Hank Murta Adams describes how Blenko objects were produced.

Hank Adams

Hank Murta Adams discusses the work environment at Blenko. Oral history interview with Hank Murta Adams by Barb Elam, conducted via telephone, June 7, 2019, Bard Graduate Center. Clip length: 01:58.

Hank Murta Adams: I mean it was really hard labor; they would start at six in the morning, and it was really intensely difficult work with—there was a guy who was the foreman named ‘Jarfly’ and he was there most of my tenure, he left while I was there. But he was there most of the time, and Jarfly was the bull that ran the entire studio, and everybody kissed Jarfly’s ass and Jarfly was a hard-ass, and Jarfly was also very loving to the guys. It was very interesting to watch him. And so I had to engage with all these different levels, and I had basically had to win these guys over. And when I first started at Blenko I took over from Don [Shepherd]. Basically, I would come in, I would make molds, we would prototype when I’d get up with them early in the morning, at six in the morning I’d start; and we would start prototyping and running samples and molds and work ideas out—test out—very hard work, intensely hard for me because I had to teach them, I had to show them new things, I had to coax them. And I came there and they—when I first started, I asked them to put a lip wrap on something, they’d spit at my feet. And I just—you know, it’s like, I took it, and—so it didn’t take more than six months before they realized that I cared about them and I was intensely caring about the product and the work, and so through my criticism—and boy, [laughs] I did criticize them, but they loved me for it, because they weren’t getting anything. And so I’d come in from New York, on my trips, and first thing I’d do is I’d go to the lehr—the moving lehr—the work would be coming off the belt, and I would look at all of the pieces that had been recently designed, on production, and accepted into the line, and they’d be horribly off. And I would put them on a cart and I’d tell the lehr boy to take these and go chuck them in the pond. Well, that certainly caused a sensation.