Paul M. Hollister Collection, The Rakow Research Library of The Corning Museum of Glass
Transcribed by Bard Graduate Center
Title: Paul Hollister Interview with Klaus Moje, February 7, 1984 (Rakow title: Klaus Moje interview [sound recording] / with Paul Hollister, BIB ID: 168459).
Klaus Moje, Interviewee
Paul Hollister, Interviewer
Location: Paul Hollister’s apartment, New York, New York
Natalie De Quarto, Transcriber
Barb Elam, Editor
Noah Dubay, Summary
Duration: 120:52
Length: 50 pages

Note: This transcript is based upon an audiotaped recording that has been digitally converted. The recording is part of the Paul M. Hollister Collection at The Rakow Research Library at The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, and was transcribed at Bard Graduate Center, New York, New York, for the digital exhibition and archive Voices in Studio Glass History: Art and Craft, Maker and Place, and the Critical Writings and Photography of Paul Hollister. Usage requests for all or part of this transcript must be obtained from The Rakow Research Library at The Corning Museum of Glass. 

Paul Hollister often made audio recordings for research purposes in preparation for writing, including interviews with artists and curators, and lectures. The reader should bear in mind that transcriptions of these recordings reflect spoken, rather than written, prose. While every effort was made to be as accurate as possible, the sound quality of the recordings in the Paul Hollister Collection varies greatly. Transcripts have been edited for readability and occasionally condensed. They should serve as a best-effort guide to the original only and not be considered verbatim.

Artist Klaus Moje (1936–2016) trained as an apprentice glass cutter and grinder in his family’s firm in Hamburg, Germany, before earning a master’s certificate from Hadamar Glass School in 1959. Moje established a joint studio with his first wife, Isgard Moje-Wohlgemuth, in Hamburg in 1961. They worked on architectural window commissions before developing a range of lustreware glass vessels. Moje produced his first kiln-formed glass vessels in 1975. Kiln forming quickly became Moje’s signature technique, which he continued to use for the rest of his life. After moving to Australia in 1982 with his partner and later second wife, ceramicist Brigitte Enders, Moje founded the glass program at the Canberra School of Art (later the Australian National University School of Art and Design). He led the program for 10 years before setting up a joint studio with Enders in Wapengo, New South Wales. Moje’s glass is known internationally for its vibrant colors and abstract geometric designs.

Summary: During this interview with Klaus Moje at Paul Hollister’s home, Moje presents slides of his recent mosaic works, including his Shield and New Horizons series. He discusses his glass techniques, especially his cold work involving slicing and arranging canes and plates of glass before heating and fusing. Moje also speaks about his relocation to Canberra, Australia, and his five-year appointment as a glass instructor at the Canberra School of Art, where he led workshops for students in the school’s two and four-year programs.

Mentioned: Art Deco, Australia, Howard Ben Tré, Sonja Blomdahl, Bullseye Glass Company, Canberra, Canberra School of Art, cane technique, Dale Chihuly, copper, The Corning Museum of Glass, Gunnar Cyrén, Dan Dailey, M.C. Escher, fuming, fusing, Habatat Galleries, Henry Halem, Ferdinand Hampson, Douglas Heller, Gerry King, William Morris, mosaic, General Motors, glass formulas, Nicola Günter, Flora Mace, René Magritte, mola, molds, Benjamin Moore, Kenneth Noland, Tom Patti, Pilchuck Glass School, Helmut Ricke, Michael Scheiner, sheet glass, slumping, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Durk Valkema, Venini, Vitrolite, Steven Weinberg, Esther Williams

Related asset: Paul Hollister, “Klaus Moje.” American Craft 44, no. 6 (December 1984/January 1985): 18-22.

Paul Hollister (PH): This is February 7, we’re at home in the apartment and Klaus Moje is here.

Klaus Moje (KM): I just want to give you an introduction to what I did through the last year.

PH: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

KM: And, so you see, see this window, which is—

PH: I’ve got your polaroid of that.

KM: Yeah. And the special on this window is that I work with four layers of colored glass, and fuse these four layers one into each other, and over each other.

PH: Overlapped.

KM: Overlapping to each other. So I could manipulate the color palette very much.

PH: Yeah.

KM: And have shades of colors worked out.

PH: Even though it’s mostly orange and blue and red?

KM: That’s right, that’s the basic of the window. I even used the iridescent colors, which give the window a different depth from windows only made from transparent colors, opaque colors.

PH: But they did that in the old stained glass windows too, they did—they flashed one color over another sometimes, blue over yellow?

KM: Yeah, they did it, but this is one overlay—you could have three overlays, but this happened on a three millimeter glass.

PH: Very thin.

KM: Very thin glass, and the effect of this window is doubled through using a—

PH: Overlap.

KM: Overlapping, and a thickness of about twenty millimeters, with layers of iridescent glass which reflect in light that is coming through the window, and give light through when you look into the light.

PH: Iridescent glass.

KM: Iridescent glass, yes.

PH: You mean, it’s got a silver coating, or something?

KM: No, the—[pauses for eight seconds] like a luster, like there’s a fumed overlay.

PH: Yeah, the fumed overlay.

KM: Yeah, you normally make them from zinc oxide—

PH: Yeah.

KM: —and zinc chloride.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: Not with silver. Silver glasses would be different. [sounds of slides advancing in slide projector]

PH: And this is the commission for a church?

KM: No, it is a free work that I chose to make after I started to work with this glass from Bullseye, which often shows new possibilities to me.

PH: Bullseye?

KM: Bullseye, the American company who is doing a color range of around fifty colors.

PH: Mmm.

KM: All compatible in a fusing situation. And that is something very special, something very new, because you could cast glass through from other companies, up to now you could get possibly three or four colors fusable.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: But here I have a fusing range of fifty colors, which I easily can double and triple when I—

PH: Overlap.

KM: —overlap.

PH: Yeah. So, is the surface texture like this, here?

KM: No, the surface texture is actually even.

PH: Because they are fused—slumped in?

KM: No, it’s— not overwhelming. I worked out the layers in these windows so that they are absolutely even.

PH: So in other words there was a—

KM: Four even layers.

PH: —there was a red over a blue, but there was a space, so only the red showed; then you’d fill that in with the iridescent?

KM: Well, with clear glass.

PH: Oh, clear glass, so that it’s level.

KM: I should have a—I’ll leave you a slide if you’re here, if you think it is worth using it.

PH: Mm-hmm. I like the detail as much as anything.

KM: Yeah. You could build up different details from the—

PH: The window seems to have—the window design, as you say you brought it from Germany, it doesn’t seem [KM laughs]—to bear any relation to the other stuff, it had a Victorian look about it.

KM: Yeah, you’re right. This is absolutely from the time these windows have been in doorways in Germany, used in doorways. [sounds of slides advancing in slide projector]

PH: Yeah. It’s not very pretty. Just one of those round arches would be nice, just the plain window without all that stuff.

KM: It’s easy to do. [sounds of slides advancing in slide projector]

PH: Yeah. Okay, good. [four second pause]

KM: And I would like to continue to give you an overview about the new work—

PH: These are some of the ones that I looked at.

KM: There’s one of the New Horizons, which is used for the—

PH: You call them ‘horizons’?

KM: These round pieces, yeah. I’m calling them New Horizons. Here’s a blue one.

PH: You call them New Horizons.

KM: New Horizons.

PH: Okay. [three second pause, sounds of slides advancing in slide projector]

KM: These were the first pieces I made in Australia, and [sounds of slides advancing in slide projector] they’re made of fifteen colors. Actually I made four pieces, which have all the same color range, but the main white of the color—in one is blue and the other is red, and I think you have two different pieces there.

PH: So the basic color is opaque white, or red, or blue?

KM: Yeah, yeah.

PH: You mean there’s more of that color?

KM: Right. [sounds of slides advancing in slide projector]

PH: Yeah.

KM: But it—

PH: But it’s not quite underneath, opaque white or—

KM: No, no. Here, I used—when I first worked with the cane, I sliced the canes off with a diamond saw into stripes. In this case, I am using plate glass—sheet glass that I cut up in stripes. And after I cut them off, I put them upright together, they have these small lines which I never could do with the cane work. But I can do this with the small stripes, three millimeter for the stripes, that I—

PH: Oh, using the edge.

KM: Right, yeah, using the edge.

PH: But those aren’t the opaque colors.

KM: They are transparent and opaque both.

PH: But the transparent ones are the sheet glass?

KM: No, the opaque as well as the transparent is also sheet glass.

PH: They’re all sheet glass?

KM: Yes, yes.

PH: They’re opaque sheet glass.

KM: Opaque and transparent.

PH: [KM and PH speak over each other inaudibly]—like vitrolite.

KM: No, it’s much different from vitrolite.

PH: Hmm. [sounds of slides advancing in slide projector; four second pause] Well how is it different if it’s opaque?

KM: The structure of the glass is different. The—

PH: The formula?

KM: The formula, yes. And this glass is hand-blown glass, and the vitrolite is a machine glass.

PH: Is that what gives the—

KM: Right. Yeah.

PH: —that edge, that ruffly edge—

KM: Yes, yeah.

PH: —that wiggly edge?

KM: Yeah. It is more [inaudible] in it.

PH: Like a brushstroke.

KM: Yeah, I would say—

PH:  Like an actual brush line.

KM: Yeah. I would say it’s more—more life in it. More [inaudible] and—

PH: Yeah, less rigid.

KM: Yeah.

PH: And what did you say about putting them vertically? You line them up like that, vertically, first?

KM: Yes, yeah. They stay, actually, in that way. There’s a horizon line.

[KM and PH speak at same time inaudibly]

PH: I was thinking, you’ve overdone it there. [laughs] That’s better. The other I thought was too much. Yes, that’s very interesting right there. I did some paintings like that one time.

KM: Uh-huh.

PH: See, even these things are from—

KM: Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.

PH: They have the lines, thin lines. Nice ones. Yeah, yeah.

KM: And these are the new ones which came afterwards, after the New Horizons. 

PH: Let me drag this thing over. [recording increases in volume] Okay. Why New Horizons? Well, I suppose that’s a new horizon for you, for Australia.

KM: One—yes, and the experience of a new color.

PH: —experience—of a new—

KM: Of new colors.

PH: How about just ‘Horizons,’ not ‘New’?

KM: They are called now, they have their name, it’s too late. [laughs]

PH: [five second pause] Gee, that’s interesting.

KM: You see these are transparent colors here I’m using.

PH: Yeah, yeah.

KM: Transferring colors which are coated with iridescence. And I fused these iridescent stripes together so that the iridescence is captured. And they—

PH: The little lines? Little slices?

KM: Yup, yes.

PH: Wow.

KM: And this is such an incredible effect—

PH: But it’s a real mosaic problem, isn’t it? I mean, you have a— [sounds of slides advancing in slide projector] you have an area here where it’s going at this angle, and then it’s cut across by the—

[KM and PH speak at same time inaudibly]

KM: Sorry, yes, in that way. That’s the design—how it should stay.

PH: Yeah. But—what I mean is that the white’s going this way and the red’s going up this way.

KM: Yeah.

PH: And the other white’s going down this way.

KM: Yeah.

PH: And each one of those has to be cut off right there where the red comes down.

KM: Oh, yeah.

PH: And then they have to be resumed this way, it’s—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —it’s really inlay work.

KM: Yeah, it is now complicated. I am working now—when I first worked from small pieces. I’m working now from plates. I’m preparing glass first—

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: —so that I have—

PH: To fit, those—

KM: —no, that I have plates, in white.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: Plates with a zig zag. Plates with red. And then I cut these plates, pull this—pull the circle on—that it fits.

PH: [exclaiming] Oh, oh, the easy way. [laughs]

KM: You have to, otherwise you wouldn’t get it precise.

PH: So you gotta plate with the white, and that’s right, and you’ve already got one—

KM: Yeah, yeah.

PH: —that has all of this stuff on it?

KM: Yeah, yeah. It must be, otherwise you never would get it so precise as I’m used to here.

PH: And then you cut up the plate?

KM: Yeah. Fuse it again.

PH: This is really one, two, three, four, five, six, seven sections.

KM: Yeah, about.

PH: Or eight.

KM: One, two, three, four, five, then I took—put the stripes in here—

PH: Six—seven—

KM: Eight—nine. And then —always if you look into the literature, it is made interesting with the mosaic glass. How is the rim worked around the piece? And that’s a separate color, that rim, which this is—I made around it. I needed this rim to catch the light of this red, and there was absolutely the need for—

PH: Dye, dye—

KM: —the rim

PH: Dye on the edge without that. Okay, I’ll ask you—how do you put—[laughs]

KM: [laughs] Okay. I cut stripes of glass into small pieces, and build them up around the glass.

PH: Oh, like bricks.

KM: Yeah.

PH: They fused and they—

KM: They fused so perfect into it, that it’s really not to trace.

PH: Really? That’s amazing. You couldn’t take an overlaid strip and heat it and trail it around?

KM: You can’t do that. It always will break. There’s no chance to do that.

PH: Because the plate isn’t hot.

KM: Yeah.

PH: I like this one very much.  [sounds of slides advancing in slide projector]

KM: Yeah.

PH: I think that’s very mysterious.

KM: Yeah.

PH: That has a great—

KM: You will get another slide from this one, made by this photographer at Habatat [Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, Michigan].

PH: This one?

KM: Yeah. And then another of that one as well.

PH: These were made in Habatat—

KM: Nope.

PH: —or these were made in Australia?

KM: They are all made in Australia. It couldn’t work at Habatat. But—

PH: Very good, who made these?

KM: What?

PH: Who took these?

KM: Oh, I did these here.

PH: You did?

KM: Yeah. In Australia.

PH: We’ll have to give you the photo credit.

KM: [laughs] If you take these.

PH: Yeah. I mean, I think they’re wonderful.

KM: Yeah?

PH: Oh, yes. God, when I think of some of the stuff we’ve worked with, how difficult it was—this way you get a range whether they can pick, you know, from this one or this one, and probably those two would be—

KM: Yeah. [sound of crumpling] And I went into these forms last year, the upper one is made in cane technique and the down one here is made in the new—with the sheet glass.

PH: Hmm. Is it possible to tell every time which technique is being used?

KM: More or less, yes. When you remember—the old way was mostly opaque. I very rarely only used transparent.

PH: Well, except I remember that red one you had somewhere.

KM: Yes. That—that the piece exists with this—

PH: I know that one.

KM: Yeah.

PH: I showed it. I showed a ninth-century Syrian thing that looked exactly like it.

KM: Oh, I didn’t—

PH: I have a slide of it.

KM: I would like to see that. [laughs]

PH: I have the slide in black and white, I’d have to go through my slides to find it, but you wouldn’t believe—from Choga Zanbil [Elamite site in Iran]. You wouldn’t believe—

KM: Uh-huh.

PH: —how much like it it looked. Yeah. Make a nice sports jacket, that one.

KM: [laughs]

PH: That’s a lovely shape, that leaf shape.

KM: Yeah, yeah. I call it shield, shield, because it has that size. It’s about—

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: —that size.

PH: Mm-hmm. Very nice. Something very primitive about it.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: And these. Huh, goodness. [six second pause; sounds of slides advancing in slide projector] Are you familiar with mola, M-O-L-A?

KM: No.

PH: It’s an applique work that’s done by a tribe in the Caribbean.

KM: mola [inaudible].

PH: Yeah.

KM: There you have a better photograph from the shield.

PH: Yeah. That’s good.

KM: And this is it.

PH: And now we’re breaking it.

KM: Yes.

PH: I noticed that, and wow. Yeah. Hmm. Huh, this one is superimposed—half of it over the other half, or half of it higher than the other half, like this.

KM: Which one?

PH: That one.

KM: No—

PH: It’s like that?

KM: No, no, it’s on one—It’s on the—

PH: One plane?

KM: It’s not plane, but it is on one—

PH: Flat?

KM: It’s on the other one.

PH: They’re all flat?

KM: It’s an optical illusion, yes.

PH: It sure is. Huh. [eight second pause; sounds of slides advancing in slide projector] A strange one.

KM: This is actually a very powerful form, which came out there. I used this for another piece that I don’t have in the exhibition.

PH: Mmm.

KM: But I wish I didn’t change on the surface what I [inaudible]

PH: How did the show go? Is it doing well?

KM: Sorry?

PH: Is the show in Habatat doing—?

KM: Unbelievably good. All the big pieces sold like that.

PH: Mm. I see the iridescence in there.

KM: Yeah. Because this isn’t cut on the surface. This is, I would say, very unusual for me that I don’t work through the piece on the surface. But I left it, because of the surface iridescence, in this case. Normally you’d see the iridescence only in the cut, but not the—it’s very difficult to get the truth through the photograph, I hope this photograph [inaudible] who was working for Habatat when [inaudible]

PH: Hmm. [seven second pause; sounds of slides advancing in slide projector] Well the designs are changing, too. I mean, not this much more complicated, but the whole—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —[inaudible] of the design that’s becoming quite different.

KM: Yeah.

PH: You know M.C. Escher’s paintings?

KM: Yeah.

PH: It reminds me a little of his drawings. Can’t tell which direction you’re going. Well now, this one, the edge is uneven I noticed on this one.

KM: Yes, yes.

PH: That’s a natural edge, in other words?

KM: Yes, that’s a natural edge. Normally I avoid the natural beautiness in the work, I like to have it controlled; it should have my expression, not the expression of the material.

PH: Hmm.

KM: I left it in this case. [six second pause]

PH: That’s an interesting one too.

KM: Yeah.

PH: The small one, this is the one—

KM: Eh, the small one I would say about—

PH: —octagon? About 12 inches, 14, 13 inches?

KM: 12—yeah, 12 inches might be right. A little bit more. 30 centimeters.

PH: About—30 centimeters, yeah.

KM: I have all these descriptions with me that—

PH: Yeah, you’ve got descriptions for these? For the—

KM: Yeah.

PH: So we could time in with the numbers?

KM: Yeah. See, I have—[sound of rustling papers] This is the exhibition at Habatat. And all the pieces are in here.

PH: Oh, good. You got a copy of that? I can—

KM: So you see—here at the end.

PH: Good.

KM: And you find  always [inaudible].

PH: Sure, sure. [sound of papers rustling]

KM: And along with it you have the slides.

PH: Alright.

KM: 54 to 41, to four point five.

PH: Mm-hmm. Centimeters?

KM: Yeah, always centimeters, sorry.

PH: Yeah. Oh, great. Yeah, that’s very useful. That’s gonna be a big help. But—

KM: If you don’t—

PH: I might even Xerox this and send a copy to Neues—give a copy to American Craft, so that when they do the picture layout—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —they can see it this way.

KM: I would like to cut off this slide for you—

PH: Alright.

KM: —so that you have the—

PH: Okay.

KM: —so that you have the best print available, right? Do you think the light one will be the best one? You have more experience than I have.

PH: I think you oughta have two, I don’t think just the one would be—because they might figure that they can get more out of that.

KM: Yeah, then leave the whole sleeve in.

PH: Three—the one, alright.

KM: And—I bought you more slides than these here, so you can—[sounds of slides advancing in slide projector]

PH: I like that, it’s got early—the ones I used to call ashtrays [KM laughs] One of those simple—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —shapes with the transparent glass; they’re very nice. [sounds of slides advancing in a slide projector]

[twelve second pause with mumbling]

KM: [very quiet] Here you have the—

[quality of audio changes]

PH: All Bullseye Glass made—where’s Bullseye made?

KM: Bullseye is in Portland, Oregon.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: And it’s a glass factory which was founded in ’74 in America. The only one which is made with the canes from Germany is that shield here. The shield with the—the blue shield. All the others you have seen in here are made from the new glass, made at Portland glass.

PH: Where were the canes in Germany made? I’ve forgotten.

KM: At Hessenglas?

PH: Hessenglas, that’s right. Okay, now I’ve got another question for you here. You have a series—we give titles to the Shield, that’s obvious, there’s a shield right there. [pencil writing sounds] And then you have the New Horizons, so we get one of those. [rustling of papers for eleven seconds] There’s one of those, New Horizons.

KM: Yup.

PH: And now, what are the titles for the other ones, like that square one? Do you have a title for that?

KM: This square one is an interesting one, but—the square one—

PH: Is that just one piece?

KM: This is one piece, unfortunately, the others didn’t work out; but this was a share on the future. I’m exhibiting in May at Habatat Florida. [West Palm Beach, Florida] And these were the colors I imagined—

PH: Ah ha, for Florida. [pencil writing sounds]

KM: —for Florida. My—the dream of the colors, and I remember these old movies—

PH: Yeah.

KM: —in the fifties, with Esther Williams. [laughs]

PH: Yup, yup.

KM: I really thought—there was always this context to the Art Deco in these movies, and this was the first of a lot of pieces I wanted to make for Florida.

PH: This is a square one that we’re looking at now, with a circular indentation or bowl that looks like a planet, actually. It reminds me of Magritte’s paintings, when you see the apple up in the middle of the sky—

KM: [laughs] Yup, yup.

PH: —and so forth. There’s a nice shadow in it. So we call that one ‘Florida’?

KM: ‘Florida.’

PH: Should we call it—

KM: I don’t know—

PH: —or did you want—

KM: —I think it may—in the moment, I’m giving the right—

PH: Title?

KM: —the right title for it, but—

PH: Tropical? Or—

KM: How can we get that together, a little bit? A little bit tighter [inaudible]

PH: Well, Florida is called ‘The Sunshine State.’ Maybe we can do something with ‘Sunshine.’ We can work on that at supper. When we go out to supper, we can work on that.

KM: In German, you can always put these words together, but you can’t do it in English, and I’m just [inaudible]—

PH: Well, we can put it together.

KM: Is there ‘Dream of Colors’ that I expect from Florida.

PH: Aha.

KM: [laughs]

PH: I know the German for it. Floridacolorexpectations. [laughs] One word. Floridacolorexpectations.

KM: Yes.

PH: But that’s not in English. Can’t do that.

KM: But that’s what I’ve been thinking—

PH: Yeah.

KM: —that is exactly what is behind it.

PH: Yeah. Probably nothing like that; never the way you think it’s gonna be. So—what do we have for titles for—do you have titles for any other shapes or series?

KM: No.

PH: Just those two? Horizon and—

KM: Just the [inaudible] I normally don’t do any titles, but sometimes they come up, and then I give the piece a title. And with the New Horizons it’s really both this overwhelming feeling from—in Australia, these clear colors, these dramatic colors, which—

PH: That’s good, that’s good to get into the article.

KM: Yes.

PH: About that. Are they dramatic colors?

KM: The colors, the nature in itself is dramatic. I would say that the Australian climate is a very harsh climate, even if the sun is coming out, the sun doesn’t what is that—

PH: Is it—smooth?

KM: The sun is not smooth, the sun is hitting you with—like a fist.

PH: Yeah.

KM: So I call it a very harsh climate, and the colors have such a dramatic—if you see a sunset in Canberra, it’s unbelievable what kind of colors you find. And what kind of light you can find. You have these very dramatic deep and dark colors, and suddenly there is a stripe of—

PH: [inaudible] yourself.

KM: [laughs] Suddenly there is a stripe of light in—it is coming out like from a diamond.

PH: Hmm.

KM: And—

PH: Clear air.

KM: One—an absolute clear air, and—yeah. And violet, and pink, colors you can only dream of.

PH: Mmm.

KM: And it can happen in a very dramatic situation or after a thunderstorm, that you see a rainbow—a double rainbow.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: And this double rainbow isn’t far away, like ours is, this rainbow can happen that next to you is coming down, that you have the feeling you can walk into the rainbow.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: I really found the end of the rainbow in the landscape.

PH: That might be a good title for the article, ‘Walking into the Rainbow.’ You know?

KM: With this color experience that I have now, it—

PH: It might make a very good title, just ‘Walking into the Rainbow.’

KM: Yeah.

PH: There’s the old song, ‘I’m Always Chasing Rainbows,’ that’s the old song, but this—you’re right there at the foot of it, right there where you’re able to reach out and touch it. Let’s see. Do you have a biography? Or did you send it to me?

KM: I think I have sent it to you.

PH: I guess you did send it to me, that’s right, I have it.

KM: And I should have another one here.

PH: No, I have it in my folder in the other room. I have it in the folder, I know.

KM: Yeah, I have it.

PH: Yup.

KM: And this title is double good. Because the very experience that I go through now even with imagining the colors, when I capture the iridescence between layers of glasses, a thousand pieces, it is magic. [clock begins striking] When I walk into a rainbow, it is a—imagine, you cannot really walk into it.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: But you stay in that image. You’re very right with catching this point.

PH: Mmm. Course, you always used powerful colors.

KM: That’s right.

PH: I mean, even a soft pink was a very boudoir kind of a pink, and the blues were cool and cold, and the reds were hot, and the colors were always precise and sharp. Not diamond-like, but sharp. Of course, here you’re beginning to break that up, aren’t you? [slide projector advancing] As it would get broken up by light. I like this very much, this wobbly line.

KM: Yeah.

PH: It’s a painted line.

KM: It offers me very new possibilities, working with lines.

PH: Because the German in you made you want to have an absolutely [makes sound]

KM: [laughs] That’s still in there.

PH: Oh, I know.

KM: This combination is still there.

PH: The combination is still there.

KM: The precise work in it.

PH: The perfect square—

KM: Yes.

PH: —and the perfect circle.

KM: See—what I’m always worried about is that I’m losing the track. [slide projector advancing] What I call the natural beautiness, I’m trying to avoid the natural beautiness, I’m trying to make the glass into myself. See, the glass—should I do? [slide projector advancing] The glass—[seven second pause] I’m fighting. I’m fighting for the uniqueness in the material. I try to find an expression which wasn’t there before. The expression that—for sure, the natural beautiness can give me.

PH: Well I know when I paint, you see something, but you have to completely reinterpret it.

KM: Yeah.

PH: Otherwise you’d just take photographs, you wouldn’t paint.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: And you have to get, somehow, the essence of it. I suppose that as you’ve gone along—I remember watching you grind away and polish away at Pilchuck [Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington] there. But as you get more able to do these extremely intricate things, little tiny little mosaic pieces, new ideas occur to you. And I can see from the work it must be a question sometimes of whether you just make it all over one pattern.

KM: Mmm.

PH: And just do that little design all the way [slide projector advancing], as in some of these. Well, I mean, even that one—

KM: Yeah.

PH: Same design all the way [slide projector advancing]; it certainly is in those; and the older ones.

KM: Yeah.

PH: Shall I do that, or shall I do something that’s all broken up and has many different things going on in it, like this?

KM: I’m working in a different direction now, with the older pieces. I—[phone begins ringing]

[quality of audio changes]

PH: —say ‘I’m going in a new direction.’ Tell me about the new direction.

KM: No, I didn’t say I’m going in a new direction; I wanted to say I work in a different direction now. There’s one thing, when I worked with the old pieces, I worked directly from the cane into the design. And now I allow myself to rest a little bit. I’m building up plates, which have nothing to do with the final design. I’m building up a plate of fused glass from which I’m taking parts away to complete a design. So this—the decision that all—

PH: It’s like a sketch book.

KM: —this is always going in—it’s flashing here, does that mean something?

PH: Yes, it means it’s catching you, it means the battery is working.

KM: Ah, yes. [laughs] Okay. And the decisions I make now are much more difficult and much more complex than they have been before.

PH: It’s like a sketch book that you’re filling with sketches—

KM: Yeah. Yeah.

PH: —and then seeing which ones you can use and combine.

KM: Yeah.

PH: Like materials.

KM: Right, I’m—with the former pieces, I used the material as it was, and now I use the material to build up a reservoir from which—from which I’m taking away.

PH: Yes, that’s very risky, isn’t it?

KM: It is, sure. Because now—I would say it’s now the hour of the truth. [laughs]

PH: Because with the other one, all you had was to achieve the one plate, and do a good job with that, nice and neat and careful, and get the colors that you wanted in the mold, and just finish the plate. But now you have a great risk because you have to cut these things up and combine them, and each time you add a new design you’ve got a new problem on your hands.

KM: Oh, yes. [sounds of slides advancing]

PH: Some of them—I have some slides that I showed in Canada when I gave a talk.  I showed a lot of slides of your things, because you sent me quite a few long ago, you gave me some. And they’re beautiful, you know, with the stripe through—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —one big stripe through the different colors through the middle. And some of the, sort of, plaid—looked like scotch plaid—

KM: But did you see—they are still there?

PH: They’re still there, yes. They’re getting used for something else now. [sounds of slides advancing] And this is getting cut up and put into something else.

KM: Yeah. This is about [inaudible] But here is one of those—they’re still there, but they are not that dominant anymore. [sounds of slides advancing]

PH: I should think the risk for failure with something like that would be terrific [KM laughs]. I mean, not in terms of execution, but in terms of design.

KM: Yeah, sure.

PH: You could do some horrible ones, couldn’t you?

KM: Yes, oh yes. [laughs]

PH: In fact, this one looks to me—I have the feel, when I look at this, my first reaction was that you’ve gotten hit by Australia, but by the wrong element of Australia.

KM: Let me see which one.

PH: It’s the top one. I found that—

KM: There—

PH: —a very difficult design to get much out of.

KM: Probably we should leave them out, if you didn’t have a different kind of slide. Look at the slide that this guy is bringing in, because this is also very difficult to photograph.

PH: They’re okay, it’s just the design itself just turns me off. [five seconds of silence] You know, it’s like General Motors.

KM: [laughs]

PH: Well, all—[laughs] all of you people are like General Motors, you are. You know, you’ve got six different models and forty different choices and fifty colors and so forth, and some of them are marvelous and some of them are just too much. I’m sure if I saw the actual thing, I might feel differently about that, but I find that it has a mask-like quality. It has a squashed-face quality to it. [inaudibly mutters] vertical. But it looks like an aboriginal sign of some kind, you know, a warning sign from some tribe, cannibal tribe—

KM: [laughs]

PH: [laughs] Something like that. It looks to me as if you got influenced by Australia too hard and too quick with that.

KM: It’s much less important in the whole group as the other ones.

PH: I’m not trying to be unkind.

KM: [laughs] Good to look for there. It’s always good to lift the thing out if you see something, and between friends it should be possible.

PH: I mean these are wonderful.

KM: Yeah. Yeah. We should leave that out before it is going into complication. And—if the slides that you get out from that—the [inaudible] from—

PH: Wow, are you afraid I’ll say something nasty about it?

KM: No, it’s disturbing, and you are right, when I look at this slide, it doesn’t tell what it is, and probably—

PH: It doesn’t show whether it’s better upside this way or that way.

KM: Yeah, yeah. And probably, it needs to be photographed standing, not from the top side.

PH: Oh, yeah. It might be more agreeable.

KM: Yes. [sounds of slides advancing]

PH: If—I’m not sure [inaudible; loud rustling]—

KM: And possibly I have another slide—[mutters while rustling sounds continue, six seconds of silence]

PH: Now, you see, I don’t feel that way about this one here. That doesn’t appeal to me as much as some others of yours—

KM: Yes.

PH: But on the other hand, I feel it’s very well organized.

KM: Yeah. Yeah.

PH: It’s a—you know what a railroad semaphore is?

KM: Hmm, yeah.

PH: Signals. Railroad signals. There’s a nice action there or activity and direction there. Very complicated, but it balances. [sounds of slides advancing] And this one works. That works fine, the second one.

KM: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Even though the piece, the underside down here—

PH: Even though it’s asymmetrical, but you get a feeling of—it composes well. That’s why I asked you if you’d ever seen molas.

KM: Molas. I know what you mean. I have seen them. New Guinea.

PH: No, it’s on the San Blas Islands. [sound of recording changes] The difference, to me, between this one and the one that I don’t like—

KM: Yeah?

PH: Is that this catches something that to me is very Australian, well, you’ve never been to Florida and I’ve never been to Australia—

KM: [laughs] So we both have to—

PH: So, we both have to have our imagination. But to me, that’s very—I’ve noticed some Australian music that reminds me of that. And isn’t Kenneth Noland, the painter? Isn’t he Australian?

KM: Yeah. He is—he is, right.

PH: He does things that make me feel like [KM and PH speak at same time inaudibly]

KM: Yeah, you think of the image of a—how was that named again?

PH: It’s sort of a target image out in the middle of the space.

KM: He uses mass in his paint.

PH: Yeah, that’s right. But there’s a very—it’s almost as if animals are going to appear, you know? It’s a—I don’t know how to describe it yet, but I will—that I find very striking. And that one I like too, and I think I love these. And I like this and I like this. Let me show you a couple of molas.

KM: Yeah.

PH: In a minute.

KM: Alright, yeah.

[recording changes and PH speaks directly into recorder]

PH: Klaus just said that things that you’re influenced by—paintings, or molas, or whatever—leave their tracks. That’s a good phrase to work in.

[recording resumes]

PH: This was in German and when it was translated into English it was the opposite?

KM: Yes. It was the o—

PH: There’s—

KM: —it was the opposite of what I said.

PH: Yeah.

KM: And when I ask them to correct it, they only apologize for their translating, but they didn’t change the article. But they couldn’t do it after that; it was a long article.

PH: It was too late.

KM: It was too late, yeah.

PH: And they don’t have any money. The pay, oh, I’m paid so little and I work—I work for about three weeks to a month—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —on a piece before it’s finally done. I mean through the talking and correspondence, writing a letter to you, and getting a letter back, and taping, and then I have to transcribe the tape; at two hours, it’s 15 or 20 pages.

KM: Yeah.

PH: And then I’ll look at the thing and check off the stuff that I could use, and I write it over five or six times, and then they tell me, ‘Cut the piece on Tom Patti. Cut. Too long, much too long. Well, they never told me anything about length.

KM: Yeah.

PH: They never said a word about length.

KM: Yeah, yeah.

PH: So I had to cut a great deal for that.

[. . .]

PH: Let me put these two slides up here. But I really work on these things because I try to get them exactly to represent what I think the person is trying to do, and how the person feels about their own glass, and then how I feel about it.

KM: Yeah.

PH: And some people have criticized me for not criticizing the glassmakers more, but I’d say the way I do that is to not write about the ones I don’t like.

KM: Hmm.

PH: I mean, I try to avoid—somebody comes up to—‘Gee, Mr. Hollister, I hope you could do a piece on me, you know?’

[. . .]

And the other things I find very pretentious and very awful and—and I try to talk to these people and I have, you know I have a tremendous number of tapes.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: I’ve got the whole goods on everybody. I can blow the whistle on the whole movement if I wanted to.

KM: [laughs]

PH: But I try to talk to them and find out what they’re feeling and thinking, ‘Why do you do this? And why do you do that?’ And ‘Suppose you tried this, what would happen there?’ and so forth. And that’s the only way I can do it. It’s kind of sloppy, just the way it’s sloppy, me talking with you. But you know, I get all the material.

KM: I have the feeling that you get very precise answers to your questions when you finally deliver the article. And sloppy wouldn’t be what is coming out.

PH: Well it’s like putting out a net to catch fish—

KM: Yeah, yeah.

PH: —and you catch all the fish and then you see which ones you want to throw back.

KM: Right.

PH: That’s the writer’s problem. But it just takes going over and going over. And I try to get it so it says exactly something about that person.

[. . .]

PH: [laughs] Tom Patti was very happy with the piece I wrote on him. The trouble was, I wrote one for American Craft and had also to write one for Neues Glas—I never did that again—and make them different.

KM: Mmm.

PH: I had to redo one of them. But it’s hard—writing is the most difficult thing.

KM: I—

PH: The worst.

KM: I would agree, for sure.

PH: The worst, and you have very little to show for it.

KM: But wouldn’t it be a possibility to put these articles sometimes—

PH: In a book?

KM: —together?

PH: Yes. They keep asking me this when I talk now, they say, ‘Aren’t you gonna—when is your book coming out?’ The problem is to get a publisher who will spend the money for good color.

KM: Yeah.

PH: That’s really a problem.

KM: Yeah.

PH: Writing the book isn’t too difficult, because I’ve got the material.

KM: Yes, that’s what I think.

PH: On the tapes, it has to be transcribed and put in order and everything. But I’d only do the American scene, I wouldn’t do Europe.

KM: Yeah.

PH: [inaudible]

KM: Habatat is doing a—Ferdinand Hampson is doing—

PH: Yeah, I know. I know. I think he wants some quotes from me.

KM: Yeah.

PH: He called me up about that. He wants to run some article that I wrote and so forth.  I’ll have to call the publisher and get permission from them. He said he wanted some quotes, so I cooked him up a jazzy quote, you know? Something that would annoy everybody.

KM: [laughs]

PH: [laughs] Make everybody mad. That’s the best kind. Yeah, they really do a—Doug Heller’s had a hard time. He’s got that place in SoHo, which is so big and so dark, and the glass just gets lost down there.

KM: And he—

[PH and KM speak at same time inaudibly]

KM: Thank you. I couldn’t do more.

PH: I’m going to have just a little, and then we’ll go out, and I don’t think I have to call for a reservation, I think—maybe I should call them, tell them we’ll be there at seven. It’s a few blocks away.

KM: Oh yeah.

[43 seconds of no talking with sounds of slides advancing]

PH: Talk about Australia.

KM: [laughs] Yeah. Australia is a very, very special experience for me. Canberra in itself is a special city in Australia.

[quality of audio changes]

PH: So, you’re on.

KM: Yeah. The question is really where to start now.

PH: Canberra, 1970. [10 seconds of silence] That is an artificial town.

KM: Yeah. Canberra is an artificial town, built up in 1927. It’s made on the drawing board. And it still hasn’t lost this character. You live in an artificial town, and in some ways you have that feeling you are artificial by yourself.

PH: Would you like coffee?

KM: I’d love to.

PH: Yeah.

[quality of audio changes]

PH: Yeah. And you say—this is the business district and the—

KM: Oh yeah. You have these residential areas and you have these shopping centers, and each suburb has one shopping center. And when you have been in one of the shopping centers, then you know exactly which shop you’ll find in the other centers. It has a uniformity that is unbelievable. And then you build up your own little eggshells. You have your house, your little garden, and you try to bring in a little bit of your own unique life. And I’m quite happy I brought my furniture, my books with me, and even my glass collection and ceramic collections that I can separate a little bit from this uniformity. But the other side is you drive 10 minutes out of town and you are in wilderness. You’re surrounded by an unbelievable nature.

PH: Mmm.

KM: You have these very high mountains. You have the kangaroos, the emus. You have the whole wildlife around you, 10 minutes out of town. And in the first year we spent each minute we could to go down to the coast.

PH: What is the population of Canberra?

KM: Good question. I know that Australia has 15 million. I think the population of Canberra is not more than 50,000. And that over—I don’t know how big Canberra is, in square miles, but it’s a huge area.

PH: And your students have that kind of a background in their lives?

KM: Background? Which direction do you mean?

PH: I mean that stereotyped uniformity, and—

KM: No, you see Canberra is special in that way. The other cities have a big charm, like Sydney or Melbourne, and—

PH:  Have a big what?

KM: They have a background like other European cities too. They have grown up with the [inaudible] population. And my students are not all from Canberra. There’s a good mixture. So that doesn’t show up in the students, what Canberra is.

PH: Mm-hmm. Because they come from someplace else?

KM: Yeah.

PH: Most of them?

KM: Most of them are from Canberra, but it’s only a number of 12. So I even don’t know if they are all born in Canberra.

PH: You have 12 students?

KM: Yes.

PH: That’s all?

KM: Up to now, yes. It is a growing class, see? I need to go through four years till I have my final number of students.

PH: I see. 12, 12, 12, 12.

KM: Yeah.

PH: Because you list yourself on your visa as ‘Senior lecturer at the Canberra School of Art.’ [Canberra School of Art, now part of Australian National University, Canberra, Australia]

KM: Yes, that’s right.

PH: So it teaches art in general, art history, or—?

KM: It teaches art in general.

PH: Drawing?

KM: Besides real art, only art history is included. The different classes are called workshops. They’ll be a sculptural workshop, painting workshop, printing workshop, glass workshop, a ceramic workshop, a silver—a metal workshop, a textile workshop, a leather workshop. What else do we have? A photographic workshop. Graphic investigation.

PH: Wood?

KM: Wood, right. But that’s a whole range of class—I should have sent you one of the—

PH: Yearbooks?

KM: —yearbooks here.

PH: Yeah, it would be interesting to see.  So, but you’re just one of the faculty, a really large faculty?

KM: Yeah. I think we have 13 classes, and the glass class is the youngest one.

PH: And you’re in charge of all that?

KM: I am in charge of all that. And I have with me a second lecturer, who is in charge for hot glass, actually, and we made this position into a switching position so that we can change all year the person who is in charge of hot glass. And that, I think, gives a little bit of life into it. And I would—

PH: And you can do the hot, and he can do the cold? Or does somebody always do [inaudible]

KM: No, no. This position of the second lecturer—

PH: Right.

KM: —is the switching position.  He would go only on a one year contract, or at least the two year—

PH: I see. And then you’ll handle doing—

KM: —and then I employ another lecturer—

PH: On hot?

KM: On hot, yes. So I’m trying to get some of the Americans into this position, into a one year contract.

PH: Mm-hmm. Any luck?

KM: I have luck. There are a lot of the Americans who want to come over. Billy [William] Morris, Sonja—Sonja Blomdahl, Michael Scheiner. They’re all—it’s endless.

[. . .]

PH: Tell me more about the people in Canberra—your 12 students. Do they have several classes a week with you? Workshops?

KM: They start with that during the first year. During the first semester, they have no access to the workshop. That’s a foundational semester, where they learn the language of  art, only drawing and, two dimensional, three dimensional, working with other teachers who were specified in that. They do only foundation work.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: Second semester, they—

PH: Keep going.

KM: —second semester they have access to the workshop on two days a week. And from the third semester on, they have three days access to the workshop, and two days in a sub-major workshop. So they can stay all the other days as well, but the official days are five days a week and they can stay through the whole week even on weekends, can work in the workshop. But the official access is three days a week in the workshop and two days sub-majors.

PH: What are sub-majors?

KM: Sub-majors. They can take another course, let’s say in ceramic, in printmaking, in drawing.

PH: Mmm. Yeah.

KM: So I put my—

PH: Which may help them.

KM: Right. I put my students into the drawing classes and into the painting classes that they get more experience and continuous experience with drawing, but possibly it’s not so easy to teach for me, in my class.

PH: But now what we were talking about yesterday was the background of these people and their culture in terms of glass. Is this just a sort of a fun thing for them?

KM: No, I don’t think so. I have students there [sounds of slides advancing] who are—first of all the average student in Australia is much older than in America.

PH: Mmm.

KM: So I have—I have a woman in my age, that are in there. Or two women in my age, in the class. Who have both a very strong background in art, but they, continue. I have these two types of students. One is—who are there for a four-year course, which end with a BA. And these students they must not have really a background in art. But see, the range in the age is from nearly 40 to 22.

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: And I have the other group who is on a two-year course and on an associate diploma course. And these have a real strong background in art. So one is a sculptor, another is a very good potter. So this background counts for me, that I have them on the same level in the two year course, then I have the others on the four year course. Then—I mean, I can go with them in the same intensity.

PH: Mm-hmm. What do you do when you say, ‘Go with them in the same intensity,’ do you talk to them about glassworking procedures, but you do some historical context? For instance, you call your glass mosaic—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —which is an ancient term.

KM: Yeah.

PH: Do you explain to them what mosaic means, and not just how you do this —how you make the plate—but what mosaic means historically, what, where it was used and what kind of materials—

KM: What I have now is the students in the workshop. I had the students in the workshop, the last semester, first time for two months. And because this is not a technical school, and I don’t want to just make the same mistakes knowing, from—

PH: Your—

KM: —other systems. I put the emphasis on the experience of the idea, the development of an artistic idea, which the students want to realize in glass. So the important thing is that they pushed along a clear expection—

PH: Expectation?

KM: Expectation, what to do. And then we go into the technique. It doesn’t matter if it is mosaic or if it is cutting or is it this or that. I can handle the different techniques, and for that I’m a good advisor. And from the problem the student is bringing up, we go into the technique.

PH: Yeah.

KM: And I think that is necessary that the student will learn that he can overcome the technical question if the desire to go into a specific result is there.

PH: Mm-hmm. But, for instance—I was just trying to think of an example of what I mean— if you saw some people on the lake in a little boat, two people going along in the boat, paddling in the boat—if the person didn’t have the background to know anything about boats, they might not realize that this was a special kind of boat that was a canoe. See? You know what a canoe is?

KM: Yeah, yeah.

PH: And it’s strictly an American kind of a thing.

KM: The canoe?

PH: The canoe.

KM: Oh, no.

PH: WellI don’t mean the kind of stuff they use in the Fiji islands.

KM: Yeah, okay.

PH: I don’t mean the dugout things. I mean the birchbark canoe.

KM: Yeah. [phone begins ringing]

[quality of audio changes]

PH: I know there’s many varieties of canoe, but my point is that somebody has never seen a boat—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —and they see these two people out on the water and they say they’re in a boat. And you say later, ‘Well, what kind of a boat was it?’ Well, I don’t know. It was sort of curved like that on each hand.

KM: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

PH: And you said, ‘Were they using oars or were they using paddles?’ ‘Well, I don’t know. It was a stick that went down like that.’ ‘Ah, they were using paddles, it must’ve been a canoe,’ see?

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: So they say, ‘Okay, it’s a canoe.’ So then the technical explanation is that you show them how to use the paddle in the canoe, and you say there’s a paddle and all that and how it’s different from rowing.

KM: Yeah?

PH: That’s the technical explanation, but the historical explanation is that the canoe was the thing built by the Indians—

KM: Yeah?

PH: —and it was drilled out of birch bark, which made it waterproof, and it was built in a certain way, which made it strong, but also very flexible to go down the rough rivers and over the rocks and that kind of thing. And that it was quiet, and it much better than any other kind of boat cause it could get into narrow places, and so forth. That’s the historical part of it.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: Do you give them that?

KM: Oh yeah, sure. See, these questions come up and—I always added some interest in historical glass. So, that was one of the first steps that I took that I got the whole collection of the Corning slides to work with.

PH: Oh, good.

KM: And I think we have the most sophisticated slide collection in Canberra, in when I’m talking about in Australia.

PH: Probably in Australia.

KM: And I think these things are necessary to show what has already happened. Where is the background? Where is the history, where is the tradition.

PH: Mmm.

KM: So you even can see when you look at contemporary glass, where is it coming from? You can get the Czechoslovakians up to Scandinavia or Mont—

PH: Or America. Yeah.

KM: —America, if you know about it.

PH: Yeah.

KM: So these are things which are part of the life. We used to talk a lot about—in the school though, we have each morning before the workshop starts, we have a little brainstorming—

PH: Mmm.

KM: —where we have problems should come up—

PH: Mmm, mmm.

KM: —on the table, problems in the work, problems in thinking, so that we discuss this in the group. Short time, but very efficient, because the students learn to put their problems on the table. And—I feel myself more in the position to lead them. So that,there’s a function that these problems get solved from the group more than that they are focused on me.

PH: Mm-hmm. Right, very good. Yeah.

KM: And I think that’s the only thing I can teach, is to make them independent, to give them enough confidence that they trust themselves to go into problems if they have the desire.

PH: Yeah.

KM: And—

PH: That’s very interesting. That’s good.

KM: I think I can hold that.

PH: 12 is just about the right number.

KM: I will go up to 16, and this will be all, because I want to follow this way of teaching, I have to be careful with the number of students.

PH: Yeah, you do. I used to teach, I know that. It’s true.

KM: Because I have to be everywhere.

PH: You have to give the personal attention, make each one feel that they’re being supervised and watched, and encouraged. Well, that’s great. And you’ve got four more years of it; it’s a five year contract?

KM: Yeah.

PH: And—

KM: Actually it’s only three and a half now [laughs] cause I came in there in August.

PH: Did you have to see to—have the furnace built and all that? Or was that done—

KM: The furnace is the only project that is to-do. And from the very first begin, I didn’t want to have just a glass room. I wanted to have the most advanced studio furnace, even as a project for upcoming, new generation of glass work in Australia. So I wanted to have Durk Valkema there for the furnace project. And we are just collecting material. We want to have all of the materials in Canberra before we make an appointment with, with Durk Valkema to come. But he will come. And we are planning to have one of the furnaces like he has built in Holland, and put on the valve, and so on. And that’s the type of furnace which—

PH: But you don’t have that yet.

KM: —which we don’t have yet in Australia. And which is known as the best furnace system in the world. He is coming over to America to build furnaces and wherever.

PH: Mmm.

KM: And this is one of these furnaces—

PH: So, but at this point, they’re just doing cold work.

KM: They are just doing cold work at the time.

PH: Yeah. But when you get your canes for doing this.

KM: Yeah.

PH: They’re already long canes, like that?

KM: Oh, the canes are up to one meter, twenty.

PH: Mm-hmm. And quite thick?

KM: Quite thick, about two and a half centimeters to five centimeters.

PH: Mm-hmm. Two and a half centimeters is an inch.

KM: Yes. One to two inches.

PH: One to two inches—from the bull dog or whatever it is?

KM: Bullseye. [laughs]

PH: Bullseye.

KM: From Bullseye I get the sheet glass.

PH: Mmm.

KM: The canes I’m getting from Hessenglas in Germany.

PH: Oh, the canes you still get from Hessenglas?

KM: Yes, but I have enough canes for the next two years. For the next three and a half years.

PH: The sheet glass thing—the iridescent areas—

KM: Yes.

PH: —and maybe the clear areas?

KM: The transparent colors are all from—

PH: I forget. I think I can look it up in my article that I wrote on you. I think Hessenglas is all one word, is it?

KM: Yes. Yes. It’s one word.

PH: Where the—one S. Hessen—

KM: Hessenglas. Hessen—H-E-S-S-E-N-G-L-A-S.

PH: [KM and PH speak at same time]—N-G-L-A-S. You know, I was thinking this morning when I looked at these while I was waiting for you to come, and when you talked about making it—fascinating, making different plates and then cutting them up—what would happen if you, instead of slumping—the plates are slumped, aren’t they?

KM: Hm?

PH: Slumped?

KM: Yeah, that’s the last step. Yes.

PH: Yeah, and then you cut them up after that?

KM: No.

PH: Oh, you put them together flat?

KM: You put them together flat.

PH: The part—

KM: Otherwise I must fuse these parts together. As I was using fusing temperature for slumping, the glass would melt into the form. Well, that doesn’t make sense. The slumping temperature is much lower than the fusing temperature.

PH: Yeah. Okay. First you make them and you fuse them.

KM: First—

PH: —they’re all flat sheets there, aren’t they?

KM: Yes. Yes.

PH: Okay. So now my question is what would happen—this is just thinking of possibilities for you for the future—

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: If you just cut up the things while they were flat, as you do, but do not slump them, just make them into flat paintings.

KM: See, that is a question that I have followed over years. And I looked for the most powerful statement, and I went into the circle—I had it flat and had finished a slab—and I found out that the moment I went into the third dimension, the power of the piece had grown up so much that I just couldn’t decide to make it weaker. But I’m working on something, which is coming from my work going into the flat, but it will be three dimensional. That’s the kind of flat pool where I’m using the glass, but now in overlaying, and using the transparency as well as the opacity, but in the freestanding piece. But that’s music of the future.

PH: Because there’s one here—I’ll get it, you don’t have to move.

KM: Yeah.

PH: This one is very powerful.

KM: Yeah.

PH: To me.

KM: Yeah.

PH: Because you have that conflict or tension between the square and the circle—

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: —and the circle is three dimensional. The square is two dimensional.

KM: Yeah. Yeah.

PH: And I find that very resolved and very powerful.

KM: Yeah. If they have with the—you have one of the six to six slides of the newer ones. There’s the same, with the square one.

PH: Yes, right, that’s right. But when you do this—

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: It’s a round within a round, it’s a three dimensional concave round within a flat round. And presently, everything that we grow up with, everything we remember, says that it’s a soup plate or it’s an ashtray or it’s a vessel, it’s meant to hold something.

KM: Hmm.

PH: Even if it’s only water and one flower.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: It gives it a different context. This doesn’t have a vessel context at all. It has a sculptural content to me.

KM: Yeah.

PH: This—I’m caught by the vessel context.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: And that’s what I’ve always wanted to get you away from.

KM: The context is no question from me. It’s—for me, the only—

PH: That doesn’t bother you?

KM: It doesn’t bother me, yes—the only question I have is the beautiness of the piece, and I know that if the function is used to question the quality of a piece, and it’s—

PH: Yes, that should be irrelevant in it.

KM: Yeah, irrelevant, it’s—

PH: But on this one, for instance—

KM: Hmm?

PH: That bothers me. I mean, I like the piece, but the context of the plate, the wide-lipped plate bothers me.

KM: It even wouldn’t work as a plate, it would [inaudible]

PH: Yeah, I know [inaudible]

KM: [laughs.] And that—

PH: But if you were to slump it—as you said, the same design and you have the circle and everything—

KM: Hmm.

PH: —but if you slumped it off center, so that this thing was up near the top—

KM: Yeah.

PH: I would no longer have that feeling—

KM: Oh, that might be—

PH: —that it was a vessel.

KM: Yeah.

PH: It would take it away from that, and I would say that this is a three dimensional object.

KM: Well that’s—I never thought about that idea. But even—

PH: You see, it’s having it in the middle—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —that makes it. Afterwards, you have it up toward the end, it’s going to rock like that, so instead of sitting like this—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —it’s going to go like that.

KM: Yeah.

PH: And then it’s automatically a piece of sculpture.

KM: Yeah. I never saw it in this term. I—

PH: Instead of having to do all this stuff—

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: —you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to do all this wrenching around, and adding-ons, all these tricky things to it. All you have to do is vary the basic shape—sometimes it’s round, sometimes it’s a shield.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: Sometimes it’s square, it might be a parabola or an irregular shape. But if you’re going to put a slumped sphere in it—

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: —put it somewhere else, you know, move it off the center.

KM: Hmm. I—

PH: And that would possess you—

KM: Yeah.

PH: You wouldn’t have to do this kind of thing, which I find silly.

KM: I would like to see the original, because this form is actually—this is the [inaudible]

PH: Well, it’s got a square around, has it?

KM: Sorry?

PH: This is a flat square.

KM: No, no. That’s just resting on the—

PH: Oh.

KM: —on the fiber flex paper, so—

PH: If it had a—if it had a flat square around it, that was part of the opal—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —white edge, I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. But this way, I feel like I see [inaudible]

KM: [inaudible]—nothing tricky. That’s a product that is not ready on this point. It’s in the middle of the work.

PH: Okay.

KM: I think you’d better look at that slide.

PH: Which one?

KM: That’s the same row. Down there and to the left. Up there, yes. That’s the slide, which is coming out of—I guess, and I think you need to see the form instead of seeing it from top. Because that is quite a difference, is this—actually a form. It has a very good strength. If you look from top into it, like here.

PH: Soon as I see that I think that I—

KM: It moves because the idea is this diagonal shifting—it’s going in that way and it’s turning over—

PH: Yeah.

KM: —and you can see that they’re really from top that there, there’s really a meaning behind it. That is the shifting of this rack—track that is going—do you see what I mean?

PH: Yeah, it’s a torque, it’s a twist.

KM: Yes.

PH: Torque.

KM: Yep.

PH: Mmmm [makes hard pushing sound]. Like that.

KM: Right. [laughs]

PH: Well. [28 seconds of noises in background with no talking] You know, glass people—is it on now?

KM: Yeah, it’s on.

PH: Glass people tell me—sometimes I read these articles, I don’t understand them at all. I don’t understand what these people are saying about Ben Tré or Steven Weinberg, it’s all gobbledygook to me. I can’t understand what they’re talking about, the words they use and so forth. And they think my imagery is crazy, but I’m a visual person—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —a painter, and I think visually and I see things visually. And I have these hang ups when I see that thing, I think of this.

KM: [laughs]

PH: You know? Or that.

KM: [laughs] Yeah. Yeah.

PH: And I want to get it away from those kinds of connotations.

KM: Hmm.

PH: Not that—the oval one. And I think if you put that thing off center, you wouldn’t need to have the jagged edge. I’m not saying the jagged edge is wrong—

KM: Hmm.

PH: —it’s interesting—but I know what you mean.

KM: Yeah, yeah. I understand that, and I understand the idea you bring into it, and I see that—

PH: You’re simplifying your design—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —but you’re making it more interesting because—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —it has one very simple little thing.

KM: I see what you say, and I take it really with me. Because it’s a very good idea. And I didn’t actually think of it, but I can see what it can bring—especially after I started with these shields, with this shield idea. You see, the round shields, and I see my [inaudible] pieces.

PH: Yeah. [inaudible]

KM: Yeah, that’s the oval shield. But even also—

PH: Oh, the round ones, yeah.

KM: —other rounds, the rounds, big ones—

PH: Right.

KM: They have—

PH: The sun, the—the New Horizons.

KM: Yeah, the New Horizon—the piece you have down to the right hand. Yeah. This one, down there. That has a shield corrected, too. I couldn’t put the form out of the center, but I will try that with specific made pieces for out-of-center pieces.

PH: It seems to me—talking about the same thing—that when you have that slumped circle in the center—

KM: Yeah.

PH: That hemisphere, that it forces you to do very crazy things with the rest of the design to make it look right. Whereas if you get the design in terms of a flat thing first and then you want to slump part of it, you can slump it in relation to the design that’s there instead of making the design sit around the slump.

KM: That has never been a problem for me. I never think of the circle when I do this design. The design is actually made on the flat piece. I never think of the circle in the moment when I do the design.

PH: I know, but the circle ruins it. It upsets me. In the first place, it’s a circle anyway, the whole thing is a circle.

KM: Yeah?

PH: And the little—the white dots are straight edge. They’re circular, but they’re straight edge. And so you have the contrast of that and the other patch.

KM: Yeah.

PH: The plaid red and blue. That’s square edge. And you have that. You don’t need anything else. When you introduce this, it upsets the whole thing. Now, I feel that the most uninteresting part of this piece, to me—

KM: Hmm.

PH: This is interesting, that is interesting—the most uninteresting part is right there. There’s nothing happening there at all.

KM: You can’t run with force over [inaudible] space.

PH: No.

KM: No. But—

PH: But the reason it is uninteresting there is because that damn circle is in the middle. If that weren’t there, that whole line would carry through and you’d have one big space between those three designs, you’d have one big, dark blue space—area. But that area is broken up by that circle, and what’s left over here is just uninteresting.

KM: I don’t agree with you. I have seen it in the flat piece.

PH: In the flat.

KM: And I know what it was. And it’s a big piece. But where you say there’s nothing, that was boring. And the tension with this builds up through the inner circle, there’s a tension building up, and there’s a weight and counterweight. And that is well calculated when I build up the whole thing.

PH: Right.

KM: So the boring effect is really a way from the eliteness, from the tension that is built up just in this square piece up here, and the lines which go through the whole piece.

PH: Well, if you say so.

KM: [laughs] I must defend that piece. I must say that I’m still happy with it. I think it’s the strongest piece that I left in Germany.

PH: [six second pause] Is it in Germany?

KM: Yeah. It is in that [Helmut] Ricke catalog.

PH: [eight second pause] Now, this one, I gather this shield is—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —slightly like that—

KM: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

PH: —the whole way.

KM: Yeah.

PH: That I find great.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: And I would find the circles great if they went in just a little bit like them too.

KM: Hmm. That’s the next step that I’m working on. To put the—

PH: The whole thing—

[KM and PH talk at same time inaudibly.]

KM: —builds up a tension.

PH: It’s as if there was something that had to—you know, it’s like having a beautiful door, or a beautiful building or something, but the laws require that you put a fire exit sign over the thing.

KM: Yeah, yeah.

PH: And it ruins it.

KM: [laughs] Yeah.

PH: And that concavity is your fire exit sign—for me. Not in this piece now—

KM: Yeah, yeah.

PH: —but when you actually slump it out. But I don’t feel a lot at all about this one because it’s a circle against the square—that’s completely different.

KM: And what about the other piece which I left in Germany? Down, right underneath, it is the one—that one, yes.

PH: No, I don’t feel it there because that’s got so much going on; keeps you busy. This thing acts as a square—

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: —against the circle.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: It goes right through the circle. Here it goes right through the circle. But in the other one—now, there’s an all-over design. I’d love to see that off somewhere to the side. Maybe even with a little one like that up here, and then a bigger one down in the other place. Something that makes it asymmetric.

KM: Hmm, hmm.

PH: It’s too centric—

KM: Hmm.

PH: It’s a circle, and then it’s a hollow circle within a circle [inaudible.]. [six seconds of silence] This one I’d have to see, because I see the way that shape changes here.

KM: Which one is that? Yeah, yeah.

PH: You know, Gunnar Cyrén did a few things in the Scandinavian show a couple of years ago. They were not his most interesting stuff, but they were nice pieces of glass bowls, sort of shaped like boats, and then cut and engraved. And they were very much like a boat, very much like a canoe or a viking ship. But the side, instead of coming just down like that from the bow to the stern, came down and broke off, made a little jump.

KM: Hmm.

PH: And on the other side it made a jump, but in a different place—

KM: Hmm.

PH: —so that it had the feeling of two parts being put together, like this. There was a little bit of that feeling. I could see him wrestling with that thing. So I’m not unfamiliar with the idea of the thing. I just thought that if you had a flat circle or a flat square, you could do all these things. You could have these things coming off or interlocking or overlapping—

KM: Hmm.

PH: —one over another like that, instead of flush, and you’d have a collage effect that would be very powerful. You could go off the side. Henry Halem is doing that right now—

KM: Henry—Yeah, yeah.

PH: —a little bit off the side. Some of them I like very much. Some of them I don’t like, but that’s just the question of the design.

KM: Hmm.

PH: But he’s getting a feeling of layering there that’s very interesting. I think in a way, you probably don’t want to admit to yourself that you have a historical sense that gets—in the same way that it offends me, it gets in the way with you and makes you do certain things because you figure this is the thing to do with this, it’s always done this way. That plate thing, that slumping in the middle. Why did you slump them in the first place?

KM: That’s what I told you. That is the experience of the work I’m doing, I’m going through the state of flat piece—

PH: Hmm.

KM: —and the flat piece doesn’t become that power that this sculptural form adds to it. There’s more power, there’s more volumin. You have the feeling that the piece you are doing is double side. And then it was in—

PH: Flat.

KM: —in the flat.

PH: Okay, no, alright.

KM: And there’s a kind of tension in that, that I really want, and that I need, and that’s the kind of power coming up when I’m going through the cutting with these sharp edges—that feeling, that surface feeling that I’m producing when I have a flat piece and I can only touch it on the surface. And I have the form. I can touch it from both sides. And the touch of my work is something that is very important for me to give to the public. Glass is a material that normally puts you in distance. And I want to make the people touch the glass.

PH: Mmm.

KM: And so that is a quality that I’m producing with the final cutting.

PH: I think it was your glass that to touch it, it comes as quite a surprise when you touch it. And it doesn’t feel—well, it doesn’t feel like glass.

KM: Yeah.

PH: It feels like metal or stone.

KM: I don’t think so. It has a very material related feeling, that it is only different from other glass.

PH: Well—

KM: It is an experience that people say, ‘Oh, your glass doesn’t look like glass.’ However, I have not the feeling and I’m looking at glass, but you see what I’m trying to do is finding a material, and give that material a new language, a new expression, so that there is a new experience for the one who is seeing that glass.

PH: Okay, let me ask you—

KM: [inaudible] me touching as well as I experienced.

PH: Okay. Suppose you took your flat sheet. You’re getting all ready to slump.

KM: Mm-hmm.

PH: You’ve got your flat sheet. It’s square or it’s round. I don’t care.

KM: Yup, yup.

PH: Circle or square. And you know, you feel now it needs something more, it needs some third dimension. Suppose you slumped it in an irregular way.

KM: Yeah.

PH: You put things underneath it, stones underneath it, you know and you let it kind of go this way, or you let it go out this way a little bit, or you slumped it as a tilt, so that some of it kind of went that way. I would think that might be very interesting.

KM: That might be, that is very, very interesting. It is done by dozens of others, other people who are working in that way [inaudible].

PH: Well, they’re not slumping the stuff you’re slumping.

KM: [laughs] That’s right.

PH: They’re just slumping glop or plate glass.

KM: Yeah. And I’m a very mistrusting person. I’m mistrusting all cheap effects. And very often, these things look to me as a cheap effect. They’re not doing the precise thing, they’re not doing the clear decision, but you can do in that way, very many things which—you can get very many results, just by chance. And that is something that I want—that’s also one of the reasons why the steps of my forms are so very slow you see.

PH: You try to eliminate chance.

KM: I try to eliminate any chance.

PH: Well, that’s your makeup, that’s you.

KM: Yeah.

PH: I think that some of the most interesting things come through chance. You didn’t realize.

KM: If I’m using the chance, which might come up through the procedure, and translate or transform this chance into a controlled work, then yes, then I accept it.

PH: Yes. For instance, if you grabbed the whole of one end, you know, you clamp on one end while you were heating the thing up, and let it pull out so that it went this way a little bit on the ones where you have straight lines—

KM: Mmm.

PH: —and the lines suddenly began to go that way instead of just this way or  to change shape, even though the design’s following all the way through, wouldn’t you have the feeling that you were controlling it? You were just deciding that that was what you were going to do, and you were going to pull this out here, or let this go here. You’re controlling it.

KM: My control is in the cold state of glass. There, I have the absolute control, the difference between Italian mosaic glass and my glass is that I have much more control than ever Venini has had, or one of the other factories. I have the absolute control over my design—

PH: Because they’re doing it hot. They’re blowing it.

KM: Yeah, yeah. And that is an advantage that I’m putting into my work that no one else has.

PH: Well that’s why I’m doing the tape, because that’s the kind of thing I’m interested to hear, you know.

KM: What I am doing in the preparation of my work, that I’m fusing—fuse the plate off again and cut them off again and fuse them again. I do that several times to reach a special part in  my glass, that I’m—for example, in that last piece—German piece—

PH: This one?

KM: No, the last German piece, the round one that you don’t like so much.

PH: Oh, I like that one. [KM laughs] No, I like this—the only thing I don’t like is the—

KM: [laughs] When I’m building up this here, these tracks.

PH: Right.

KM: So this is a preparation over three fusings until I lay it down into the design that is laid out in stripes, fused, cut off again, fused again, cut off again, and fused. So that’s the procedure for just part of the whole design.

PH: Hmm.

KM: And that is something that really can’t be done in a hot way. I did preparation, I’m doing, and I really stayed for it. There is the cold preparation and the absolute precise preparing, and what I see in cold here that would come out of the furnace exact as I prepared it.

PH: Mm-hmm. Good. Okay. I’m glad to hear that.

KM: [laughs]

PH: Glad to hear that. Now let’s see—[quality of audio changes]

KM: They bought the first piece I made with a new American glass by Bullseye. I was so surprised about the possibility that this glass should open to me that I’m building up bars. Yeah, I came from the cane idea. I didn’t see the real possibilities of this kind of glass. I came from the shop; first you have to make canes—

PH: Mm-hmm.

KM: —so I builded up canes and layers of sheet glass. I think about eight layers of sheet glass, different colors, and fuse the sheet glass so that I get the bar, an inch to an inch or one and a half to one and a half inch.

PH: Square?

KM: Yeah.

PH: Flat?

KM: And cut them off so that I get these little squares, and then I assemble these squares into this design and, and finish that in that way.

PH: Yeah, works very well. This was the first one you did with the—

KM: Yeah.

PH: —Bullseye in Australia?

KM: No, that was a Bullseye in Germany, actually. I actually made the bars in Pilchuck, took the bars with me to Germany, and, and finished it in Germany because in Germany I had the furnaces, which could produce a controlled firing. The fusing is going along with a very controlled firing. That means the temperature up and the temperature down has to stay in a—

PH: A close range.

KM: —a very close range that you know exactly what happened in the furnace after you have finished your piece. So—

PH: And then you cut all around the thing and, and grind it down smooth.

KM: Yeah. Yeah. What is the question?

PH: No, it wasn’t any question.

KM: Ah, yeah. [laughs]

PH: [eight seconds of silence] Remember when [eight seconds of silence] Gertrude Stein was dying, her friend Alice B. Toklas apparently came to the bedside and was looking for some word about eternity and the future and so forth and she looked at Gertrude Stein dying, and she said, ‘What is the answer?’ And Gertrude Stein looked up at her and she said, ‘What is the question?’

KM: [laughs] Maybe it [inaudible].

PH: I don’t know. [inaudible] But the one thing that that slumping does is it changes the colors of the blue, doesn’t it? And the other things—it gets them from the highlight into the shadow—

KM: Oh—

PH: —it’s much richer.

KM: —that is one effect, that you have also through the shadow, a change of the light.

PH: But you made one where you could slump a square in a circle. You’ve got a flat circle, [clock begins striking in background.] and then you slump a square in it.

KM: I haven’t made it yet. [laughs] But I will tell you, I actually have prepared the mold to do that.

PH: [laughs] Are you just kidding me? I know.

KM: [laughs] No, I don’t kid you. I prepared them, a mold, a square mold where I have put a plaster over so that only the weight of the plaster—which slumps down—builds up that mold.

PH: Mm-hmm. Oh, they’re just slumped in plaster molds, are they?

KM: Yeah, I’m using plaster chamotte molds. That’s it. Three parts glass and two parts grog.

PH: Well, how do we spell the ‘chamotte’?

KM: Use grog. G—how is, how is spelled, grog? Grog is an English word for chamotte.

PH: Oh, Oh yeah. I know. I know. There’s another word that’s like that. [inaudible] —R-O-C?

KM: I—must be—

PH: G-R-O-C-K?

KM: I—I—either G on the end, or C-K.

PH: C-K. Oh, Grog.

KM: Yeah.

PH: That’s the one I was thinking of. Yeah. It’s a mixture of  pot sherds and—

KM: —it’s just pre-burnt clay.

PH: Clay, that’s right. Right, right. Pre-burnt clay and—that’s right. I think what they do is to take old clay and smash it up and burn it and mix it in with it—let me get the dictionary and see what grog is—[quality of audio changes]

KM: —having that European background of education. And in my case, it was not a art background. I got the basic information, I got the in, in a craft workshop, my father’s workshop, which had nothing to do with art at all.

PH: It was a glass cutting shop.

KM: It was a glass cutting shop, yeah.

PH: And he cut glass with—is this back from the twenties and—1920s and thirties and so forth?

KM: Oh, he—no. Most of his work was just cutting off edges and bringing the decoration into sheets of glass, which were used for shops and covering a finish, or whatever. It had nothing to do with art at all. So—

PH: [inaudible] flat glass?

KM: Flat glass, yeah. Yeah.

PH: That’s really sort of how you got onto flat glass. You probably thought all glass was flat.

KM: It took me a long time to understand [laughs] what’s beside of that glass.

PH: Hmm.

KM: So—

[recording ends]