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, August 31, 2008


I received an email saying there are a 'few' of these at BLENKO. IF you haven't bought a Festival Of Glass Vase, do so now.
Order on line - or better yet - PHONE 304 743 9081 ask Diane or Rodney to ship your vase.
This is the first in a new series. You'll want to start NOW - the price on the secondary market increases rapidly.
Had an email last week saying #6, &*9 of the WVa Birthday COLLECTION had been offered for sale and the price was double the original price.
Its much better to stand in line, you have wonderful photos, great memories and an attachment to the vase.
My family has collected the Birthday Series for over 25 years. Each year you'll find them standing in line - meeting up with old friends who also come yearly.
I imagine the Festival of Glass will soon have such a following - Its a beautiful item! hjh
Note:#1 Bayliss Design Team is creating totally new designs you must check out the Visitors Center weekly.
Note: If you hear they are sold out of Festival of Glass Vase- let us know.

West Virginia University Wins 1st Game of Season!

Note: Michigan University - Lost 1st Game of Season.
I'm vacationing in North Carolina will return late Monday night.
Thank you for supporting BLENKO!
If you haven't bought the BLENKO GLASS Items with TEAM LOGO
make that call today!
Many 'new' teams have been added - except for Sol and Lewis' Ohio State University I believe they have most of 'our' teams covered.
Someone wrote yesterday to say Case Western wasn't included. I'm thinking get someone from your School to phone BLENKO and make it happen!
BLENKO GLASS and FOOTBALL what a great combination! hjh

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Can you Identify This Glass?

Does anybody know if BLENKO ever made vessels with copper enameling on them?In the item in the photo, the rondels are enameled copper, held on by (what I call) raspberries.The lip is pulled, slightly. The bottom has a pontil. The piece has the soft feel of Blenko.I bought the piece because I find it charming, but know nothing about it.Car Lady will be proud of me.............. it is not orange or green!!!!!!!!!!!WV Janis

Friday, August 29, 2008

Festival of Glass Photos!

Larry labeled the photos: KEITH Mof Blenko, Dead Mold, Kristin and Hillary, Color Chart, RUBY!

These photos are from Larry of Texas - You've heard me often say if you buy Vintage BLENKO from a Blenko Society member you will be certain the item is
Blenko and you'll get a lesson on the item. Later we hope to get photos of Larry's Shop and do a post about the shop. Barry and Terri who own Blenko Gallery another fine shop for vintage Blenko were also at the Festival of Glass. Locally, I like Purple Moon in Charleston for vintage Blenko.
Hillary; A few more photos from the Blenko Celebration. Texas. Larry the TX photographer learns to Blow Glass. Free form tall vase by Larry the TX photographer. Hillary being watched by Blenko employee Tristin. Blenko employee Randy Rider assists Blenko Collector with blown vase, Photo of Color samples in Antique Dept. Keith M preparing to blow a water bottle. A new never used Blenko Mould and a burned out cracked mould. The website for my store is www.serenityantiques.com. Will send pics of shop when I get back to TX. Thank for all of your work. Larry

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Help Us Identify This Glass!

Help Us Identify This Glass!
A MARSHALL UNIVERSITY staff person sent these photos. She inherited the glass from her Mom. Its Blenko. Can we help her with more information? She calls it BUBBLE GLASS. Thanks. HJH

Matthew Casey - Sacred Heart Student

' A picture is worth a thousand words.' If you are a principal, lead teacher or parent take a peak at the face of Matthew Casey during the Festival of Glass. He's watching BLENKO GLASS skilled craftsmen made glass tableware. Matthew and his sister never took their eyes off the process.

Children love BLENKO, Mickey the Blenko employee who was responsible for tours tells me his most difficult questions come from the 'children'. They want to know HOW AND WHY !

Arrange a field trip for your school, take your family, BUY GLASS and watch it being made. Tell your children, your students about West Virginia's history of GLASS MAKING. Introduce them to BLENKO where they can come to buy gifts - made in WEST VIRGINIA gifts for their teacher, grandparents and others. Teach them to BUY Made In USA, and to love their State.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don Lemley Instructor of Stain Glass Class

'Hillary here are my fave photos - the stain glass teacher demonstrating technique in the background is Richard Blenko showing Cargirl from Michigan* how to break glass. The second photo is of the 'Best Buy' of the day. When I left they still had these, for $10 you get a disk with the Festival of Glass and date. Awesome souvenirs.' I didn't get to meet you. Only yesterday when I read the blog did I realize you were there. Happy Birthday Mountain Rita.
* cargirl is one of 'us' heart of glassers
Note: From Heart of Glass. You can arrange a Stain Glass Class by phoning BLENKO GLASS. Mr. Lemley is available to teach, my parents took the class - I'll take photos of their creations. My Mom admits she had 'not one creative bone' yet the final product was beautiful. Mr. Lemley is an excellent instructor. Get a group of friends together and take a class. hjh

Monday, August 25, 2008

Margie's Photos of the Garden!

"Hillary my friends and I enjoyed the trip to Charleston. Thank you for telling us about the 506 Swarthmore Avenue Garden of Blenko Glass. We took 16 photos please use the ones you want. " Margie Hale

Margie Thanks for the PHOTOS - They are Beautiful!

Your Photos - Festival of Glass

These photos are from Dr. S. Miller of Cleveland Ohio - taken at the Vintage Glass Sale. "we wanted one of everything!" his note said.

Note: Another reason to JOIN the BLENKO COLLECTORS SOCIETY is for information - with a bit of time - you'll know which Winslow Anderson horn is correctly shaped, and when you see Rialto (the milky white with ruby accent) you'll know if the color is correct or faded. Consider joining NOW! Blenko Collectors Society - where everyone is very friendly and WE want you to KNOW all about BLENKO and your glass. hjh

YOUR Photos - Blenko Festival of Glass

Hillary; A few pics of you and your dad blowing glass at the Blenko factory. This had to be a first for Blenko history, A pretty young lady in a little black dress blowing glass. Meeting you and visiting your parents garden were high points of the weekend. Your mothers stemware is Radiance by Fostoria. From: A Texas Gentleman and His Lady - both collectors.

NOTE: If you join the BLENKO COLLECTORS SOCIETY you will also have the opportunity to 'try' blowing glass. Trust me the BLENKO GUYS make it look easy - it is NOT - even with the help of Masters Les Womack, Randy Rider and Bays I struggled. My 'glass' wasn't ready when I left BLENKO - my Mom is picking it up on Tuesday I'll post a photo! hjh
THANK YOU TEXAS Collector for the photos - send your photos and stories of Festival of Glass!

YOUR - Festival of Glass Photos!

We ask for your PHOTOS and comments about FESTIVAL OF GLASS - BLENKO GLASS send to theblenkoproject@aol.com . Holly's photos are very nice. Holly I saw you but didn't know you were "Holly' did you see me? hjh

Hi!I went this weekend to Blenko just to get my special piece.Mine was number 51 of 150 that was sold on a "first come, first serve" basis with 150 more going to buyers over the phone.I didn't get to attend any of the fun classes that day due to a very busy schedule but I did pull out my handy-dandy Razor phone and snapped a few pictures:The place was packed - more are piled around the counter: This is the piece that was on display and, unfortunately, my finger. My husband braved the crowd to ask how to get one of the smurfy Blenko vases and we were given a slip of paper that told the number we were. We brought the paper with us when we were ready to check out and they gave us a pretty bag with the number on the outside of it.Me with, and without ,my cool shades and my cooler Blenko:Now - where to put it???Hope everyone who went had lots of fun - there was even a lemon-ade and BBQ joint set up outside the doors! Parking was limited but that didn't stop the avid collectors who even walked down the hill with the steep "steps."I can't wait to go again next year!!!!--Holly ShivelHuntington, WV

Les Womack Returned to Blenko For Festival Of Glass

If you are 'new' to Collecting or learning about BLENKO Glass you may not know about Les Womack. He retired from Blenko about 8-10 years ago, he is a very handsome, strong man who at 68 still moves with the grace many 40 year olds only wish they possessed. To watch LES work in and around glass is fascinating. He returns to the chair as if he had never left. His skills and those of Shorty Finley, Jessie Carpenter, Radio, etc (you'll be seeing photos and hearing about these 'older worker' age 83 - 78 who returned for Festival of Glass) are one of the reasons vintage BLENKO GLASS remains highly collectible. Note: 1) When you Join the BLENKO COLLECTORS SOCIETY you have the ability to yearly purchase glass made by the 'older workers' glass made while you watch.(raffle drawing for ability to purchase. This is another reason to immediately join BLENKO COLLECTORS SOCIETY 2) Randy Rider, Perry Bayes, Powers, Stovers, etc. current employees are currently creating BLENKO Glass that you will want to 'age*' this glass will definitely become 'collectible.'

* age -The Blenko Project and Heart of Glass Blog always recommend AGING your own glass, you purchase new glass from BLENKO that you find attractive and enjoy the beauty as it perhaps increases in value and becomes' Vintage Glass'.
Do you have PHOTOS or a Story from the Festival of GLASS? Send to theblenkoproject@aol.com and we'll share with readers of Heart of Glass.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blenko 'Glass Festival' Photos

Festival of Glass - Garden Tour - these photos are of the Garden Tour - Blenko Glass is everywhere - the lights are made of BLENKO GLASS (solar panel to illuminate), architectural brick around the garden beds, Blenko figurines and Blenko bowls are used as Bird feeders and Bird baths. The BLENKO in this yard ranges in age from 27 years to being bought last week. Its OK to leave Blenko outdoors (breakage occurs but not often). I didn't have time to interview Brett or Don ( Stain Glass / Architectural Glass) but will send emails and ask them to let us know when new things are available.

DO YOU HAVE BLENKO PHOTOS - if you do please share with the Heart of Glass Blog theblenkoproject@aol.com .
Everyday next week I'll post photos from the Festival. NEXT YEAR it will be BIGGER and BETTER! We'll start getting the word out immediately after the June 20th WVa Birthday Event. We want to publicly THANK Christy at Blenko Glass for always responding quickly to our questions about the Festival of Glass.
Note: I don't have names of all the people in my photos - but when you send photos - if you have the time send description and names of people in photos.
Note: #2 The VINTAGE GLASS SALE was a tremendous event. I didn't blog about it - as I had no information. NEXT YEAR I hope to be in touch with Steve Bair and blog frequently about this sale. IF you collect you'll want to also attend the Vintage Glass sale yearly - great way to SEE and purchase Fine Quality Older BLENKO.
I have no money - so I'm just a LOOKER, nice thing is these Dealers love Glass and they love your questions. Bair was one of the first people to give me photos and information 4 years ago when I started THE BLENKO PROJECT. He was also instrumental in helping a couple of my professors find Glass they needed. IF you are looking for something - LET US KNOW!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Festival Of Glass!

Its happening now!
Friday and Saturday www.blenkoglass.com for schedule.
One thing NOT listed is the Garden Tour at 506 Swarthmore Avenue in Charleston. Its my understanding there were over 40 people last evening who saw the garden, koi, and glass. 26 were from Lincolin Putnam and Cabell Counties, one Ohio resident. Margie Hale, and Susan from the blog both older
ladies came with friends. We appreciate this.
The garden tour is OPEN TONIGHT FROM 6-8 (ok to come early) last evening they said the last people left a bit after 9pm. Its a self guided tour BUT it gets dark around 8:30. Plan to go early.
Tomorrow you'll want to get up early - really early - to get in LINE for the purchase of THE CELEBRATION VASE! Designed by Bayless Design Team.
This Saturday, I hope to set up some interviews with the Bayless Team so look forward to learning more about this Design Team.
Note: NO PHOTOS Blogger isn't co operating - couldn't get a post to upload for 2 days.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blenko - There is always a story....

A while ago I ask what is your favorite Blenko item, and how did you start to collect?
For me it will always be the RUBY waterbottle with handle that I seek!
The nicest thing about the many stories and photos I received is almost everyone spoke of "pleasure'.
Lucille Parsley of Mingo County sent this photo of a star fish - it started her collecting BLENKO. She said the starfish reminds her of the beach and warm weather on the coldest West Virginia winter days.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: 'One ought every day at least to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture (for most WV and Blenko Glass Collectors seeing a fine piece of glass could be substituted).
If you haven't made plans to attend the GLASS FESTIVAL check out the BLENKO GLASS Website http://www.blenkoglass.com/.
Fenton Glass sent a note about a sale they are having labor day weekend - check out their website. Fiesta is having a tent sale this weekend in Flatwoods. GREAT SHOPPING ALL WEEKEND!

Monday, August 18, 2008


This photo is of a set of three (2 shown) Stain Glass Panels my Dad made in honor of my parents 10th Wedding Anniversary - this was long ago in 1990.
The Glass is BLENKO - difficult to cut as it is hand rolled - but most beautiful.
BLENKO GLASS www.blenkoglass.com
is hosting the Glass FESTIVAL this weekend. Check out the website for information and special items that will be available only at the visitors center. hjh

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Over 1,000 pieces of BLENKO GLASS In The Garden

A modest cottage in Edgewood - Charleston, West Virginia the home of Master Gardeners and Koi Pond hobbyist. The yard is described by the owners as postage stamp size, it boast a small water garden, a large selection of perennials, spa, 8 different unique beds each surrounded by BLENKO GLASS colored architectural brick, the stepping stones are BLENKO GLASS ash trays from the 60 - 70s, the birdbath is a 70s Blenko bowl, many items of glass have been in the yard for more than 25 years. The owners say the love of beautiful West Virginia Glass, water gardening, and being West Virginia Volunteer Master Gardeners, Koi Club Members and Blenko Collectors are passions that blend together beautifully. The hosta bed is surrounded with Blenko glass that is olive to gold in color, all perennial beds have borders of glass in colors that compliment the flowers that will bloom.
At each little nook and turn there are surprises - glass turtles, Cats, a large red frog, smaller frogs, snakes, owls, all made of Blenko glass and tucked into the lush garden.
After the self guided tour you'll be inspired to start gardening, looking for colorful glass, a great water fountain or a master gardener class. The garden is guaranteed to inspire. Flowers and fruits and vegetables are everywhere as is glass, there is NO GRASS in this yard only BLENKO GLASS and FLOWERS and Fruit and Veggies.
506 Swarthmore Ave.
Charleston, W. Va
Self Guided Tour
Thursday Aug 21 - 7-8pm
Friday Aug 22 6-8pm

Applications for membership in KOI Club and BLENKO COLLECTOR CLUB available during self guided tour
NOTE: I'll post photos when BLOGGER allows!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Celebration Vase To BE SOLD AUG 23

The Celebration Vase - Blenko Festival of GLASS will be sold on August 23rd
check out http://www.blenkoglass.com/ for details

Blenko was kind enough to send photos of it being made.
My advice is 1) download and print these photos 2) go to BLENKO very early so you will
be able to purchase one of the #150 Celebration Vases 3) Take your camera 4) take photos of your Celebration Vase and Mr. Blenko and the Bayless Team. You will have a complete set of photos - include yourself in the photo with your Celebration Vase and Design Team or Blenko
As they say on the Antique Roadshow - Documentation is everything! Also BLENKO photographs so beautifully - it just makes for great photos.

Blenko Glass - CLASS DEMO

Note: As Always BLENKO GLASS is QUICK to respond to your concerns: This note from Blenko and photos of class demos. If you have not signed up for a class - PHONE THEM. This would be a neat experience to share with a teen grandchild.
One of your bloggers asked for some better examples of the classes we are offering. I am attaching some rough pics of the Dalle panel, the glass mobile and the carved suncatchers pics are the grouping of rondels and the close-up of the hummingbird sandblast. Keep in mind these are just examples. I'm not real sure what stencils you can choose for the suncatcher, but if I were going to be in town I would be in on that class and the mobile class myself. The mobile will be a miniature version of what Charlie Harshbarger makes that we sell in the VC. The casting class will give you a choice of choosing from one of our animal miniatures and a team of workers will assist in the pouring of that piece. I don't have a picture of that. Christy.