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.

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


westvirginiajanis said...


Can you clarify the process for getting the collector's piece?

1. Can I join the Blenko Collector's Society (BCS) now or is it too late for this year to still be guaranteed a piece?

2 Can BCS members get their piece mailed out or do they still have to stand in line?

3. Can all attend on Aug 23 weekend regardless of BCS status?

4. What benefits will the BCS members receive on the Aug. 23 weekend?

5. What is the easiest (secure) way to join?

6. How is the BCS money used? Is it non profit?

7. If we have pieces that need to be identified, will someone be available to do so during the BCS gathering in August?

After reading your blog for over a year now, I'm ready to join the BCS. Please forgive if you've answered the above questions earlier.

Thanks for all you do for us and for BLENKO.

West Virginia Janis

Tim said...

To answer your questions:
1. We will be signing up new members at the gathering on Friday and Saturday.

2. The piece for the celebration is a Blenko piece available for everyone. Collectors and the general public who are among the 150 people will be allowed to purchase the exclusive piece. Those who didn't or cannot attend will have their opportunity to purchase #151-300 on August 25th.

3. We are actively encouraging members and non-members alike to attend this gathering just to see the kind of events we have and recruit new members.

4. This weekend is different than most. BCS members usually get coupons for the VC and they will get discounts for most of the glass classes. Also members will be allowed to purchase special Bayliss Design Team pieces.

5. The easist way to join right now is to join us at the factory and sign up there. Soon we hope to have an online payment system or the good old fashion "mail your check in".

6. The BCS is a 5013c non-profit organization registered in the state of West Virginia.

7. Absolutely we will have several experts on hand throughout the weekend helping folks ID pieces. There will also be a great vintage Blenko sale Saturday. You don't want to miss the goodies.

Hillary J Homburg said...

West Virginia Janis
Do you guys mind if I publish your question and answers on a regular post - I think a lot of people have the same questions?

Tim said...

By all means. If you think some needs our contact info please pass it along.


Anonymous said...

8 am post
glad to see you are sleeping in
is this a break time for you?

Anonymous said...

Who is the most talented person
currently at Blenko Glass?

sweetdoc said...

If Les Womack is an exam of the older men you are suppose to
be liking
I can certainly understand the liking older men.
You would also like my father
he is still strong and talented and hard working and a talker
and all the Intelligent young Female Interns / Residents like to hear him tell them about life in the 60s and he loves it.
I am certain Shorty and Les do also. The circle of life is an interesting one. I learned to fullyappreciate my Dad only by watching these girls l/2 my age.

Anonymous said...

R those new glasses w/ diamonds

Hillary J Homburg said...

Well Sweetdoc Mr. Les Womack isn't really one of the OLD Retired men, he's really a Younger retired. Shorty, & Charlie are definitely late 70s early 80s but Mr. Womack is (Im guessing) early 60s.
however, he certainly is talented, and he is charming, and charismatic as is his wife and daughter.

lewisdvdphd said...

We bought 6 snowmen for the office last year. Three of them disappeared from the display, an
angel helped him or herself. Nice to learn they yearly make this item.