Heart of Glass - Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass is a West Virginia treasure that spans generations. Nothing symbolizes the state of West Virginia better or more beautifully than Blenko Glass. We will discuss current and former craftsmen and designers and how important it is that Blenko and West Virginia glass be appreciated and valued by the younger generation.

Sunday, December 31, 2006


BLENKO Water bottle with the WV Logo Great way to Celebrate this win! WVU Mens Basketball Team WON TONIGHT over 9th rated UCONN!NOTE: This bottle is available from BLENKO GLASS CO. (304 743 9081) for $67 plus tax.

Blenko - Cigarette Lighters & Ash Trays

People always ask me what Blenko they should collect. Well, I would love to 'collect' Blenko water bottles with handle .... Tim and Karin Alonzo of Texas have more than a dozen. In over five years of searching I have seen only ONE. So you might say I am a 'wannabe' collector of the Blenko water bottle with handle. What to collect - its your choice....there is a BLENKO product for most everyone. Lighters and matching ash trays are the current object of interest among my friends. No one in my group of friends smokes - but BLENKO lighters come in many sizes and shapes, a dozen or more colors and the current price is very low. The set pictured above cost less than a dinner at Outback. A trip to the Huntington Museum, The WV Museum of Glass in Weston, The WV Cultural Center might be a good place to view Vintage Blenko and other WV Glass. Another idea is to visit the Blenko Glass Visitors Center go upstairs look at the older designs, decide to collect a color, a shape, or join me in the search for Blenko Water bottle with handle. hjh

Link to Tom Hindman's Website - BLENKO PHOTO

Click here: the IMAGESMITH®: Glass Didn't work the first time...try this!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tom Hindman Photographer - BLENKO

In a previous post I mentioned the photographs Tom Hindman does of Blenko. A reader sent a link to his blog. I am including a link to the site and stealing a photo (I have this same image framed and hanging over my fire place!). Tom's photographs are all very special . . . however, his photos of BLENKO are truly spectacular! HJH

DIXIE"S OF TEXAS launches new BLENKO site!

Looking for 'special' items of BLENKO? DIXIE'S of Texas - known to be the largest retail source of Blenko Glassware- has launched a new online store. Check it out at https://www.theblenkostore.com and let us know what you think. HJH

The Huntington Museum of Art

This week I visited the glass collection at The Huntington Museum of Art, in Huntington WV.
The Museum, which I used to go to as a child for their Saturday KidsArt program, has a number of beautiful and moving exhibits and collections currently on display (and they are getting a touring exhibit on Marilyn Monroe in July I plan to go back for). The Museum also houses West Virginia's only plant conservatory, full of luscious tropical plants and - for all us glass fans - a breathtaking Chihuly glass sculpture.
The museum has an extensive glass collection, with over 400 pieces of Blenko glass, much of which was donated by former designer Winslow Anderson. Jenine Culligan, the Senior Curator, was gracious enough to take me though their collection (photographs of unusual/hard to find pieces will be the subject of subsequent posts).
The Museum also has - and this was very exciting for me - a library, open to the public, which houses copies of every book published on Blenko, old catalogs, and more. There are also reference works on many other modern glass companies and artists. It is definitely worth spending a day just 'going through the stacks'.

The Huntington Museum of Art is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call (304) 529-2701 or visit http://www.hmoa.org/ for more information, and directions.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Charlie Harsbarger Can Fix It!

Like many of you I live with animals - - While Ms B has never intentionally broken a piece of glass. Many pieces have been knocked off or over and have broken or chipped. The item shown is a Steuben bowl - Charlie worked his magic - he ground and polished the remains of my 13 inch bowl . . . and made it a functional wine holder. Charlie creates most all the lamps at Blenko, he does sand blasting, he designs the mobiles (see Sept post and photo), Charlie's title is 'inspector' but he's like the McGyver of Blenko! While Mr. Ronnie takes care of all the machines and other mechanical things that might break, if its a piece of glass that needs to be restored or 'corrected' . . . well Charlie has the 'gift' an ability to see something useful in almost any item. Blenko is made up of many talented people, each functioning as a unique part of the whole.

Blenko . . .Blenko...Blenko....In the Blenko of an Eye...

This has been an exciting week - we were lucky enough to be allowed in side the basement (storage areas) of the W VA Cultural Center to visit the BLENKO and Made in WEST VIRGINIA glass collection. The cultural Center is currently under construction, so most of these glass displays have been closed for some time. However, the cultural Center is open - and has so many lovely displays - The first lady doll display is worth a drive to Charleston! Every display is first class - - - the time and effort these guys spend on research and exact placement is very apparent. NOW back to glass - I took photos - and we'll be posting them in the month of January. Let me encourage you now - to drive to Charleston (on your way to or from the BLENKO GLASS COMPANY IN MILTON) and visit the West Virginia Cultural Center, there is ample parking the campus of the State Capitol is open, squirrels, trees, open areas for children to run and play. Our State Capitol has to be one of the top 10 if not the most beautiful. I live in Charleston, and still enjoy taking friends from out of state to visit these buildings everyone is impressed. Take your children, your visiting relative, or go alone. The Capitol is beautiful and the Cultural Center has something for everyone! NOTE: Legislative Session Begins 2nd Week in January - Parking may be a bit of a problem for the 60 days of the Legislative Session. #2 Large Print is for the Senior Citizens from. Lewisburg, who write often to ask for large print, I try once every couple of weeks to do large print. IF IT annoys you let me know #3 I'll let you know when the 'new glass displays' are open!

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Blenko Glass Company in Milton, West Virginia this year produced a number of items with the WVU and Marshall Logo. There are Water bottles and also pitchers and glasses! What a wonderful addition to any tail gate! Whether you watch the game in your living room or in Florida. Add some BLENKO to make the occasion even more 'special'!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Boyd Miller Glass Artist in Residence TAMARACK

Tamarack houses one of the largest and most diverse collections of WEST VIRGINIA made crafts.

A reader recently wrote to ask about Boyd Miller, so we drove up to Tamarack to meet and interview Mr. Miller. His work is on display at Tamarack and he is the glass artist in residence. Boyd grew up near Charleston in Hurricane, West Virginia. He spent much of his youth working at a small family glass plant (no longer in business). For directions to Tamarack and additonal information on Tamarack check out Travel WVa Web site. hjh


This is the time of year - when I usually return items that didn't fit either me or Ms. B., I ask for cash refunds - - then we head down to Blenko Glass Company Visitors Center and gift shop in Milton. Angie and Diana have marked down many items, whole shelves marked clearance! This is a great time to shop BLENKO. Most any time is a good time to shop the visitors center - as the merchandise changes daily, you never know what 'treasure' will appear! If you love glass, or the special person is your life loves glass. . . .you should make visiting Blenko's gift shop a once a month trip. Ms. B and I buy all our wedding gifts, birthday gifts, new home gifts at Blenko --this year I start buying baby gifts at Blenko - I thought long and hard - and decided most any new mother would welcome having the child be given a signed piece of collectible glass . . .a baby can only use so many new born blankets. NOTE: This RUBY LAMP, is from my personal collection - it was made in 2005 The Visitors Center/gift shop has a wide selection of lamps available - if you don't see what you want - and don't mind waiting 10-14 days ask Angie or Diane about the possibility of having it made - cost a bit more - but you have exactly what you want! BLENKO strives to have all customers leave happy!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Skip Copley's Lamps

Skip Copley a Real Estate Broker from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and his daughter Julia collect BLENKO LAMPS. They were kind enough to send these photos.
If you have old or special/unusual Blenko lamps, please send photos!

BLENKO - collectible Cats

Do you have a Blenko Cat? If so send a photo - so that we might show others the possibilities . . . Blenko loves Cats - and many glass cats have been made over the years. In this photo - you are seeing a CAT (amber - made by Shorty Finley not in the Blenko regular line - but Shorty made 10 of these in 1981 - this one has lost its Head... The other Cat was in the regular line . . . this example isn't good I hope someone will send us a better example of this and other BLENKO CATS - they are great items to collect.

Blenko Visitors Center - Museum (Upstairs)

Another example of the 'art' on display in the BLENKO GLASS COMPANY VISITORS CENTER. Go up the stair case to the right of the entry door - this level contains many vintage items of BLENKO and an array of historical documents. Also there are a number of Stain Glass panels made by Artist from across the US. NOTE: BLENO GLASS COMPANY IS LOCATED IN MILTON, WV Phone 304 743 9081 if you have questions.

Shorty Finley at BLENKO on 12/22

Nothing is more beautiful than seeing an 84 year old man doing what he loves - - - the pleasure is visible when Everette 'SHORTY' Finley is blowing glass. Shorty retired from Blenko more than a decade ago - he returns occasionally to work with the 'boys'. If you are doing the self guided tour at the BLENKO GLASS VISITORS CENTER - and see a handsome grey haired fell with a ball cap.....that very well may be Shorty Finley. He's quiet the 'showman'. . .loves talking about glass and most especially loves to speak about BLENKO GLASS. NOTE: BLENKO GLASS COMPANY IS LOCATED IN MILTON West Virginia. Off I -64. Phone 304 743 9081

Monday, December 25, 2006

Show and Tell #4- You respond

Tim Alonzo reports a smiliar item for sale on EBAY. I checked its listed as a new item (probably produced in the last 5 years)

eBay: BLENKO GLASS DESERT GREEN BOTTLE W/STOPPER (item 180067284854 end time Dec-31-06 05:01:53 PST) Hope this helps Ms. O'Connor.

WVU Dental School Focus of Gazette Article - and other random thoughts . .

In today's GAZETTE – the local Charleston Newspaper- Section D has an article about the WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY.
Eric Eyre wrote the article. If you are familiar with good journalism you know the name Eric Eyre. Eyre is an award winning journalist. He has the ability to make most any story interesting, he does his research and is a gifted writer.

This 12/25 Gazette article focuses on the university's desire to have WVU Dental Students become involved in the community and involved in preventive education. This starts in the first year. In the fourth year Dental students have the opportunity for OJT - On the Job Training, or practicums, in rural health care facilities. As a second year student at WVU Dental School, I can say the opportunity to be involved in the community - the school system, nursing homes, etc - has been one of the most enjoyable parts of the curriculum. We are enhancing our 'people skills', and learning by teaching; so we are reinforcing our knowledge as we share it with the young and not so young.

West Virginia University encourages community involvement at all levels. Just as people need to teach their children about 'buying WV and USA made products', they need to teach them about proper diet and good oral hygiene. As parents, it is their responsibility to teach or provide education for their child/children about self care. If you didn't receive Dental Education as a child, break the cycle and make certain your child knows the importance of brushing and flossing. Supervise the task, and try to make it fun! By starting children out early with a good diet and proper oral hygiene, we can begin to see a decrease in the high rates of tooth decay in our state’s youth, as well as help them keep their teeth later in life.

Governor and Mrs. Manchin are focusing on 'healthy life styles'. They are a remarkable couple; always giving, and thinking about the population as a whole. I am often amazed at the energy people holding high level positions in State Government have and how they multi task. West Virginia is very fortunate to have an administration with high energy/ focus and the needs of the people as a high priority! Busy people seem to get more done - don't they! I watch the Administration and Faculty at my School - they all have very full days, yet they are involved with the community and help develop programs for prevention, education, do research, and have so many other involvements.

I find myself thinking that through proper oral health education, combined with the reduction of sugar intake, and giving up smokeless tobacco and cigarette smoking, we could become a much healthier state and be known for our beautiful smiles as well as our glass!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Limited number of these are currently available to the Visitors Center - yesterday I saw only one or two of each. This is the last day to buy before Christmas. NOTE: AN IOU for a BLENKO WVU or Marshall Water Bottle would be a great stocking stuffer!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Show and Tell - You Respond # 4

I don't recognize this but she reports - it does have a sand blast BLENKO on the bottom. This item belongs to Meg O'Connor of North Carolina and it is from her Mom's estate (may be very old or bought some time before her Mom died in 2005) . Can you help Meg O'Connor identify this bottle? hjh

Blenko Collector Society Membership - Great Holiday GIft

The BLENKO COLLECTORS SOCIETY is a group of people who collect BLENKO GLASS. Become a part of this group - learn more about BLENKO GLASS, the history, what is valuable, most sought after etc. You may join on line, there is a link from the BLENKO GLASS COMPANY web site, and also a link from the BLENKO PROJECT web site. I will do a more complete post about the BCS later, when they send the information. But ITS NOT TO LATE TO GIVE A MEMBERSHIP FOR CHRISTMAS! Memberships are actually the ideal gift - no concern about size, color, diet restrictions. . .just pure enjoyment at a very low cost. jhj

Friday, December 22, 2006

GIFT IDEA - Membership, Imperial Glass Collectors

Mr. Jim Swanson, the Publicity chair of NIGCS, graciously provided the following information about the National Imperial Glass Collectors Society.


NIGCS is an organization made up of Imperial Glass Collectors. The society has approximately 1100 members from all over the country and Canada. Primary yearly membership dues are $18; Associate members, occupying the same house, $3 each; and new this year is the provision that a student has free membership until graduating from college.

The organization is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by the general membership. A convention is held every June and includes an Imperial glass auction, a banquet, various workshops, seminars, and a Glass Sale and Show. This event averages approximately 250 attendees each year and is held in St. Clairsville, Ohio. This past year the organization celebrated its 30th Anniversary. In October, a fall auction is held in Bellaire, Ohio.

The Imperial Glass factory in Bellaire, Ohio, is no longer standing after having created glass items for eighty years. At the onset, production ranged from utilitarian glassware to electric and gas lampshades. Then, over the next twenty years, the company transitioned to making pressed patterns, Iridescent Ware (early Carnival), Free Hand and Lead Lustre. Depression and Elegant patterns, beverage ware, Cathay and Milk Glass would follow from the 1930’s to 1950’s. Slag Glass, reissued Carnival, Collectors Crystal, Peachblow, and numerous gift-type glassware would be made before the company closed its doors in l984.

In the 1930’s, two of Imperial’s best known designs were originated. The first was Cape Cod in 1931, followed by Candlewick in 1936. These two pattern lines proved to be exceedingly popular with buyers for nearly fifty years. In fact, Candlewick became one of the company’s biggest success stories. Today Candlewick is the line most people readily equate with the Imperial Glass Corporation.

In June of 2003, NIGCS opened the National Imperial Glass Museum located at 3200 Belmont Street, Bellaire, Ohio, which is open April through October each year. The museum is dedicated to the glassware and the people who worked at Imperial. The National Glass Collectors Society hopes that, by creating the museum, they can keep alive the story of Imperial, one of the largest and most diverse of the companies that made up the American hand-made glass industry. On display at the museum are many fine examples of Imperial glassware, created from 1904 to 1984.

Last Minute Shopping? Think BLENKO!

BLENKO GLASS in Milton, W.Va. is now OPEN and has a large supply of HOLIDAY GIFTS! GLass - and more GLASS . . . many items marked clearance price! Now is the time to find that last minute HOLIDAY GIFT! phone 304 743 9081 for directions Photo of a Lamp base designed by Winslow Anderson , while this item isn't available many other LAMPS are currently available at BLENKO VISITORS CENTER

Glass Terms - Vocabulary

When first ask to do this Blog - I was hesitant as there is so much I don't know and I am very busy with school. But I thought perhaps it would or could be a learning tool for me, and also a way for others to learn about Blenko and WV Made Glass. Thus, the journey began, writing three or four times a week - mostly unedited thoughts, or answers to your questions. I am grateful when you write, either to comment on the blog or send an email. WV made Glass is very important to me - most especially Blenko Glass. The manufacturing of Glass in the USA is dying and will continue to die unless we start to demand made in the USA glass. We must begin to seek out local craftsmen, and purchase items made here in WV made by our local people, local manufacturers. Last night I realized I have done little to educate - so today we will have a lesson in vocabulary. While interviewing the older craftsmen they often used these terms and I had 'no clue' what they meant. Lesson # 1 Glass terms - Stipple - Design used in pressed glass consisting of small bumps of glass very close together and may be evenly spaced or random. The stippling was usually a background for main pressed pattern on the glass. STAIN - An inexpensive way to color all or part of a piece of glass. The part of the piece of glass that is to be colored is covered with metallic paint while the glass is cold. Most stains result in a ruby or cranberry color; but some stains may be amber, blue or other colors. Stain is very often mistakenly called flashed or flashing. ANNEALING - the process of slowly cooling glass items after they are made. The process is necessary to stabilize the glass molecules to keep the item from shattering. Annealing in glass factories was done in a lehr. Lehr - A machine in the form of a long 'tunnel' used to cool glass after manufacture. It contained a slow - moving belt made of a stury material such as wire mesh. The glass item was placed in at the hottest end of the lehr as soon as the shaping of the glass was finished. The article then started a trip of perhaps several hours to the other end of the lehr as it was slowly cooled. The end of the lehr that first received the glass item was usually near the furnace. The end where the cooled item was removed was usually near the shipping or decorating area of the factory. NOTE: The vocabulary definitons were taken from 'ALL ABOUT GLASS - a publication of the WV MUSEUM OF GLASS Vol. 2 No.1. (photo of Mr. Bill Blenko (WH BLENKO President of Blenko Glass Company taken 11/26/2006)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Shorty Finley Working At Blenko?

RUMOR HAS IT - that Shorty Finley is working at Blenko one or two days the last month - - will these 'special items' be on sale in the BLENKO GIFT SHOP? I think its worth the drive to Milton to search the bins for items with Shorty Finley's signature! Happy Hunting. If you are lucky enough to buy anything made by Shorty, please send a photo! hjh NOTE: Photo of Everette 'Shorty ' Finley and Mr. Bill Blenko.

Blenko Visitors Center - Upstairs

Another photos of the art in the Blenko Visitors Center Museum located on 2nd floor. Phone 304 743 9081. NOTE: The HOliday Sale Continues at the BLENKO VISITORS CENTER OUTLET

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blenko Visitors Center - Museum

Another of the panels of glass located in the Blenko Glass Company Visitors Center, Milton, WVa (phone 304 743 9081) Great 'Holiday Sale' still going on - the self guided tour of the craftsmen working - the museum upstairs - This is a great destination for a day trip. When you give BLENKO, or Fiesta, or Fenton, or any other made in WV product, you give a bit of our state history, doesn't it feel good to pass along a 'gift' that was made in W.Va.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Show and Tell - You Respond # 3

The West Virginia University
Karen Preston sent this photo - she was one of the lucky people who stood in line to purchase a BLENKO #384 Water Bottle . These WVU
water bottles - with the FLYING W V or the Mountaineer are currently available - phone 304 743 9081. NOTE: Thank you Karen for the photo!

Laura Moul, Photographer - BLENKO GLASS

We neglected to cite Laura Moul as the source of the photograph of RANDY RIDER in yesterdays post. Laura Moul, is a Milton resident, she is an art teacher, and also a professional photographer. Her work includes photos of Blenko employees, and the glass making process - copies of these photos in the form of note cards ($5), and paper weights ($8) are for sale at the Blenko Visitors Center.

These cards/paperweights can be added to the Blenko gift of glass - or be the 'gift'. Blenko Glass photographs beautifully, recently a reader sent me a link to RICK LEE a Charleston Photographers web site. Mr. Lee has a page or two of beautiful Blenko Glass photographs. I can't seem to make the link work- if you can't find his site - email me and I'll sent it to you. Also, Mr. Hindman, photographer, for the Charleston Newspaper does excellent photographs of Blenko Glass. Hanging over my fireplace is a photograph of Blenko Glass , Hindman took in 2005. Hindman also has a web site . Probably both Lee and Hindman would allow you to purchase photographs of BLENKO . hjh

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Blenko The People - RANDY RIDER - Finisher

Randy Rider grew up in Milton, and graduated from Miltion High, but says he never knew anything while growing up about the glass factory in his own backyard. It wasn't until a friend told him about a job at the Blenko factory that he knew of the company. Mr. Rider went to Blenko to apply, and was hired the same day. He has been there ever since.

Randy came to Blenko Glass Company as a very young man. His goal is to retire with the longest number of years of service. Randy Rider is high energy. He says, he loves to learn. He freely gives credit to the 'old timers' for his skill. The 'old timers' in turn say " he just had raw talent and the determination to learn." Randy Rider is a showman, if he weren't a glass company employee you have the feeling he could be very successful selling insurance, cars, being on stage as an actor. He has talent, he also has a great passion for the Blenko Glass Company, when he speaks about Blenko - he always says " WE" he speaks with pride, he is quick to give praise and credit to his co workers and also the new management at Blenko. Randy Rider is very positive about Blenko Glass's future. He states: "we make the very best handcrafted glass in the world," . . "we have difficultly competiting with countries that have no set wages, and little environmental guidelines, but in terms of quality . . . NO ONE can beat Blenko Glass." " This is a family company, and we are all part of the family."
Some Quick Facts about Randy Rider:
  • He has been working at Blenko for 26 years (since 198o).
  • Mr. Rider has hled every position in the Blenko factory except blower. He started his time at the factory as a Stick-up and is now an accomplished finisher.
  • The thing Randy likes most about his job is the creativity working with glass allows.
  • He himself collects Blenko decanters and animal figurines.
  • When not working at Blenko, Randy Rider enjoys hunting and fishing.

W.V.U. and BLENKO - A Great Holiday GIft!

One gift - a 384 water bottle - the longest running single item in the Blenko Glass Company line. . . Now available for the very first time with the WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY flying WV or the MOUNTAINEER in gold leaf . . . . A gift that symbolized the 100 year tradition of BLENKO Glass which is handmade in West Virginia, a fine quality glass and our State University. What an AWESOME combination. These bottles are available by phone 304 743 9081. The cost is $67 Note: The bottles may also be available for purchase at the Visitors Center. I would recommend phoning to reserve your #384 .

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Gift Giving Idea - Membership in WV MUSEUM OF GLASS

Probably the most established, unique, and well known of the West Virginia Glass Groups is the the West Virginia Museum of Glass. The Contributing advisor list reads like 'Who's Who In The World of Glass' yet, they are all approachable and willing to share their knowledge. For years I borrowed copies of the All About Glass , their publication, for it is a great resource tool. I find even those with little interest in glass will pick up this publication and look at the photos. This is a first class little publication that concentrates on glass made in American and primarily in West Virginia. When asked about the WV Museum of Glass, Dean Six explained: "There are two distinct things going on here.
One is the Weston Area Glass Study Group which is the core from which the WV Museum of American Glass was born.
The Weston Area Study Group meets every month in the museum, has no officers, no dues and no business. We ONLY talk about glass and glass related information. It is a show and tell format with assistance to each other with Identification as well as sharing what we each have discovered since last meeting. We gather each fourth Wednesday at 7:00PM in Weston. We’ve met for almost 15 years and, having no dues etc. have no real “membership” - show up and you are one of us! Monthly attendance averages somewhere in the 15-25 people range. "

The West Virginia Museum of American Glass, Ltd. is a membership organization with over 500 members in nearly 40 states and Canada. It maintains a 10,000 sq foot glass museum that has no admission charge on Main Ave in Weston. The museum was chartered in 1993 and has maintained a public museum since 1997. Officers are elected by the Weston Area Glass Study Group and the board members are appointed by the board to create a balance of local and national power and interest. Board members represent six states. WVMAG develops and promotes a number of public educational programs ranging from the popular annual glass history conference that travels the US and Canada, to WVMAG’s 11th annual Marble Festival for children and advanced marble historians, and an annual bottle and jar show. WVMAG has numerous other activities and programs, all related to glass. The museum publishes the nations largest selection of imprints on glass in it’s 50 plus titles monograph series, has authored two books using the museum archives as a resource, and publishes a widely acclaimed quarterly magazine for glass collectors titled All About Glass (http://www.allaboutglass.org/). The museum collection numbers nearly 10,000 glass objects as well as extensive archives and a world class glass catalog collection for research. Membership in WVAMG includes $500 benefactor level memberships, $100 patron level, sustaining level at $50, supporting at $35, all of which include the magazine and discounts on all programs and imprints or a subscription level membership to receive the magazine at $25 per year. Note: Check out the website and consider joining or making a donation in honor of your loved one as a Holiday Gift!

Blenko Glass in Milton - Museum/ Art Gallery Upstairs

Blenko Glass Company in Milton, West Virginia. The Visitors Center houses a gift shop on the first floor , the second floor contains a glass museum focusing on Blenko's history. Many vintage pieces of Blenko Glass. On the walls along with the historical documents are unique stain glass pieces constructed by well known artist. The Blenko Visitors Center is a great place to spend an afternoon - shopping and learning! hjh

Friday, December 15, 2006

Vintage Blenko is Awesome - Buy something new Today and Begin the Aging Process!

Another great example of Blenko glass barware #497M. This piece was also designed by Winslow Anderson.
The Blenko visitors Center Gift Shop has a wide selection of tableware. While most items are in the 2005 -2006 catalogue some items are one of a kind. This shop is a 'glass lovers' dream. You must take your time, and check all the shelves and look under the shelves. Now having encouraged you to shop for awesome new glass, I am posting another photo from the collection of Tim and Karin Alonzo of Texas. Note: There are many collections on line - at the www.blenkoproject.org, on the Blenko Collectors web site, and Blenko - Four web site. Do a google search for blenko collections/photos. If you have photos of BLenko you want to share - please send them. hjh

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Vintage Blenko

This twisted stem compote set in a fanatastic shade of ruby are design numbers 444B and 444CP. These are referred to as "predesigner" before Blenko hired its first designer Winslow Anderson in 1947.

From the collection of Tim and Karin Alonzo of Texas

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

384 Water Bottle

My mail is always an interesting combination of bills, offers for credit cards, advertisements and the occassional letter from a glass collector or person who shares my interest in glass. This morning, I'm on my way to take an Operative final exam - - when this photo arrived...the question: 'is this Blenko?' Made me smile, as this is one I can answer. Most often, I don't immediately know the answer to the question and I forward the notes to those people who actually have knowledge and/or time the time to find the answers. However, today is different, this is a photo of a # 384 water bottle from Blenko. Perhaps a sign that I will do well on my operative exam!

Holiday GIft Giving - Glass Club Membership

A membership to one of the many fine Glass Collectors Club would make a wonderful Christmas gift.
BLENKO COLLECTORS SOCIETY, Fiesta, Imperial, Cambridge, Fostoria, WV MUSEUM OF GLASS, and many other organizations focus primarily on collecting made in WVa and/ or made IN AMERICA glass. The membership fees are inexpensive.
I had hoped to write about each before Christmas, including the fees to join. Most of this information is easily obtained with a Google search, if your loved one has a specific glass collection - do the Google search and purchase a membership.
If you are a regular reader, you know I often site the WV Museum of Glass Magazines as a reference source - just last evening I discovered the green vase in my bathroom in Imperial and was made in 1983 - the last Cathy made by Imperial. . .I phoned my Dad with the 'news' which wasn't news to him, since he purchased the vase in 1982 (long before my birth) as a gift for my mother. Long story to say, this magazine has many photos, short articles, and is packed with information that even a brain dead student will enjoy.
If you can only join one group I would start with the WV Museum of Glass. * post follows with info about this group.
THE BLENKO COLLECTORS SOCIETY membership is also a great gift. You get a 'slick, newsletter with color photos' very professional newsletter, articles are focused on Blenko old and new. If you collect Blenko or want to start a collection. Joining the BCS is a smart first step. Look for a future post about the BCS. HJH

Sunday, December 10, 2006


RANDY RIDER - BLENKO GLASS COMPANY glass blower will be the December Blenko featured employee. Look for Randy's story on 12/17/06.

You Respond - Where to Shop!

This was sent by Delorse McGuire of Boyd County, Ky. She states whatever glass she is looking for she first goes to this site: Welcome to Karen's Eclectic Treasures of Glass & Pottery!
Thank you for visiting our site and taking the time to learn about us. We welcome all inquiries and will do our best to answer any question you might have regarding our items, policies, procedures and terms of sale.
We offer a plethora of different items on our site! If you are looking for Depression Glass, Elegant Depression Glass, 40s, 50s, 60s Collectible Glass then we have many pages for you to peruse! I also have a soft spot for Art Glass, Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG), and anything Purple in glass! We also carry quite a bit of dinnerware, some art pottery and porcelain collectibles!
Of course, then we have the many other collectible items such as toys, books, and other fun items that just don't fit into one of the categories above easily!
Elegant Depression Glass & Depression Glass HJH

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Show and Tell - You respond #2

Candy Gum Drops?
NO! It's a bowl of GLass Gun Drops. This is not Blenko but was made by former Blenko employee - Dave Osburn...Osburn Modern Glass and sent to us by Willam Oxley. Osburn Modern Glass is located in Milton, W. Va. NOTE: Send a photo of your favorite unusal piece of WV GLASS, do not send copyright photos hjh

New & Unusual Blenko - you respond

This is a photo sent by Dr. Bob Struab, he knew it was BLENKO, as it has a Blenko stamp but did not know it was one of the coveted WV Birthday Pieces. The bowl is very valuable and sought after by Blenko Collectors and Collectors of WV Birthday items. NOTE: Thank you for the photo. If you have an unusual or unique item of WV GLass send a photo hjh

Friday, December 08, 2006

Show and Tell

Blenko or other WV GLass - Do you have a 'great piece of Blenko or WV GLass ? Send a photo, tell us about the glass. Also if you have found a great place to buy glass - WV glass of course - new or previously owned - let us know. I get emails about where to buy...and honestly I live in Morgantown, West Virginia most all year long. I also am a college student with very little disposable income, and to be honest, I am NOT a shopper - so I am asking for your help. What are the best places in the Huntington - Charleston area for Glass Shopping? Note: If you send photos to be published make certain they are not copywrited photos.

New Antique/ Stain Glass Colors

Blenko Glass In Milton, West Virginia has long been known as one of the makers of the finest, and most colorful glass for the artist. Don Lemley reports Blenko has many new colors (Keep looking - we've ask him to write about the new colors and I'll post it soon) While many manufactures are going out of business or cutting back significantly on colors - Blenko is adding new and very interesting colors. If you are an artist, a decorator, builder, craftsperson Blenko Glass has most everything you need, they also have on staff a trained and very talented stain glass instructor to answer questions and / or help with projects. The antique/ stain glass department is available by phone 304 743 9081

Thursday, December 07, 2006

BLENKO GLASS - stain glass artist shop here!

Blenko Glass not only sells the product for all stain glass compositions, they can help you find an artist to create the special window or door for your home. Blenko Glass has long been the place to go for both professional and hobby glass artist. I made my first documented (photos) trip to Blenko for stain glass items in 1987. For me its nearly 2 decades of shopping at blenko. . . recently I spoke with a stain glass artist in Columbus Ohio whose family has bought Blenko Glass to sell in their German Village shop for more than 50 years. Blenko Glass is superior. Phone 304 743 -9082 - Don Lemley - antique Glass Department

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Don Lemley's Antique Glass Department

Buy made in West Virginia.
Buy quality - buy beauty!
This door with the beautiful matching side panels is an example of made in West Virginia.
This item was designed and constructed by Don Lemley using Blenko Glass. Blenko Glass Company can work with you and or your designer to make your entry doors and windows unique and special. Building...Think..Made IN West Virginia.
Phone Don Lemley at Blenko Glass (304 743 9081).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Favorite ON Line or Other Place to Buy BLENKO?

We have several emails about where to buy BLENKO. I buy my glass at the BLENKO Visitors Center in Milton, West Virginia. IF you are reading this and You have a favorite on line or in town place to buy BLENKO - send an email or post the blog with the information, and I'll research the site and do a post to share the information. My goal is to have you buy Made In West Virginia Glass! To see the beauty in this product, to start collecting the items - most especially BLENKO. It has been my experience that glass cost at the Visitors Center are much less than the cost at other locations . When you write about your 'favorite' Blenko seller, include the address and items you find most often at this location. Thanks for sharing. HJH

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Blenko Glass - Holiday Decoratons!

Looking for something unique, perhaps a house warming gift, a gift for your hostess, Blenko Glass has some unique one of a kind items at the Visitors Center. The Visitors Center has some Holiday inspired items - (not available on line or in the catalogue) - if you didn't get to Blenko for the opening of the Holiday Season Sale - plan to go this week. HJH

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blenko - Colorful glass awards...etc.

Blenko Glass located in Milton, W.Va. (phone 304 743 9081) produced these special pieces to be used as Awards. Blenko Glass produces pieces that may be engraved for most special occasions. HJH