Hank Murta Adams talks about Blenko’s solid color glass and “upping” the choices.

Hank Adams

Hank Murta Adams talks about Blenko’s solid color glass and “upping” the choices. Oral history interview with Hank Murta Adams by Barb Elam, conducted via telephone, June 7, 2019, Bard Graduate Center. Clip length: 02:00.

Hank Murta Adams: The whole system in the modern glass movement is basically coatings of color from what started as Kugler but has now moved on to these companies that are many more, and much more variety of color, but it’s all potent color that’s been put on the end of the blowpipe and then you have a coating, inside coating, or with an overlay—an outside coating—of a higher density of glass that’s been blown out, and so you’re basically tinting a piece of glass. Well, the way the factories were working is that you had a whole furnace of a color of glass, and so the glass would be that color glass all the way through it, instead of a coating. So having that old system was—and it shows, I mean you look at a Blenko catalog and it’s just beautiful color, and it’s highly saturated, gorgeous color. Well, those are solid glass color—they’re not a coating. And  no one knows that consciously, but their mind tells them that when they see it visually. So I had all this color system there, and so what I did is, to get more than—I forget, I think it was six colors they’d run a year, I can’t remember what it would be; six or seven—and we’d design a new color and phase one out—it would be the year of that color would be—we’d call it that—avocado, or whatever that year was—amethyst. And what I did is I upped the choices, which was kind of disastrous for the company as far as like having to manage it, but what I did is I would take, say a topaz, a yellow-transparent, or gold color, and I would coat it with an emerald, so you would then get a combination of those two. And what was really cool was that it would make the glass even more alive because when you’re blowing a piece of glass that is a half-topaz, yellow, and half-emerald green, but you blow it out, it actually is not even, it does a gradation—a slow gradation or a vibratory thing, which makes the glass extremely alive.