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Sam Herman anyone?

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There are three items on at the moment that are listed as the works of Sam Herman:

One is marked JFWI for the Jam Factory Workshop in Adelaide where Herman worked 1974-79. (I don't know what the I stands for, and the seller thinks it is the numeral 1.)  The others are unmarked and none is signed. These items show his influence, as does much of the Jam Factory output in the late 1970s, but are they his works?

In 1977 and perhaps later, Herman operated a studio of his own in the Jam Factory precinct, employing trainees as assistants and as independent artists. I have seen works by Stan Melis, Rob Knottenbelt and Peter Goss, signed by the respective artist but subtitled SJ Herman Studio or SJH Studio. To my eye, these pieces display the influence of Sam Herman every bit as much as the ones listed for sale. I have shown them before  on the GMB here:,50103.msg283097.html#msg283097

The photos below show some other Jam Factory production pieces from the late 1970s, made by trainees and unsigned but identified as such by Stan Melis, both about 12.5cm diameter.


Fascinating, Trever, thank-you! (I can't currently see the whole listings - we went wireless recently (as in not a transistor radio  ::) ) and t'internet keeps cutting out or refusing to load pages, so I can only see the main page - I can't see enlargements or the seller's blurb. So much for "advancements" in technology.  :P

flying free:
Trevor one is marked for the Jam Factory and 1 but did you miss the mark underneath it?
or is it not relevant? - I thought Sam H had a terrible signature lol,
that looks a bit neat but reads SH to me?

Could be SM - Stan Melis....
My Jam Factory marked piece reads Samuel J Herman 1975 and SA81. The SH (or SM) on the bottle in the listing is not written in any similar way to the way Sam Herman forms his capital Ss or Hs.

Thanks, Sue and m. I didn't attach much significance to the initials SH because I thought at best that would be a tribute and hence not helpful to identification of the maker beyond what is obvious from the appearance. I agree they do not appear to correspond to Sam Herman's usual signing of either the S or the H.

I agree they could well be SM, and then Stan Melis is an intriguing possibility. Melis's signature on a few examples to hand shows some variability in both the S and the M, and does not rule out a match.

Another piece I've seen with the inscription JFWI from 1980 has an additional marking that seems to say U2. I'm not aware that Bono and the lads were in Adelaide at that time! On the other hand, it may suggest the letters SH or SM are not somebody's initials at all.

The obvious solution, of course, would be to ask Stan Melis. He has been charming and helpful on the couple of occasion we have met him, but he tends to move around. I'll see what I can do to track him down through other contacts.



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