I had a great trip to Phoenix to work with Steve Dison of Three Ball Climbing. I first met Steve in March of 2010 while climbing in Vegas. That following September we were all in Mallorca together and its been wild ever since:) Steve and Gustavo changed my life. Each in their own way but lead me in the same direction… to try hard and have fun. These boys are powerful, not just their fingers- they are great forces. I mention them both because they were a sort of yin/yang when I think of one the other is not far behind. Spending a week with Steve was so natural and inspiring I had to write some of it. Both Steve and I served in LDS missions, we have some of the best conversations and he still challenges me like nobody else.
I have for some time wanted to pour some climbing holds that I had designed & shaped. The Anthem Series seemed the perfect excuse to come and make a lung inspired shape and train with these ninjas. Pound for pound Steve is one of the strongest people I know, in his shop its ridiculous the stuff he campuses and flys around on. I knew he was a monkey and knew they made the best climbing, but damn I had no idea the imagination I was tapping into. I had been in the shop an hour and we had already designed and poured the first Anthem hold. Blue Silk was born from an experimental bit of trickery he had been working on. The shape was abstract and perfect. It just happened! No second guess, just BAM! We tweaked the master mold and added some graphics for the production copy- can’t wait to see it in the gallery. That jewel is sculpture, not just another bolt on hold. It is a flat backed mountable piece art born in a moment by someone who spent years and years experimenting with polyurethane resin. It was really special. The next piece we shaped and obsessed over was a chest shaped super jug. The under ribs area will be a sweet kneebar hold and the top collarbone area is a really comfy jug. This is definitely a climbing hold but by no means is that all it is. The texture and shape of the piece is a stand alone beauty. After some doodling with a sharpie and a lot of brainstorming on how to preserve layers of texture the Octopus Anthem piece started coming to life. The idea was a sternum with the anthem text and instead of ribs carved into the foam, I drew tentacles wrapping around the chest. The tentacles were not choking it but definitely not letting it go either. Protection and restriction is a balance I struggle with while breathing. So often I want to breathe deeper than ever only to clap and claw at bones and muscle. Sometimes those ribs are truly a cage, other times a shield. I enjoyed the octopus idea and it really came together well on this sculpture. Steve and I painted and planned each little detail. The production piece will be really beautiful, can’t wait to see it with logos and all finished up. I felt bad leaving without finishing everything but this is a intense process. From shape to final hold is normally pretty painstaking. I really got spoiled on the Blue silk, that joker was fast. I stayed with Steve, Kaycee and Kai at heir home. I felt really comfortable and thankful to be one of the family:) Kai is an incredible kid and I’m really missing Kaycee’s waffles. #GlutenFree was a nice experience when you have a sweet woman making all your food:) Steve you lucky bum. Ok well thats about it. I had a blast, learned a lot. Now I gotta find a way to incorporate Resin with Steel and make some beautiful sculpture.
Thanks Disons, Missed you Gustavo:) next time!
Go to ThreeBallClimbing.com to see their product line. Be sure to check out their Beast Balls- what a workout!