Last month I had the pleasure of another meeting with Sam Herman, who is arguably the greatest name in British studio glass – and pretty darned important in the global studio glass movement too. Unfairly in my mind at least, few recognise his incredible vision, abilities and importance. Without him, studio glass techniques would not and could not have spread to the UK and beyond. Sam studied at the University of Wisconsin under Harvey Littleton who, with Dominick Labino, sowed the seeds of the movement in the early 1960s. In late 1966, Sam came to the UK on a scholarship and ended up taking over as Head of the Glass Department at the Royal College of Art. His predecessor, Michael Harris, had been bitten by the studio glass bug and left for Malta to found Mdina Glass in 1968 – the rest is history, so read my book. Sam went on to found the influential ‘Glasshouse’ in London, and work and teach in Australia. He also taught the first generation of Britain’s studio glass artists. The event was a dedicated retrospective organised by my friend Adam Aaronson at his superb Zest Gallery in West London. Including new work by the hand of the master himself, a selection of ‘vintage’ pieces, dating as far back as the early days at the Royal College of Art. As ever, the conversation with Sam was both incredibly enlightening and enormous fun. For a review of the exhibition and my interview, see the next edition of Collect It! magazine.
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