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Author Topic: Sam Herman anyone?  (Read 860 times)

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Offline brewster

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Sam Herman anyone?
« on: December 02, 2012, 01:19:28 PM »
There are three items on ebay.au at the moment that are listed as the works of Sam Herman:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/200855115795
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/200855111761
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/160931133016

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:
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,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.

Trevor
See my blog on Australian studio glass.
You can also inspect my Picasa page of unknown attributions. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image and to leave comments.


Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Sam Herman anyone?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 02:09:32 PM »
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
Cheers, Sue (M)

ďAll things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.Ē Friedrich Nietzsche


Offline flying free

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Re: Sam Herman anyone?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 02:31:03 PM »
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?
m


Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Sam Herman anyone?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 06:59:03 PM »
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.
Cheers, Sue (M)

ďAll things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.Ē Friedrich Nietzsche


Offline brewster

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Re: Sam Herman anyone?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 12:39:34 PM »
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.

Trevor
See my blog on Australian studio glass.
You can also inspect my Picasa page of unknown attributions. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image and to leave comments.


Offline brewster

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Re: Sam Herman anyone?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 10:55:53 AM »
Here are photos of the item referred to in the third paragraph above. It is 16cm high by about 12.5 diameter.

Trevor
See my blog on Australian studio glass.
You can also inspect my Picasa page of unknown attributions. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image and to leave comments.


Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Sam Herman anyone?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 11:00:00 AM »
It's a lovely piece.  :)
Cheers, Sue (M)

ďAll things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.Ē Friedrich Nietzsche


Offline brewster

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Re: Sam Herman anyone?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2014, 12:04:27 PM »
Iíve come across more items from the early Jam Factory workshop, as shown in the first photo below. They range from 12 to 18cm high and all have a basically trapezoidal lower section, although some are more rounded than others. They are all inscribed JFW1 and signed PG in the hand of Peter Goss Ė see the second photo.

By happy coincidence, I have been in contact with Peter Goss in recent days, He is long retired from glass making, having stopped in 1991. However, he has been helpful with confirmations and recollections, and has resolved some of our earlier speculation.

My new items are Jam Factory production pieces from the mid-1970s, just like the items that started this thread. (Unfortunately, the ebay listings in question are now deleted, although two of the items are shown on the dealerís web page here as Bottle #1 and Bottle #2 in picture 3.

From Peter Goss I learnt that it is indeed JFW1, with the numeral 1  to indicate the first item of that design. Remember these were intended to be production items, because that was supposed to generate the income to fund the workshop. The fact that every item seems to be JFW1 Ė not JFW2 or 86 or whatever Ė is a testament to those heady days of experimentation and discovery.

These items were made by Sam Herman and his trainees (Peter Goss, Rob Knottenbelt, John Walsh and Tom Persson) together with Stan Melis who was brought in to contribute his Slovakian glass making background to production ware. After a short time, Herman was less involved in production and the others did most of the work, although clearly influenced by their training. A piece might be worked on by several of them in various combinations, with design input from all of them. The person who finished the item usually signed it.

The  item we were discussing earlier was inscribed JFW1 and signed with initials SM for Stan Melis. That piece is shown on the dealerís web page as Bottle #2.

Iím no closer to resolving the apparent signature U2 on my blue piece from 1980 shown above. Peter canít help on that.

Trevor
See my blog on Australian studio glass.
You can also inspect my Picasa page of unknown attributions. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image and to leave comments.


 

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