Hank Murta Adams talks about Don Shepherd and Blenko.

Hank Adams

Hank Murta Adams talks about Don Shepherd and Blenko. Oral history interview with Hank Murta Adams by Barb Elam, conducted via telephone, June 7, 2019, Bard Graduate Center. Clip length: 02:01.

Hank Murta Adams: Doug Heller knew I needed a studio, so he suggested that I call Don Shepherd who was the designer of Blenko. Now, Don was a very interesting character; he was an architect who lived in Connecticut and he—very seventies aesthetic—and I’m not sure exactly how he got into Blenko, but he had designed there for, like, 10 years at the time I met him. And he was looking to leave, and he would commute in from Connecticut. He was, as I said, an architect and a designer of—and glass was sort of accidental to him, except that he was making some very interesting work that Doug [Heller] was selling, and it’s—you might know it, it’s not very well known, though, but they were rea—and I was totally smitten to pieces. So Doug put us together, and he told me that Don was looking to cast because the oven that he was using was actually co-owned with him by Howard Ben Tré. And Howard Ben Tré, when he left RISD, he was looking for a place to cast. This was before he went into Brooklyn and even before he was casting in New York. So he had this oven built, it was built by a colleague of mine at RISD, named Greg Morell. And Greg built this very—we wouldn’t build them this way anymore, but it was a large oven for the time, and Don [Shepherd] didn’t know how to use it, or the computer that came with it, and so he was looking for somebody to sort of teach him. And so basically he offered me half ownership of that oven, and that was my entrance into the Blenko plant.