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.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Winslow Anderson - Classic

Winslow Anderson

examples of work from BLENKO and Lennox China. hjh

Sunday, February 25, 2007

BLENKO - ADD BLENKO to the Celebration

These photos are of the Blenko Glass Company (Milton, WVa. 304 743 9081) Top Hat.
The Top Hat was featured on the cover of the BLENKO GLASS Catalog in 1984. The photos above are of the Top Hat in Ebony (a discontinued Blenko color).
Top Hats are used as wine/champagne buckets (add ice and your bottle), as 'objects of art', as flower containers, and at my parents home they can be found on the back deck holding ivy, and some other green vines. I don't think BLENKO actually recommends leaving your glass outside in the winter. Our garden in Charleston contains over 2 dozen pieces of Blenko (stepping stones that were once large ash trays etc. - many have been in the yard for more than 2 decades.
BLENKO GLASS adds to any celebrations - Top Hat as Champagne /ice bucket at Weddings, or Celebrations of Births, or just to celebrate LIFE! hjh
Note: Thanks to DIXIE's Glass of Texas for the above photo.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blenko Photos from readers.

I ask for Photos from your Blenko visits - or photos of your favorite glass . . below are the photos I received this week.

This photo and the next one are of the VARIATIONS Group that Wayne Husted
created. Signed and a very limited. The photos are in response to Lucille Parsley question, Can you post photos of that 'Variations line?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Blenko - Vintage Postcards

These wonderful post cards were sent by a reader from Virginia. She reports the cards were a 'gift' while attending the Blenko Collectors Annual Meeting in Milton, WVa. The COLLECTORS will meet again this year at Blenko Glass in Milton. hjh Upstairs of the Visitors Center - little has changed, great place!

Visitors Center Parking Lot....(love that car)...
Inside the Visitors Center - I'd love to have one of everything! Today its much the same, lovely colorful glass and many one of a kind items. Phone 304 743 8091.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Question?: What is Small Paws Rescue?

Thank you for your interest in Ms. B. She is a Bichon Frise (2years old). My family and I are volunteers for Small Paws Rescue http://www.smallpawsrescue.org/

Debra Graham an attorney who works with my Dad introduced us to SPR, I am posting a photo of Debra and her family of SPR 'fluffs', along with information about SPR. If you have extra money- SPR accepts donations, if you have extra time SPR needs foster homes and volunteers in the Huntington area.

Small Paws Rescue
Fostered Nationwide
Type of Organization: Not for profit
Mission Statement: The mission of Small Paws® Rescue Inc., is to rescue and supply any Bichon Frise or Bichon mix, nationwide, regardless of age or medical condition, with love, shelter, food, human companionship, medical care, and spay or neuter services through local veterinarians until permanent placement is secured into a prescreened loving home.
Small Paws® Rescue Inc. will accept into rescue any Bichon Frise or Bichon Frise mix who is either abandoned in a shelter or living with an owner who can no longer supply care. We also participate in rescue and placement of Bichons who are culled from the Puppy Mills or purchased at Puppy Mill auctions.
We wish to eliminate the euthanasia of any healthy, adoptable Bichon Frise in our country. We do not accept euthanasia as a means of population control for animals. We believe each Bichon's life is meaningful and each deserves a loving home. We take responsibility for each Bichon rescued and placed through Small Paws® Rescue Inc. for the rest of his or her natural life

If you are thinking of adding a four legged friend to your family (of any breed) - please consider adoption! hjh

Saturday, February 17, 2007

BLENKO Collecting - A Positive Addiction

We all tease that Blenko loves Blenko, and no one has just ONE Blenko item. We also proclaim that we are Blenko addicts. A wise man sent the following advice to me:

To stop? Then get off, walk away, don’t look back. It takes determination and a calculating purposefulness to bring something to an end once it has gained an important role in your life. We become addicted to the experience.
If you can spend a month without saying the word “Blenko” then there is a good chance you are free.

Collecting Blenko like 'running' can be addictive. We think these are POSITIVE ADDICTIONS. Dr. Security Coluym states not all addictions are negative. A number of addictions are not only positive but enhance life.
Blenko can certainly be counted among the positive addictions - your knowledge of WV history, WV glass, and your confidence grow with the collection. Happy Collecting! hjh

Collectible BLENKO - Old Ads and Paper Products

Blenko GLass (304 743 9081) has been in business for nearly a century. Blenko is considered by some to be 'undervalued' and a 'sleeper' in the world of glass collecting. However, the prices of vintage Blenko is increasing, the market for 'all things Blenko' is a large one.
I was surprised to learn that Blenko Catalogs and Blenko post cards and Blenko Ads are considered very desirable by collectors of Blenko and WV Glass.
During my last visit to BLENKO I noticed six or seven different post cards and paper items for sale at minimal cost - when you are at Blenko, pick up a post card or paper product. Include these in your gift package with the Blenko glass or keep for yourself, or start a Blenko paper product collection with your child or grandchild.
This would be a very inexpensive way to teach organizational skills, while learning about the wonderful history of GLASS in West Virginia. hjh

Friday, February 16, 2007

March Will Be A Great Month for West Virginia Glass

Marble King Inc. the Paden City company that makes a million marbles a day will be featured on John Ratzenburger' " Made in America" show on Travel cable television channel.
Beri Fox, president and chief executive officer of Marble King, said the segment is scheduled to air at 9 pm on March 6.
Ratzenburger met every employee during his visit in October, and he spent considerable time talking with Archie Spencer, a blind worker, Fox said. Ratzenburger filmed Spencer cutting folding and sealing bags filled with marbles. Ratzenburger told Fox he seldom encounters people with disabilities at the manufacturing work sites he visits.
Fox said Spencer is one of her best employees.
Marble King is one of only two marble manufacturers left in the United States.

Isn't it sad to read only two marble manufacturers left in the US? The same thing is happening to the entire GLass Industry - - very few factories left.
We are fortunate in WV to have several glass plants still working.
In March the West Virginia Cultural Center will be hosting a BLENKO GLASS exhibit. Mark your calenders for March 8th. A special item will be produced by BLENKO for this event - it will be a limited - number and signed each piece.
The last time this happen at the Cultural Center was in the 80s. The 'special item' sold for $50
the current resell value of this item is between $300-450. The value of these 'special items' increases with time. I don't know if you can pre order - I'll ask and let you know.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Winslow Anderson

Thanks to Mary McNeilley of Washington Pa. for this photo.

Mary writes that she had several of these bottles, purchased by her Mom in the 50's. Chance would have it that she was lecturing at Marshall University in Huntington a few years ago - and saw a brochure about a HUNTINGTON MUSEUM OF ART display. She made arrangements to go, met Winslow Anderson, learned more about her 'bottles' and became a collector of all things ' Winslow Anderson'.
If you haven't started a BLENKO Collection - or haven't been to the Visitors Center - - - NOW is a great time to go. Angie and Diane have 2 tables of clearance glass (up to 50% off), and the shop is full of wonderful BLENKO, many one of a kind items. Phone 304 743 9081 . hjh
Note: If you have a BLENKO story and or photos you want to share with us. Email BLENKOPROJECT@aol.com

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Color Me RED. Make that BLENKO Ruby. .

Only one more day until "Heart" Day -

If you haven't finished your shopping, remember you

can use the web to order BLENKO GLASS they'll ship

any where in the Nation. 304 743 9081.

Currently these items and many, many other RUBY

and Valentine's Day gifts are available. hjh

Monday, February 12, 2007

Blenko..........Blenko..........Blenko New Photos of Valentine's Gifts

Blenko.......Blenko.........Blenko.......WOW Do they ever have Valentine's Day Gifts?
I should apologize for being tardy in . getting photos of these very inexpensive $15 hearts. A gift any child or adult .will cherish. The glass hearts have messages : 'puppy love', I love you, Best Friends, Forever, more than a dozen 'statements'. You'll want more than one.
Blenko also has the LARGEST COLLECTION OF RUBY GLASS on display and for sale - the largest I've seen in a long time. Producing Ruby Glass than any other color. Blenko's 'Ruby' is very special. We noticed a couple Ruby Water Bottles for sale ($25) a steal - and a hard to find item. hjh

Blenko the People - Rodney Wade

Rodney Wade is a remarkable man. He takes care of the Shipping Department at Blenko and the Visitors Center - dealing with all this daily for several years. Recently he added the title of Foreman. He is now responsible for deciding what production will take place etc. in addition to his many other Rodney is one of two or three people at Blenko Glass who always seem to have the answer, or else are willing to help you solve your problem. Rodney does whatever it takes to have his 'buyers' happy.
Wade is one of the younger Blenko employees - he's under 35. He has an active life outside of Blenko. He is active in Auto Racing, actually passionate about Auto - Racing Rodney is also active in involving the youth in his sport. He will take the time to speak with the community about Racing and Automobiles. Rodney loves sharing photos of his cars, and talking about his passion for racing.
Many dedicated people make up Blenko. Rodney Wade is an essential part of Blenko.
The Touch Of Glass company employees describe Wade as one of the most hard working, honest young men they have ever known.
Hard working, and honesty are common traits amongst the Blenko Staff. hjh

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Perfect Gift for the Frog er Prince in Your Life

Life is complicated - isn't it? Holidays that require Gift Giving make it even more so - - nothing to large, or showy, nothing more expensive than what you think he might be giving you. . .it's difficult. . . and time consuming.

Also knowing the difference between the Frogs and the Princes, just how does a girl judge potential?

Blenko Glass makes Valentine's Day and all gift giving simple. .with lots of items like a team Logo Water Bottle, glass figurines, or a special drinking glass in his favorite color, each designed to make you look like the 'perfect' gift giver.
Blenko, like the 'frogs' in ones life, is available in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Whose to know you spent little time or money on the V-Day gift giving? hjh

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ideal Valentine's Day Gift - WVU or Marshall Waterbottle

The Blenko Glass Company Water Bottle (pictured in Ruby) is the longest running single item in the Blenko Glass Co. line.
The Marshall University Water Bottle is a new item. Introduced in 2006. This would make a great V-Day Gift for the Sports Fan or the Marshall Graduate. (photo below)
West Virginia University has 2 'special' Blenko Water Bottles - one with the Mountaineers image the other with the WVU
Flying WV logo. Great gift item for any WVU Grad or Sports Fan. (photo below)
BLENKO GLASS is a great place for gift buying! Phone 304 743 -9081 hjh

Question from Reader - Re: Michelob Beer - Blenko

No! Blenko did NOT make the Michelob Beer Bottles - but the video was of
hand made glass. Thank you Charles for asking. hjh

Anna Nicole Smith - Blenko Connection ?

To the best of my knowledge there is no document record of Anna Nicole Smith visiting Blenko Glass in Milton, WVa. Great question Charles. hjh

Valentine's Day Get A Way - Tour a Glass Factory!

Febuary 14th - V-Day. Buy Made in West Virginia Gifts.
My personal preference is GLASS!

Consider a day or over night trip to a WV Glass Factory.
Joanne Just in an article for WVMAG expresses her concern for ' How quickly our glass heritage is disappearing. Soon people will not be able to visit many glass factories and see how glass is made. To understand glass well, it is most important that you see the processes of making glass. Sometimes uninformed people make rash judgments about how a piece of glass was made because they have never had the opportunity to see ow it is done. While there is still time, you should definitely take the opportunity to see glass making demonstrations or take factory tours. Blenko has an excellent viewing gallery on the same level as the factory floor where you can watch how blown glass is made. Fenton has guided factory tours and they make both off-hand and pressed ware.
If you plan on visiting these factories, call ahead to make sure tours are available. Blenko factory isn't open on Saturday - Gift Shop is however (304 743 9081); Fenton 304 375 772, ask for Gift Shop Tour. hjh
Note: Photo of vintage Blenko - Bair Collection

Friday, February 09, 2007

Valentine's Day Gift - A Bit of West Virginia's History

Blenko Glass 1921- (forever) located in Milton, W. Va. West Virginia
was once known for manufacturing Glass. The Teays - Valley area had
many glass plants., one sole plants remains open, BLENKO GLASS .

If you haven't taken your family for the Blenko Glass Tour - plan to do this soon. Your children need to experience the making of glass - to see the beautiful hot liquid, smell the concrete, salt, sand and grit, to see the workers perform magic with the molten liquid.
Its something most people don't forget.

Yet for some reason we neglect to THINK before we BUY . . .was this glass item made in the USA? Was it made in WV? In grade school I had a friend who wore only clothing with the union label, I remember thinking he was excentric, Now I KNOW he was decades ahead of me in thinking. HJH

* Bella and Sons Glass, ca 1923, Scott Depot
* Bischoff Sons, 1922- 1935, Huntington
* Bischoff Sons and Co., A.F> Bischoff Glass, 1935-1960's,
**Blenko Glass, 1921- Present, Milton
* Bonita Glass, 1925-1950's, Huntington

* Ench Glass, ca. 1940's - 50's
* Gill Glass, ca. 1949-57, Huntington
* Hammond Glass, 1932-1990's, Scott Depot
* Kemple Glass
* Midway Glass Corp., ca. 1923-25, Culloden
* Midway Glass Corp. ca. 1923-25 Culloden
* Moncer Glass, ca. 1940-50's.
* Pilgram Glass, 1950-2001
* Rainbow Art Glass, 1954-70s Huntington
* Reed Glass, ca. 1940s
* Sinclair Glass, 1929-30 Huntington 30-60's Ceredo
* Scandia GLass, 1946-83, Kenova

* Sloan Glass 1907 Ca. 1944 huntington
* Spring Valey Glass, 1942 ca. 1948, Huntington
* Tri State Glass 1940- 56 Huntington

Note: This information was obtained from 'Shorty Finley, Charlie Chapman and WVMAG.

Milton Florist - Milton, West Virginia

With the advent of FTD services - your florist - can be anywhere in the world. For more than two years now, I have used the Milton Florist. My favorite thing about the Milton Florist is its locally owned and operated, and its very close in proximity to BLENKO GLASS - so I can ask for my arrangement to be contained in most any item in the Blenko Catalog.

It's less than a week until the Big V- Day. If you can't get to the Visitors Center to select your glass for this holiday, and your current Florist doesn't have or won't get BLENKO GLASS for your arrangement. Perhaps Milton Florist can help.

Wish I could say 'tell them Hillary sent you and they'll give you 10% off - I can't, but I can say " their goal is to make you happy, the flowers are the freshest, the delivery quick".

Contact: Milton Floral1001 Smith St.Milton, WV 25541

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Valentine's Day Countdown - THINK BLENKO!

Blenko Glass Company located in Milton, W.Va.
phone 304 743 9081.
Blenko is known for their "Ruby" glass, the red is so vivid, the color is captivating.
This V-Day give your wife, child, husband, secretary a gift of BLENKO GLASS.
The Visitors Center - has a large selection of Red Glass and some crystal hearts. The price is surprisingly low for a handcrafted gift.
Currently the VC has many signed pieces
for sale - if you want to really impress the lady in your life. Give her Ruby glass with the distinctive BLENKO signature. hjh

Note: Photo from Steve Bair's collection.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Blenko Designers - You Respond

Yesterdays post about designers resulted in a lot of mail - - Wayne Husted
is the fave among the readers of this blog.
Photo of Wayne Husted
and one of his Blenko
Note: Apologize that the photo is not of Raindrops, Rialto or Regal . . .if you own these and want to share photos, I'll post. HJH
steve bair photos

Monday, February 05, 2007

BLENKO FROGS - You Respond

Received a couple of note today about an article in the BLOWPIPE( the official newsletter of the BCS ) it seems Blenko Collectors President stated she had received several emails asking if Blenko i made frogs in the 30s. She (the President) states:
Blenko made NO FROGS until Don Shepperd in 1970s.
This conflicts with my post about Blenko Frogs - It also is in direct conflict with an article in the
Vol.2No.1 WV Glass Museum Publication page 8. Article by David Schepps with photos of the BLENKO FROGS from the 30's.
I am not a member of the BCS - and unlike some, I do not proclaim to be an expert on glass. I do attempt to document facts before I post. My research indicated Blenko did make frogs in the 30s. I honestly do not know for certain if Blenko did or didn't make Frogs in the 30s.
I do know that the craftsmen at Blenko often made small animals w/o a mold as gifts for their friends. These men had remarkable talent.

I 'm passionate abut WV Glass, my only goal is to share that passion and perhaps encourage you to purchase Blenko Glass.
Note: Thank you for reading. I take full responsibility for all errors in any post. Spot a mistake - let me know, and we'll correct it immediately.

Readers Ask - Who is YOUR Favorite Designer

Winslow Anderson . . . but you must let me tell you about the talented designers who worked at Blenko............
Who is your favorite Blenko designer? This is the #1 question, I am asked . The answer is complicated.

I admire Wayne Husted body of work at Blenko - and it is most sought after by collectors. Wayne is innovative, his designs from the 50s are still being produced at Blenko, I have a list of 25 Husted items I want to buy when I have money.

John Nickerson is one of the nicest men I have ever met and his 'after' Blenko work is remarkable. He has won many awards and I believe his work is under priced and will become highly collectible (meaning buy it now). As I write this, I am looking at a highly faceted multi color perfume bottle he created for me four years ago. Everyone who sees the bottle is fascinated. Each piece is different and John spends hours sanding and polishing each piece to perfection.

Joel Philip Myers, is know as the father of this movement, his Blenko pieces - most especially the JPM signed ones are sough after. Myers after Blenko work can be found in many high end galleries. Myers left Blenko and went on to develop the glass art department of a major university. He is the least accessible of the Blenko Designers.

Hank M. Adams was the Blenko designer who did all the Faces/ Heads that I collect. He is the only living Blenko Designer I haven't interviewed in person. Adams work after Blenko has won many awards. Adams teaches at the Wheaton Museum and continues to produce one of a kind glass sculptures. Admas is young and handsome - so after I meet him he may become my favorite designer.

Winslow Anderson was the first Blenko Glass designer - he went on to design for Lennox, retired and moved back to Milton. Many of Winslows' designs are still 'in the line' - being made today. All Anderson's designs are 'classic'. Winslow is now over 80 and one of the most 'witty', charming men - - I often find myself thinking of how handsome he must have been. Winlslow is probably my 'favorite' BLENKO designer. I am drawn to classic
pieces, I like simple form. Winslow's drawing and designs will never 'go out of fashion'.

Note: For more information about Blenko Designers - check out the BLENKO PROJECT,Blenko Museum, and Blenko Collectors Society web sites.

Valentine's Day - Shop BLENKO

In the Sunday Times - a writer moaned that all VALENTINE'S Day Gifts were either immoral, fattening, or threatening to the financial status of the giver. BLENKO GLASS is none of the above. For less than $50 you can buy a great V-Day Gift at Blenko.
When I was in grade school, each year I would go to Blenko for the crystal hearts, my teachers always seem to enjoy the gift of glass - the cost then was $6 now its $15 but still about the same price as a box of mid range chocolates. Red Glass, or a crystal heart, these items say: " I thought about the gift, I made an effort to buy quality and handcrafted." NOTE: RED GLASS and crystal hearts are available at the BLENKO VISITORS CENTER IN MILTON, W.Va.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Valentine's Day Gifts - Blenko of Course

Tim and Karin Alonzo of Texas created the X-mas Card below. . .yes, those are Blenko water bottles w/ handles. This week as a V-Day gift, a good friend framed the Xmas card for me. BLENKO GLASS shop at the Visitors Center, one of the Blenko dealers listed on their website or your local out door market. Warning: BLENKO LOVES BLENKO . . . .so you'll be back for more!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Valentine's Day Gifts - You Respond

Earlier today we got the wonderful photo of Blenko w/sterling silver bell from a Texas reader who shops at Dixie's. . . . now a photo of OSBURN MODERN GLASS located in Milton, W. Va. There is a website and phone number which I will find and post later. This photo is of the VALENTINE"S DAY COLLECT ON designed by Dave Osburn of Osburn Modern Glass - formerly the home of GIBSON GLASS. Dave Osburn was foreman of operations and glass blower/designer for Blenko for over 20 years before opening his open shop. We thank Tammy for this lovely photo.
Yet another wonderful sample of West Virginia Glass for Valentine's Day giving. hjh
Note: If you are sending FLOWERS ask your Florist for BLENKO GLASS containers. The cost is a bit more but the Blenko Glass is a forever gift.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Valentines Day Gift Ideas from DIXES TX

Only in TEXAS would they use a lovely BLENKO Water Bottle (Ebony) to showcase a unique hand made Sterling Silver ‘Love Bell’*.
Talk about your Great Valentine's Day Gifts - the Blenko Water Bottle (a classic) and this lovely necklace , the combination is sure to win the heart of any fair maiden. (Guys this is an excellent idea for those of you giving 'bling' -impress her with your creativity, present the 'bling' on BLENKO!).


First Blenko - You Respond

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Do you recall your 1st piece of Blenko Glass?": I had had a dream about finding an expensive piece of Blenko at a yard sale and was out on a nice summer day having a Harley ride in the beautiful Columbia Gorge in WA State when there were signs everywhere for the sales and my boyfriend asked me if we should stop, I said yes and at the very first yard sale was the most beautiful piece of Blenko I had ever seen(I had been researching it on the internet and on e-bay for some time)I hadn't seen that specific model but recognized it as a Joel Myers by the design and era that it looked to be from.I knew it had to be mine so I went to the cash machine and offered her forty dollars for it and took it home! It ended up being a rare Myers piece that was produced only one year- the 1965 Tangerine colored "Butterflies" decanter with stopper intact and is worth upwards to a thousand dollars or more to the right collector! I had a heart attack when I had found out about its rarety and that my dream had come true....it was especially valuable to me as I had recently lost my fiance (and childs father)to cancer and had had my beach cabin where we had lived together trying to renovate burglarized shortly after he passed and had no possessions left to my name including my glass collection(just old italian bottles and such)so Blenko has been a dream come true and has been therapy for me....My next dream is to demolish the cabin and build a new one in its place and let the patients and their families from the Seattle area cancer hospitals use it as a respite from the hospital and to take patients who are well enough on beach vacations.I might sell the collection if it meant achieving this dream!I now have over twenty pieces of Tangerine Blenko and no longer feel possessionless and are focusing on "the cabin project" and will post a picture of my collection to share my joy of Blenko!And hopefully will be posting youtube videos to keep all of my benefactors up on the progress of the cabin for cancer patients..... Publish this comment. Reject this comment. Moderate comments for this blog. Thank you - we'd love to post photos of your Blenko. HJH


Its time to be ordering the V-Day flowers, ask your FLORIST to make the container BLENKO GLASS - most everyone who belongs to FTD and all WVa Florist have access to Blenko Glass. . .it will cost just a bit more and while the roses or cut flowers will last a week or so . . .the Blenko Glass is a lifetime gift. hjh