Title

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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

2 Weeks Off - Its A Break?


This is the end of my first week off - I've spent 5 hours each morning at the CAMC -WVU Library doing a Kaplan Prep for my National Boards.

Exciting Time! I'll continue this course of action for another week - then run down to the Carolina's for 5 days before heading back to Mtown and the Dental School Clinic. Next week I expect to get down to Blenko for photos and information gathering, if you have questions that you want answered send the email quickly theblenkoproject@aol.com otherwise you'll have to be patient with me while I'm in clinic.
Note: The WVU items are currently available and in stock at the VC (304 743 9081)

Honesty


" It is not the oath that
makes us believe the man,
but the man the oath." Aeschylus

Last evening while playing board games and talking about life with a large group of friends , my thoughts turned to glass - I thought of HUNT STUDIO in Pittsburgh, Pa. ,http://www.huntsstainglass.com/. , Blenko Glass, Milton, WV http://www.blenkoglass.com/ Franklin Art Glass in Columbus, Ohio http://www.franklinartglass.com/ . As a young child I started making regular trips to Blenko and Franklin Art Glass. The men at these companies always speak the truth, I knew this as a child, and as an adult I now realize how unique in the business world it is to have a
business that is so honest and truthful in its public dealings. Hunt Studios I didn't know until recently, however, one has only to step inside the door and you know this is a place where
people know about 'living truthfully'.
We all grew up hearing " let your conduct be marked by truthfulness in word, deed and thought." As I age I realize that honesty is a glue that holds society as we know it together.
Note: These cobalt blue items and many others are available for purchase at the BLENKO GLASS VISITORS CENTER MILTON,WVa.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blenko Glass in August issue of Southern Living!


This August's issue of Southern Living magazine describes the new Blenko Line as 'stylish shapes and bright hues' in their "Get Inspired - To Collect" section - and we can't argue! Visit http://www.blenkoglass.com/ or visit the Visitors Center in Milton to watch the craftsmen at work and tour the museum upstairs (and of course, buy some glass to take home!).

Reader ask: Photo of Angel


Roxie wanted to see the Angels. I'm in Charleston and this is the only one I have here - it doesn't photograph well. Les makes Angels and Snowmen and most anything that was ever in the Blenko line.
Les Womack will be working on August 23rd I don't know that he will be making Angels on the 23rd Roxie - but here is a photo of the Angels and Snowman. hjh

Monday, July 28, 2008

Artist Statement for Celebration Vase


Here is the artist statement for the Blenko Celebration Vase
"Mistral" in Seabreeze
First piece in the Blenko Celebration Series

Mistral-inspired by a new color and a wind that blows in the Mediterranean.

The new shape and rippling optic surface was designed by Arlon Bayliss as the first piece in the new "Blenko Celebration Series". This piece will be introduced during the "Festival of Glass" on August 23, 2008.

The artist says:
"I wanted to create a piece that was just perfect for the new color, "Seabreeze". The surface undulates with ripples like the surface of water in the wind, and the multiple curves of the shape capture light and intensify this amazing color. The lively form is also reminiscent of Mediterranean and near Eastern vessels." hjh Being home - is such fun! Posting not in the early am. I promise to get a photo of the entire Bayliss Team for the next article about this Design Team. If you don't plan to be at BLENKO on the 23rd DO PLAN TO ORDER THIS ONE IMMEDIATELY - and Look for the series. This is one Collection you'll want to own. IF you aren't a BLENKO COLLECTOR - Start Now with a Bayliss Team Design!

Blenko - Festival of Glass - August


A Graphic Artist drawing of the Festival of Glass - the REAL McCoy will be available to photograph early next week - it will be so very beautiful, but BLENKO wanted to give you some idea of the shape, and size its 20 inches. Tim from Texas described it as a floor vase.
We'll post a large photo as soon as one become available. The GLASS will be available to purchase ON LINE the MONDAY AFTER the Festival of GLASS.
My understanding - based on conversations with Christy at Blenko and Katie is 150 (the first 150) will be sold first come basis - much like the BLENKO WV Birthday - you go early stand in line - get a number and purchase your vase with the card you obtain - one card per person only. The next 150 will be sold BY PHONE or EMAIL on MONDAY first come basis then the MOLD will be destroyed. IF THIS ISN'T correct - please someone - correct the statement.
The cost is $150 I think - but I'm not sure about this. I'll check and get back, it seems not enough now that I'm seeing the vase. hjh

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blenko The People - Jeanne Margaret Deakin Blenko

Todays Post is Written by:
Richard Deakin Blenko - CEO of BLENKO GLASS
4th Generation Blenko
Blenko Glass Milton, W.Va.

Jeanne Margaret Deakin, wife of William Blenko Jr and mother of Richard Deakin Blenko, was born in May 1921, one of five children in Oadby England. Her parents were Cyril Reginald Deakin and Lilian Staines. She joined the RAF royal air force during WWII and met William Blenko when he served in the Army Air Force overseas. . They were married in 1946; their first son was William Blenko III, who died several years ago and Richard in 1953. The young Bill and Jeanne lived in Milton with William and Marion Blenko Sr a year before having their own home. Jeanne waited until both boys were old enough and then went back to college graduating with honors from Marshall University, eventually earning several additional degrees. She was 5' tall and had blue eyes and brown hair; when driving her Lincoln Continental, you could hardly see her over the wheel. While small in stature, she was known as a humanitarian . Jeanne Blenko was
talented in interior design and a natural artist, and was a tireless entertainer and promoter for Blenko Glass. She hosted for over 20 years the annual sales dinners at the Blenko residence and was the ultimate social host for all visiting dignitaries associated with the Blenko business. She was a master seamstress and could make anything. When the Visitor Center was being built in 1966, she chose all the furniture used in the building as well as office decor in the office. Making and maintaining professional associations is very important to any successful operation and Jeanne Blenko was a consummate host as well as having long and intimate friendships with all customers and sales force. When you worked for and with Blenko, it was not a job but a life long friendship with the Blenko family, Jeanne was the best. A loving mother, champion of the poor and bringing a clear vision of personal relationships with the Blenko operation. Coming from a European culture and from a nearby large city in England, she would often joke, that my great grandfather could have opened a business in Washington Pa, a metropolitan area or the rural country of Milton, she said "She would kill him if she had the chance!" (he died in 1933)In spite of this foreign WV culture, she loved the people the area and was proud of Blenko's long history and there was a great friendship with William Blenko Sr. My mother was a remarkable woman and few like her come along in life. I am privileged to have been her son and to have given me an English heritage She died after a short illness in 1984 at age 62. “A Mother holds her children's hands for a while...their hearts forever”
Richard Blenko

Saturday, July 26, 2008

WV HotDog Festival in Huntington, WV


July 26th, was the 3rd annual WV HotDog Festival in Huntington, WV. The HotDog fest featured live music, vendors and a car show! Through a partnership with Cabell-Huntington Hospital, all proceeds from the WV Hot Dog Festival benefit the childrens' cancer unit at the Edwards' Comprehensive Cancer Center. We wondered upon the HotDog fest accidentally this year, but will mark our calanders for last Saturday in July next year!

Below are some photos from the car show:


1995 Firebird owned by Gary Hackworch, Russel KY

2000 Dodge Viper


1939 Dodge





Friday, July 25, 2008

Les Womack - Blenko Glass Festival Aug 23

Note: Posting this on Saturday - Blogger dates are incorrect.




Les Womack one of the most creative and talented craftsmen to work at Blenko will be returning on August 23 for demonstrations in the am. This is a part of the BLENKO GLASS FESTIVAL. August 23rd is my Birthday! WOW! Blenko - Glass and Les Womack Creating Wonderful Blenko What a way to spend the day!

Les Womack retired from Blenko as Foreman, he often returns during the Christmas season to make special items 'angels, snowmen - You might want to ask if Blenko will be selling any of the items Les makes, and if they are - well-its a chance of a lifetime to own a Les Womack creation - each year I try to add to my Womack/ Blenko Angel Collection.
Its my understanding you will be able to observe Mr. Womack working on the 23rd, there is a possiblity Shorty Finley will be there - Shorty recently had a pacemaker installed so I don't expect to see him blowing glass - but who knows - Shorty is 80+ and I'm certain he'll do what he wants to do and feels like doing.
When you are there and observing the Glass making - watch the silent language between glassteam - the craftsmen. I always think of symphony music (probably from my youth symphony trombone playing background) they move (the glass team) without speaking in a pattern, they make accomodations for any extra glass movement. Take your time and quietly observe their interactions. There is no jealousy they work together as a team with the goal being to produce a perfect product - - and they succeed.

The product is of course your BLENKO.

note:If you have children or grandchildren let me recommend that you take them to BLENKO GLASS, if you can during the Festival - this is a wonderful time to go, as there will be food, classes (you must be over 12 and pre register) and a number of other things to do. However, any day is a great day for young people at BLENKO the children love to watch glass being made, and the BLENKO Craftsmen love to be watched. Randy Rider, Powers, Perry Bays, even Doc the maintainence guy loves to explain glass making to children. The questions they'll have after watching are numerous, it will enhance their love of color, and perhaps make them even more proud to be West Virginians. hjh





Blenko In The Yard?











Gardening and Landscaping Shows are now Number One in ratings, in magazines and TV Shows. The ratings of these shows are increasing and the number of shows are also increasing. It seems everyone even the gas stations are 'into' landscaping.
Perhaps because I grew up with parents who love to garden, I've always grown something, tomatoes on the balcony of my first apartment and now cucumbers mixed in with the flowers in my little Morgantown place.
Many people use BLENKO Glass in their yard - to decorate with, for bird feeders, in place of pavers, in place of stepping stones they have BLENKO!
I'm posting photos of some local yards with BLENKO GLASS - so perhaps you'll be inspired to
pick up an exta piece of BLENKO to use as a bird feeder, or just to add color to your yard. hjh

Blenko Glass Festival - FESTIVAL GLASS VASE




The PHOTO of the Festival Glass Vase will be available next week!


The vase is in Seabreeze which is a green - a lovely light green, hence the name sea breeze.
It is 20inches and had the Bayliss Design Team burning the midnight oil. I can't wait to
purchase this vase. ONLY $150 and it will be signed and limited number- the mold will be destroyed immediately after.

Blenko Glass has stated they will have porta potty available if you decide to come early and spend the night to be in line for purchasing this vase. Only a WV owned Family Based Manufacturer could so quickly respond to your complaints of no available rest rooms during the wait to purchase WV Birthday Vase. BLENKO GLASS THE PLACE IS AMAZING - the Employees of BLENKO are treated like family, they treat the customers like family. Its a wonderful experience.

If you don't shop at Blenko Visitors Center. Start now.
Blenko Visitors Center is OPEN every day check http://www.blenkoglass.com/ for hours of operation and time the observation deck is open. You'll want to observe the men making your glass. hjh
Note: Photo of Bayliss (Bayliss Design Team)
Note: Photo of Vintage Blenko - ' Cat' * blogger has mind of its own I'm trying to delete this.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

WANTED! Your Glass Collection


The Blenko Project www.blenkoproject.org will be adding 3 new collections to the website in August. We are looking for unique GLASS COLLECTIONS - West Virginia Glass Collections - if you have a glass collection, and you are willing to share your photos and your story please contact us at theblenkoproject@aol.com .

The Blenko Project continues to add 'retired BLENKO and WV GLASS WORKERS to the Featured Craftsmen Bar - if you are a retired glass workers - you have photos of your work (or your family member was the glass worker and you have photos) and you want to share your story and your photos - please email theblenkoproject@aol.com , we want to preserve the rich glass making history of this area.
Thank you. hjh
Note:If you have questions email Hillary at theblenkoproject@aol.com .
Photo of Shorty Finley retired craftsman - demonstrating at a BLENKO GLASS FESTIVAL

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK!

I'm having trouble with the computer,
blogger seems to publish post out of order and at will? In reality I'm
certain "I "am the problem. BUT until I discover what I'm doing
incorrectly. Please accept my apology. The wonderful photos of
Harry Thompson Glass will be republished when error is discovered and
corrected.
Note: IF you send anything to theblenkoproject@aol.com and you
don't get a reply from me within 36 hours. I did not receive the item.
Either send it again, or contact me on the blog for instructions on how
best to send. hjh
Note: If you see mistakes in the blog please let me know so I can make correction.

Harry Thompson - more items made by Harry Thompson

These items made by HARRY THOMPSON are now in the personal collection of Larry Thompson and family in Indiana.



















































Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blenko Made In the USA

Note: BLENKO is the only Glass Company on this list currently operating.

Some time ago - March 2007 I wrote about WV Glass Company that were no longer in business. Used an article that a Blog Reader sent to me. Stated it made me very sad to know these wonderful plants were gone, and there was no recorded history of the workers and perhaps little documentation of their wares.

Well, I was WRONG! The following is a note from a reader who is attempting to preserve the history of glassmaking in West Virginia, she has an award winning website which I will give you a link to - I spent 2 hours just drooling at the number of photos and the wealth of information. This is one terrific site . Visit the site immediately then bookmark.

Her son is her webmaster, the website is a gift of love. http://www.memories-in-glass.com/

Hi Hillary,
I ran into you article and think it’s great. I wonder if you have any information about the predecessor of the A. F. Bischoff Company, which the blog of March9, 2007 says was founded in 1922.
I know this is a common belief, but A. F. was my uncle Anthony, and while he did indeed found the above mentioned company, I believe in 1922, my grandfather B.F. Bischoff, moved the original Bischoff Glass Company to west Huntington, WV. It was variously called B.F. Bischoff Glass, B.F. Bischoff and Son, and B.F. Bischoff and Sons Glass and/or Glass Company.
After a fire, the glass plant moved to Culloden, WV and after the death of my grandfather, it was run by his 3 sons- Anthony, Bernard, and William. Uncle Anthony was the business head, Uncle Bill was the mold maker and Uncle Bernie was the chief gaffer. After Bill retired and Bernie died, Anthony bought out the heirs and started the A.F. Bischoff Company, which, as you report, was eventually sold to Lancaster Colony, then to Sloan, and finally closed.
I think it is important to realize the A. F. Bischoff glass factory, like so many of the glass plants in WV were part of a continuing tradition. B.F. Bischoff Started in Pittsburg, Pa and had glass factories in Marion, In, as well as Steubenville, Ohio before coming to Huntington, and hence to Culloden. May people like you keep our memories alive that long before the west coast was civilized, we West Virginians were blowing glass.
Sincerely,
Abby Moran Robinson

AMERICAN VENDORS

• B L E N K O An American company based in Milton, West Virginia; founded in 1921 (after three attempts and failed companies) by William John Blenko. The company was named Eureka Art Glass Company specializing in colored stained glass. In the late twenties and thirties the company changed names and Blenko started making decorative tableware. In 1946 Winslow Anderson was hired as the first design director and elevated the level of artistic achievement. 1952 Wayne Husted came on board as the second design director and introduces oversized stoppered bottles and other fifties icons. 1963 Joel Myers begins as design director. These first three designers were the beginning of a Blenko tradition that is still alive today. Subsequent designers have been and are; John Nickerson, Don Shepherd, Hank Adams, Chris Gibbons & Matthew Carter. Blenko is still doing business out of Milton, West Virginia.Blenko colors include: Amethyst, Antique Green, Aqua, Azure, Charcoal, Chestnut, Cobalt, Crystal, Desert Green, Ebony, Emerald, Grass, Honey, Jonquil, Kiwi, Pine, Plum, Rose, Ruby, Sapphire, Sea Green, Sky Blue, Surf Green, Tangerine (amberina), Teal, Topaz, Turquoise, Violet and Wheat.
• B I S C H O F FA.F. Bischoff Glass Company was founded by A.F. Bischoff in Huntington, West Virginia in 1922. The company moved to Hurricane, West Virginia and again to Culloden, West Virginia where it produced glass from 1942-1963. Bischoff made items very similar to those of other West Virginia companies. In addition to using some unusual, even bizarre, original; shapes, Bischoff copied designs from leaders like Blenko. Lancaster Colony, of Columbus, Ohio, purchased Bischoff in 1963, keeping the Bischoff name and molds. (Blenko’s fifties designer Wayne Husted, joined Lancaster in that year to head its design and production department.) The following year, 1964, Sloan Glass bought Bischoff, and Sloan closed in 1996.Bischoff colors include: Amberina, Amethyst, Charcoal, Copperette, Crystal, Emerald Green, Gold, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Peacock Blue, Poinsettia Red and Wisteria.

• E R I C K S O N G L A S S W O R K S Carl Erickson was a Swedish-born glass artist who brought the spirit of Swedish design to his Bremen, Ohio Factory. This defunct glass factory was purchased by brothers Carl and Steven Erickson in 1943. Carl designed most of the mold-blown glass, distinguished by heavy casing, controlled bubbles, and frequently, a heavy ball of glass for a base. They were identified by a yellow and blue paper label, and free-formed pieces had an engraved signature. The company closed in 1961
.• H A M O N Robert Hamon founded Hamon Glass in 1932 in Scott Depot, West Virginia, where it continues operating today. The company produced crackle glass from the late 1940’s until the mid-1970’s. In 1966 Hamon merged with Kanawha Glass Co. and, although the production was separate, Hamon items were included in the Kanawha catalog. Features which help identify a piece of Hamon include the handles will have a ridge across the end on most Hamon crackle pieces. Like Pilgrim’s style of crackle, the Hamon finish is extremely fine. This easily identifiable finish is also called “onion crackle” or “Swedish crackle.”Hamon colors include: Amber, Amberina, Amethyst, Blue, Crystal, Green, Ruby and Smoke.

• K A N A W H A When Dunbar Glass Company in Dunbar, West Virginia closed in 1953, production head D. P. Merritt and others joined to form the Kanawha Glass Specialties Company. Named after nearby river, The Kanawha, the company opened in 1955 and made blown crystal in addition to cutting and decorating purchased glass. In 1957 they changed the name to Kanawha Glass Company. By 1960 they began production of the colorful decorative wares that have become so familiar, especially crackle glass. Soon Kanawha was making 350 production items in seven colors. In 1969 Kanawha purchased Hamon Handcrafted Glass in Scott, Depot, West Virginia. The Hamon Crackle Glass that was added to the Kanawha line retained its identity, which explains why Kanawha catalogs often show two different types of glass-molded and hand-blown. Production continued until 1987, when Kanawha was sold to Raymond Dereume Glass Inc. in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This lasted for only two years, closing in 1989.Kanawha colors include: Amber, Amberina, Amethyst, Authentic Cranberry, Blue, Cranberry, Crystal, Green, Ruby and Yellow.

• M O R G A N T O W N The Morgantown Glass Factory (1899-1971) operated under several names-The Morgantown Glass Works, Economy Glass Company, and Morgantown Glassware Guild. Under the leadership of Joseph Haden and his sons J. Richard and Samuel, Morgantown produced high quality handmade traditional “Depression Era” glass and several Art Deco stemware designs until the 1950’s and 1960’s brought a new emphasis to the company. J. Richard Haden, the last vice president, introduced the D├ęcor Line of glassware in modern, often angular, shapes and vibrant colors. But their most typical fifties items were the freeform vases and bowls designed by Steve Britvec in the 1960’s.

P I L G R I M The Pilgrim Glass Corporation in Ceredo, West Virginia was founded by in 1949 by Alfred E. Knobler. He purchased Tri-State Glass of Huntington, West Virginia and then land in Ceredo (near Huntington) and built the Pilgrim facility, which opened in 1956. From the beginning they specialized in free blown crackle glass in vivid colors. Like other producers of crackle glass, Pilgrim made large quantities of it in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Generally they used colored handles in the 1950’s and crystal handles in the 1960’s. Some items can be identifies as Pilgrim by a mark impressed in the center of the base-either a group of little dots (“strawberry marks”) or a group of wavy lines (“water waves”) Like other companies in the area Pilgrim made a range of decorative objects in both crackled and plain colored glass. Two brothers Alessandro and Roberto Moretti introduced Murano style to Pilgrim in the 1950’s. Their introduction of glass animals, figurines, and other Venetian style items gave Pilgrim another desirable line. Pilgrim colors include: Amber, Amethyst, Blue, Crystal, Emerald Green, Lemon-Lime, Olive Green, Ruby, Sea Green, Sky Blue, Smoke Crystal, Tangerine and Topaz

.R A I N B O W The Rainbow Art Company was founded in 1942 in Huntington, West Virginia by Joseph Goudeket and Henry Manus. Originally a glass decorating business, the Rainbow Art Co. turned to producing its own hand blown glass in 1954, and it became the Rainbow Art Glass Company. Like other neighboring companies, they produced blown glass in vivid colors, often with a crackle finish. Rainbow made crackle through the 1970’s, which was later than most competitors. In 1973 they were purchased by Viking and continued to make crackle glass until 1970. The Rainbow factory burned down in 1983, and all operations ceased.Rainbow colors include: Amber, Amberina, Amethyst, Blue, Crystal, Golden Amber, New Turquoise, Olive Green, Orange/Amberina, Pink, Ruby, Smoke, and Tangerine

.V I K I N G Based in New Martinsville, West Virginia, the Viking Glass Company emerged from the New Martinsville Glass Company in 1941. They were known for manufacturing hand-made, quality glassware of the Swedish type. Viking was predominately a pressed glass factory. In the fifties Viking introduced colored glass to compliment their crystal lines. Over time a number of people created designs for Viking; Dick Schnacke, Gail Docktor, and Bill Prindle. In the late 1950’s Billy Reinbeau arrived at Viking and developed the “spun mold.” This was an important development at the time and remained so until the factory’s closing in the 1990’s. A spun mold used centrifugal force to raise hot glass up into the sides of a moving mold. The results were abstract and very graceful fluid forms. Color complements form and design. It was critical to Viking’s successes. Kenneth Dalzell, former head of the Fostoria Glass Co., re-opened Viking as Dalzell-Viking in 1987, but it finally closed in 1998.Viking colors include: Amber, Amberina, Avocado Green, Amethyst, Bluenique, Crystal, Honey, Lime Green, Persimmon, Thistle, and Ruby.

I Heart BLENKO


We've been doing this blog for close to 3 years - the time has quickly passed - my (DDS) Dental School Program will end in May 09. I realize some of you are new readers, new to collecting, just learning about West Virginia Glass and I welcome you. Should you have questions or comments about the Blog

that you don't want to make on the open forum/ public you may email theblenkoproject@aol.com . I will respond within 3 days. No questions is insignificant or dumb, Please don't hesitate to ask or comment.

Today I'm re running with a couple minor changes the initial BLOG Post we ran in 2006.

To remind us the the Blog focus is BLENKO and West Virginia Glass.

To advocate for buying made in West Virginia or USA, to educate and inform, and give voice to the craftsmen who made this beautiful glass. Public awareness of the multiple talented individuals needed to produce each piece - we feel adds to the value.

Thank you for for reading, for remaining loyal, for buying BLENKO and WV GLASS and for your comments.

Also THANKS to Blenko Collectors, Richard Blenko, & Blenko Staff for rapidly responding always when I seek answers to your questions. As I often say, "I don't know" but I don't mind asking, and Richard, or Mr. Bill Blenko, Tim, Karin, Steve, Dreama, Terri, Tammy, Damon and a number of other collectors will know - or together we'll continue to search for the answer. I am NOT a Fine Arts Major or an expert in anything - I'm a dental student, who just happens to cherish her state and the art of glass making. My time is limited, if you note the time I write its very early am. I will often post comments between clinic patients in an attempt to keep the blog fresh for you. from 2006 with minor date changes..

This blog will focus on the Blenko Glass Company located in Milton, West Virginia. Twice weekly I'll post on Blenko and WV Glass topics, once a month the post will feature an employee or designer from the present or past. Biweekly I'll post photos of individual Blenko made items, and items that are currently available from Blenko. We will offer some background information on the piece and perhaps the steps/ process used to make the item.

I am NOT a fine arts major, a glass expert or an English/Journalism major. I don't have all the glass answers. I am inquisitive, don't mind asking people for answers - I believe in lifelong learning.

This blog will I hope be a place where we can learn together.

If you have been to the Blenko Factory, or are a retired or former glass worker or just have photos of unusual Blenko and / or Blenko stories to share - this is the place - I'd love to see/hear them.

For the last 2 years(its now 4 l/2) I have spent all my free time traveling to meet former Blenko and other glass workers and designers.

I want to learn more about Blenko and W. Va. made glass, to have you share your knowledge with me, and to perhaps inspire a few newbies to become inquisitive about WV Glass and collecting. Most of all . . . I want YOU to THINK before buy glass...who made the glass. The number of glass factories in the US has declined by almost 72% in the last 15 years.

Together we can stop this trend.

Be an advocate for MADE IN USA, Made in WVa, .Blenko Glass Factory is located in Milton, W.Va., less than 20 minutes from Huntington, W. Va.

If you haven't been to BLENKO GLASS plan a trip before school starts - if you have been, load up the car and return - the grounds have never been more beautiful and the inside is full of the most dynamic glass you'll find in the USA.

Glass Festival August 21-23 Agenda

Note: Katie Garrison Marketing Director / Blenko hasn't gotten back to me with permission to print this, but I'm going to anyway - since I know you all are very anxious. This may change, and WHEN I know about changes, I'll immediately (or right after clinic) make the changes. You might also check http://www.blenkoglass.com/ to see if anything is on their website.

FESTIVAL OF GLASS
8-22-08 thru 8-23-08
BLENKO CELEBRATION PIECE $150.00
Limited Edition Quantity 300
Enrolled Collector’s will be offered a discounted price on the classes. 150 of the Blenko Celebration Piece will be available for purchase on Saturday the 23rd at the Visitor’s Center. 150 will be sold over the phone and internet prior to Saturday; however the lowest numbers (1-150) will be allocated to the Visitor’s Center. This piece will be available on a first come first serve basis at the VC. The pieces will also be numbered and the mold will be struck after all 300 have been made. A special paperweight will also be available to collectors at the visitor’s center.


Time Detail
8-3 Observation Deck OPEN Factory Tour
8am to 9am CASTING CLASS (10 per class)*
9 to 10am Blenko Collector’s Meeting at the VFW
Building
Remainder of the Day Classes or Demonstrations or enjoy the shopping
and dining in the area
10 to 11 am MENDY CLASS 4” Rondels (20 per Class)*
11 to 12 am GLASS MOBILE CLASS (15 per class)*
12 to 1pm Hot Dogs and Snacks Served in the VFW
Building
1pm to 4pm DALLE CHIPPING CLASS (20 per class)*
All Day JEWELERY FUSING Demonstrations*
All Day GLASS BEAD Making Demonstrations*
8-23
Time Detail
9-12 Observation Deck OPEN
9-12 VINTAGE GLASS SALE at the VFW Building
10 am to 11 am GLASS MOBILE CLASS (15 per class)*
11: 30 to 12am MENDY FINAL PRODUCT*
2pm to 3pm CASTING CLASS (10 per class)*
All Day JEWELERY FUSING Demonstrations
All Day GLASS BEAD Making Demonstrations
2pm to 4pm Collectors Party – Everyone is Welcome
* Class Fees for members will be discounted
 Collector’s Special Access to Blenko- BDT designed Pieces
 Food- Vendors Lions Club, Lemonade Stand, Funnel Cake
 The DAWG promotional stand
This event is starting to shape up and we appreciate all of your help!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Glass Festival August 21 -23 Milton, West Virginia.

Blenko Glass Milton, West Virginia 304 743 9081 August 21 -23. BLENKO GLASS will host a GLASS FESTIVAL. If you are a COLLECTOR of West Virginia or BLENKO Glass this is a must do. If you aren't a collector of Blenko or West Virginia Glass this is a time you should come to Milton, see the people who make the glass, get a 'feel' for the company, the quality of glass, and enjoy this well planned 8/21-23 time.Because so many of you ask. We contacted Richard Blenko, CEO of Blenko Glass and he was kind enough to give us a brief overview of the plans. The date is finalized, many classes and other activities will continue to be added.Mr. Blenko said:"we are considering a paperweight class,jewelry making; casting class, dalle de verre and glass blowing."Mark your calendars - and plan to drive down/up to Milton for this event. Questions? Email theblenkoproject@aol.com or phone Blenko Glass 304 743 9081.

NOTE: If you SELL GLASS - West Virginia or BLENKO GLASS and want to purchase a table for the day during this GLASS FESTIVAL you will need to contact Karin Alonzo. This would be a great opportunity if you sell glass to get to know new customers, and learn first hand what 'collectors' are looking for. If you are interested let me know and I will ask Karin to write a short message for the blog or else acquire her permission to post a number - otherwise send your contact info or note to: THEBLENKOPROJECT@aol.com and I'll forward to Karin, she'll get back to you within 24 hours.
Note: #2 - Many of you have written to ask for photos of the FESTIVAL GLASS PIECE that will be sold as a limited number (300) item. I wrote to BLENKO GLASS to ask for a photo. Katie Garrisons' (the marketing director) response was: "We have the piece but it has not been produced in the correct color yet. As soon as we get the pictures of the piece we will get it to you. For now it will be a teaser." So I guess you are suppose to be waiting with baited breath for the photo - also saving your $$ for the trip to Milton, and keeping back extra dollars to purchase this item and the other ones that will for sale during this special event. WHEN I get information, I will immediately post it. BLENKO is always a good investment and this new design team consistently comes up with dynamic new designs. As soon as this one is available phone them with your charge card number.
Thanks for reading - and for planning to attend THE GLASS FESTIVAL! hjh





Readers Sharks Tooth Question- Answer.

See July 15th post on SHARK TEETH for sale at BLENKO GLASS
Brett,
This does in deed answer the question. We'll post it here & if there are others - we'll get back to you. Thank you for the rapid response. hjh
Hillary,
The glass sharks teeth are being produced for a gentleman named Jerry Hovanec (Hovanec Handblown Glassworks) in Maryland. The teeth are for the Calvert County Dept. of Tourism. The tooth is an actual cast of a Megallodon Sharks tooth found in Calvert County, MD. This is a proprietary design for Jerry that we have permission to make and sell as long as we pay him a small commission.
Hope this helps.
Brent Aikman
Blenko Glass Company, Inc.
304.743.9081 ext. 20

Blenko Glass Collections - The Specht Family

In August the Blenko Project will add several new Collections - As Blog Readers you are getting a preview.
Blenko Glass Collections
The Specht Family - Vashti, TX

From left to right: Kayla, Debbie, and Bruce with Katie sitting on the floor

"Two goals that I set for our collection was to complete a set of '36-37 "Cobweb" vases and a complete set of Gump's decanters. The first we met this spring (2008), and just in time for an exhibit of part of our collection at the Kemp Center for the Arts in Wichita Falls, Texas. Several of the pictures are related to that exhibit, or were made in preparation of a catalog of the pieces that were on loan. I am sure that with a little luck and time we will eventually be able to complete the Gump's collection as well.

"Our collection spans almost every year of Blenko's production, and rightly so, since it all reflects the beauty and craftsmanship distinctly Blenko." - Bruce Specht