Jim Harmon discusses teaching the “teamwork aesthetic” in glassblowing.

Jim Harmom

Jim Harmon discusses teaching the “teamwork aesthetic” in glassblowing. Oral history interview with Jim Harmon by Barb Elam, conducted via telephone, February 8, 2018, Bard Graduate Center. Clip length 00:59

Jim Harmon: It is—it is like a dance. Because you have to be careful of the way you move, and you never walk in front of the gaffer, you never walk between the gaffer and the glory hole. And if you go behind them you make sure that they know you’re there. You never back up without looking first. These are all things that I teach my students now, that I learned from doing this for so many years. And one of the things I actually teach them nowadays is, when we’re working on a piece in the studio, I try to teach this teamwork aesthetic, where it’s like an apprenticeship aesthetic, I guess; or maybe a combination of the two. And I always make them focus on the piece itself, so I say, ‘You’re not really making the piece. We are all making the piece and the piece is what’s important.’ So it wipes away some of the ego that gets involved with—and that’s really the best way to work.