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
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
"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!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
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”
Saturday, July 26, 2008
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:
Friday, July 25, 2008
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.
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
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
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
Note: IF you send anything to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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.
Abby Moran Robinson
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.
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
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
1pm to 4pm DALLE CHIPPING CLASS (20 per class)*
All Day JEWELERY FUSING Demonstrations*
All Day GLASS BEAD Making Demonstrations*
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
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
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
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.
Blenko Glass Company, Inc.
304.743.9081 ext. 20