Whether you fall in love immediately or experience a sense of unease, no one is immune their charm.
The © Baby Head Cup tumblers are handmade by Oliver Doriss and his fearless technicians at a top secret laboratory in Tacoma, Washington. They are created through a unique process combining both creepy and awesome into one dynamic product. This exact recipe however is a highly guarded secret that has been passed down through the generations. These curiosities are fully functional glassware, the perfect addition to your unnerving table setting or decorative display. In addition they are a perfect votive candle holder creating an eerie ambiance, or function flawlessly as a planter for a lively green hairstyle. Read more about the Baby Head origin story here.
Products produced by Oliver Doriss Designs LLC are held to the highest manufacturing standard. Our glass tumblers are dishwasher safe and surprisingly durable providing years of enjoyment. Baby Head Cups are handmade. The traditional glass blowing process results in a small degree of variation and tooling that makes each piece distinctive.
* Baby Head Cups are dishwasher safe, however please avoid boiling water, coffee or other hot beverages as the temperature shock will compromise the glass.
Baby Head Cup Origin Story
I am often asked why…
Why do I make Baby Head Cups, what is the inspiration behind this strange little item? Is it commentary on the ever popular Glassybaby candle holder? Why would anyone produce something so unnerving? Well if you have a moment I’ll tell you how it all started.
Lets go back in time (dream sequence sound) to 1993, Boston Massachusetts, There I was in my early twenties living my best life in Boston attending Massachusetts College of Art. Similar to many young adults at the time It was common to rent a big ole’ house and fill it with like minded individuals. Introducing the “Big House”! There was a practice room in the basement that was in heavy rotation. Groove Butcher was the house band. I think someone was trying to grow weed. Everyone was throwing parties, big dinners, making art and playing shows. It was a creative and exciting time, so much was going on!
On a particular day a housemate returned with multiple garbage bags full of doll parts. Where they came from I will never know but it was an impressive stash. Legs, heads, torsos, body parts everywhere. Without delay our creativity got the best of us, and it became the dominant motif of the house! Have you ever seen an illuminated strand of baby doll Christmas lights, nope? They’re awesome! The eyes would glow through the creepy flesh tone sockets. A statue of Jesus Christ with a doll head helmet? My personal savior!
Not surprisingly this went on for months, haunted by doll parts. Occasionally I would often open up my courier bag to discover a doll head inside, planted by a roommate. Inside the cabinets, doll parts, doll hand drawer pulls, even in the shower, nothing was sacred.
Massachusetts College of Art
On the whole I feel that every artist explores a doll motif at some point in their carer. It’s basic, juvenile, doll parts are an artistic element that is loaded both socially and aesthetically. Firstly dolls are creepy, whether human or infant, with this in mind level it up that stunted chubby little limbs and toes and you are really have something going on. Doll parts are a dynamic “ready-made” symbolic form that speaks to creepy innocence.
Blessed by amazing the facilities Massachusetts College of Art in the 1990’s. A newly constructed state of the art glass studio, coupled with a surprisingly well equipped metal shop served as the back bone of my creative process. Given these unique circumstances, and unfettered access to this equipment it was inevitable that I fabricated a two-part aluminum blow mold modeled directly from on of these creepy doll heads that has proliferated in my life .
All things considered I was in the infancy of my Baby Head Cup journey. My original art concepts were without a doubt as strange as the disembodied doll parts themselves. In particular one such artistic grouping I designed involved a long stalk for the neck topped with a doll head which was to be clustered in groups, totally immature, but awesome. Furthermore the Baby Head Mold makes for amazing table ware! Undeniably Baby Head Cups have become a huge hit in the design world! I started making and marketing the Baby Head Bong, complete with these two adorable little horns on it.
At any rate the Baby Head Cups has served as a macabre canvas for a many designs. I mean I’ve made baby head everything, decanters, goblets, baby head devil horns, and the clown, complete with a red nose. This mold has been a part of my tool kit for many years.
Without a doubt the Massachusetts College of Art glass program was an influential part of my career. The 1990’s glass scene in the United States was exploding, Italian Maestro Lino Taglipaetra was changing the way Americans approached glass and, I began working with Maestro Davidé Fuin during his trips to the United States. It was a dynamic time to be involved in glass, none of this was lost on me. Upon completion of my degree at Mass Art I continued my exploration in glass firstly at at Marthas Vinyard Glassworks under the instruction of the late Mark Weiner and subsequently made my way to the Pacific Northwest, participating in the American Contemporary Glass Movement.
Pacific Northwest & Glass Culture
In 1999 I relocated to Seattle Washington in order to establish myself in the Seattle glass scene. A scene that unquestionably offered a multitude amazing experiences and opportunities. I was hired by Sonja Blomdahl to gaff and create her vibrant colored vessels. Additionally I produced a line of high fashion glass belt closures designed by William Morris & Donna Karan. Also as a working glassblower in the Pacific Northwest it is nearly impossible to avoid the ubiquitous art machine known as Chihuly Inc.
I spent may days producing work for Dale Chihuly in just as many shops. At his height Dale employed hundreds of glassblowers and supported a number of satellite shops throughout the region. Nijima Floats, Icabana Flowers, Persians, Mini Venetians, Temple of the Moon installation in Israel. All of these installations required hundreds of pieces of glass to complete and a work force of glassblowers to create them.
One of these smaller satellite shops was operated by Brian Rubino. An extraordinarily skilled glassworker well versed in the venetian tradition. The level of work produced for the my time producing work for any glass start with a flaw in the decoration like a bubble or scar would get blown into the baby head mold producing drinking glasses for the crew. To this end we had this amazing collection of Baby Head Cups with Chihuly colors and decoration. It was silly; you could track his design progression just by looking in our cupboard.
Upon writing this piece it is apparent that Baby Head Cups have grown into it’s own unique entity, distinctly separate from my own artistic pursuits. If you would like to see more of my fine art and sculptural projects visit my personal website www.oliverdoriss.com – Oliver Doriss