glassblowing and arts festival with a focus on things like pipe and rig making, which requires the use of ‘hard’ glass known as Boro.
This requires a specialist set up including extraction, propane and oxygen tanks, a kiln and more, making the craft less accessible to some who maybe cannot afford a set up or lack the space to do so. But thankfully there are places and events like this that glass enthusiasts can go to learn more about borosilicate glass.
Now in it’s fourth year, the festival offers a space for boro glass artists to jump on the torch and create some awesome glass pieces, as well as for fans of the art to come and watch their favourite artists live in action, or even to have lessons and make their own glass objects. Borofest has been steadily growing year on year, with 500 attendees this year.
If you want to know more about last year, you can read our article on Borofest 2018, which took place in the middle of some magical woods.
The event this year took place 5th-7th July 2019, with people attending from all over the UK and beyond. I arrived to set up my tent on Friday evening and stayed until Monday morning (8th July), which gave me plenty of time to enjoy the weekend.
And what a weekend it was!
Glass Artists in attendance included (but were not limited to): Dok Glass, Mellow Glass, Glass Haze, Jake Glass, Sicknote Glass, Harryist, Glass Charlie, Burango Glass, Tsari Glass, Viking Glass and many more.
There were lots of nice glass pieces on display at the event which people had brought along – standing out as an insanely nice piece was the Pokemon-inspired glass owned by DNA Supplies (pictured below).
This was a winning entry into a previous glassblowing competition. In fact, DNA Supplies brought more glass to that event than anybody else (see our Borofest 2019 video at the bottom of this page to see more of Nick’s pieces).
Dok Glass made a dab rig with a Dimps Glass implosion and Mellow Scratch sections, and then put an attachment from each of the other glassblowers on there, including horns from glass charlie, sculptures and small attachments from others – Burtango Glass added a small milli he’d created the previous evening.
This piece was put into a raffle with funds donated towards the costs of Borofest (and bringing it back next year), drawn on the Sunday.
Also on the Sunday the Crumpet Cup took place – this cannabis cup consisted of 4 categories, and I judged the solvent cannabis extracts category.
The announcements took place in the glass barn (more about this coming soon via the ISMOKE YouTube Channel)
The attendees of Borofest also had a smoke out for Charlie and Jay, two people who sadly passed since last year’s Borofest – so we all smoked in their memories!
Overall, the glass artists had almost 3 days on the flames to work on pendants, rigs, attachment, implosions, cabs, drinking horns and much more. The style and creativity of these guys was on point as usual, with loads of stunning glass on display and in and out of the kilns.
The UK glass game is strong, with the number of artists totaling more than most other European Countries, and plenty of glass fans to appreciate their work.
Following on from Borofest we have the Functional Flame off taking place at Product Earth next month, and The Highland Flames up near Glasgow the following month, two more awesome glass-focused events. If you are interested in the scene, you should definitely check them out.
And if you are interested in glassblowing you should contact Dave Bentham AKA Mellow Glass or Gordon Kay AKA Brighton Glass via Facebook for some lessons.
One thing I’d mention is that it seems the UK glass artists market is lacking female representation – last weekend all of the artists I saw on the torches were male. However I have seen some US-based female glass blowers though so I know they are out there! Hopefully with Mellow Glass’ Studio up North near Leeds and Brighton Glass’ Studio down South in Brighton we’ll see more female artists in the UK boro scene in years to come.
Overall it seemed the event was enjoyed by all in attendance. Special thanks to Jim for organising Borofest, and shout-out to the Crumpet Cup for getting us involved as well.
I had a really fun weekend with a crew of wonderful people and it left me with refreshed waves of positivity about the UK cannabis community.
The only thing I’d change next year is to put everybody closer together, as we had 3 fields of space which meant a fair bit of walking, which was fine, but would have been lovely to see the sound stage amongst the vendors, and that all right up near the glass barn so all site activity was happening in one place.
But a little bit of walking didn’t hurt, and the quiet countryside setting was a lovely place for Borofest 2019.
Some highlights from my weekend included:
I caught up with numerous people in the community (and met lots of new ones!) during what was the perfect festival to kick off the events season.
I spent quite a bit of time in the glass barn, filming and also dabbing. This was a barn which had been set-up as a studio for the artists, and also a glass shop and testing station run by DNA Supplies for people to find out the percentages of THC/CBD in their flowers.
I met Sky Sports Extracts, who made the Pink Panties extract we reviewed last week on our YouTube Channel, as well as Gas Pharms (their Runtz is going down very nicely amongst the community right now). Club 101 were repping at Borofest – they have been throwing some good events in the South of England recently. On the Sunday I also caught up with Gas Leak Extracts to try their version of the same extract which carries the familiar Burmese Kush notes but is slightly different.
I teamed up with LadyBuds London for a few hours to meet some of the stalls, and we saw a bit of a Blacksmithing happening at a traveling forge:
This was where Harley Davidson, the bird of prey was flying around as well:
I ate a hemp-based pizza with vegan chicken and primarily drank City Juice’s sugar cane juice all weekend.
Oh and of course there were dabs. Lots and lots of dabs!
I said it last year, and I’ll say it again – I look forward to next year’s Borofest. Apologies if I you were there intending to talk to me and we missed each other – I didn’t do as much exploring as I would have liked, and it flew by very quickly as usual.
Here’s our video for more on Borofest 2019:
You can also view more photos on our Facebook Page here.