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.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Zen & The Glass Festival 22-23




"THE MAN WHO IS AWARE OF HIMSELF IS HENCEFORWARD INDEPENDENT, AND HE IS NEVER BORED."Virginia Woolf Chapter 6. "Montaigne." in THe Common Reader. 2004, http://extext.library.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91c/chapter6.htm.

Ms. Blau my honors English teacher introduced us to the writings of Virginia Woolf, Capital High www.capitalhigh.org/ English Department was then and remains one of the strongest English Departments in the Kanawha County School System. Passages from a number of the books Ms. Blau assigned have stuck with me for these 8 years - dunno why - but perhaps this is what happens with proper alignment of person, book and time.

It's the same with a hobby - the right collection - at the right time - is perfection - Perhaps August 22- 23rd could be the Start of a Lifetime of Blenko Collecting for YOU. Consider driving down to Milton, West Virginia to meet Blenko Collectors, Blenko employees and Blenko aficionados. You are guaranteed to learn about West Virginia glass making, meet new and exciting people, and see Blenko glass pieces that are unique.
The Blenko Glass Company employees have worked hard to plan this Glass Festival, there are classes, hands on educational learning adventures. It should be a wonderful weekend for all ages. Come visit BLENKO GLASS, if you for some reason Can not come this year - Sign on line ORDER BLENKO from the website http://www.blenkoglass.com/ BLENKO GLASS is the only American manufacturer of Antique Glass. Support Made In The USA, Support Made In West Virginia, Support Blenko Glass with your purchase, your visit, your goodwill. hjh






18 comments:

Phani said...

I always like the glass work in its best form and the presentation in like a glass garden, great patterns.

saltonannu said...

This comment is for Car Girl and Christy and WVJanis
and about Blenko -Marketing.
I agree wholeheartedly with everything that was said, except we are putting pressure on our only Blenko contact. Who may or may not be in a position to spend dollars.
Blenko had the excellent market tool of PBS - While I saw the Blenko Series one too many times during my Residency (7 years
it was shown 2 times a year it seemed on PBS - a New film an exciting film about this new exciting - here I'm borrowing WVJanis expertise as I haven't seen him Designer would be in quick order. Blenko is still handsome and photogenic, the designer looks good. As a society we want to be sold things from attractive people, we want to believe the attractive people and their product. Blenko is an attractive product Use these people and Sell the Product. Get the Word out to the Masses.
PBS Viewers generally are well educated and spend money.
I started buying Blenko due to PBS, I found this Blog while googling Blenko for a gift.
Thank you for letting me share.
You have a good product. Scream it from the Roof Top
Get the word Out Beyond W Va.
While I think most of us who comment do not live in West Virginia, the majority of Hilary readers are WV based.
Oh, yes. Hilary this does not mean you are no longer needed.
You daily provide an excellent service.
If Blenko isn't saying Thank You often they should be.

Hillary J Homburg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hillary J Homburg said...

Annu, West Virginia Janis
Cargirl I won't pretend to understand marketing or the economy.
I just know Blenko has always the ability to make excellent glass art.
I for one prefer quality to quaintly . My juice, my occasional glass of wine are poured from Blenko to Blenko.
We are preaching to the choir.
How to we reach out to others?

1:18 AM, August 04, 2008

bridgett said...

It would appear most of what is
written about Blenko is
by 2 or 3 people
leslie pina, d.crane,
why not ask these people
or hire them as consultants?

Anonymous said...

think Pina & crane crain have full time jobs and live in New York City don't they or the publisher is in NYC.
But a good PR firm would help. Someone with some experience or know how and perhaps connections to art glass or even connections to furniture mart.

Hillary J Homburg said...

Blenko Glass currently has a Director Sales and Marketing Katie Garrison - who graduated from Marshall University. She's been with Blenko going on 2 years now (Im guessing) don't know who handled this role before Katie.
Garrison is said to be very competent. I'm certain Blenko is making every effort to before more Marketable in these very difficult almost 'recession like' times.
What we can do best is speak highly of Blenko, buy always Made In USA, suggest Blenko to friends, make other aware. My parents always gift Blenko. They promote Blenko at their Master Garden and Koi Garden Clubs and to the WVU Parent Clubs - I'm certain each of you also have an extended family orf groups you can 'exose' to the BLENKO BUG.
I ask Damon Crain and Lisa Pina both to comment about this post and your comments - so we'll see if they respond.
hjh
Thank you for reading
for responding
for buying BLENKO
for staying Positive
For Always Sending Your Positive Thoughts To Blenko Glass in Milton, WVa.

Hillary J Homburg said...

oops to become
not to before - typo/ sp ck.

Anonymous said...

Damon Crain has left a new comment on your post "Zen & The Glass Festival 22-23":

In response to Bridgett, Hillary asked me to address this posting and I am happy to oblige. First, thank you for thinking of me Bridgett (though for the record it’s Crain, not Crane, but call me Damon). I’m going to try to be brief in my response so point-form:

- marketing is blenko’s second single biggest weakness
- I have discussed the matter at length with several people there, they know I am both willing and qualified to help and they have my number
- PBS is really a terrible vehicle for marketing and in no way reaches the right audience. If it did then Blenko would be doing great today; they aren’t.
- You can’t market a company without an identity and Blenko does not know it’s own identity, the problem is not simple and the solution is complex
- Blenko absurdly continues to think that color is their biggest asset (notice the following 2 posts of Hillarys: http://media.herald-dispatch.com/blog/blenko/2008/07/blenko-glass-in-august-issue-of.html and http://media.herald-dispatch.com/blog/blenko/2008/08/something-new-at-visitors-center.html) I can’t begin to tell you how wrong that strategy is
- The quality of their product remains low, it has never recovered from it’s peak performance in the 1950’s/60’s and that would need to be corrected in conjunction with any marketing
- For more on this please read my last newsletter on my personal website: http://www.vmglasshouse.com/newsletter0803.htm
- I am not in the habit of reading blog posts so if anyone would like to continue a dialogue with me or tell me off they can reach me through my website

Anonymous said...

Is that Blenko in the photo Hilary?
Sol

Anonymous said...

Will Damon Crane be at the Glass Festival?
This is wonderful.
Margie Hale

Dr.BOB said...

Hillary (note I am doing 2 L's thank you Damon Cran)

marketing is blenko’s second single biggest weakness
1. What is the first weakness.
- I have discussed the matter at length with several people there, they know I am both willing and qualified to help and they have my number
2. This statement I take means Cran offered his services to your Blenko, and they declined.
- PBS is really a terrible vehicle for marketing and in no way reaches the right audience. If it did then Blenko would be doing great today; they aren't.
3. I disagree, in my own circle we do not live in Southern WV, people know of Blenko Glass only
because of PBS
- You can’t market a company without an identity and Blenko does not know it’s own identity, the problem is not simple and the solution is complex
4. West Virginia Family Owned, Handmade, Antique, Quality, What identity does Cran need
- Blenko absurdly continues to think that color is their biggest asset (notice the following 2 posts of Hillarys: http://media.herald-dispatch.com/blog/blenko/2008/07/blenko-glass-in-august-issue-of.html and http://media.herald-dispatch.com/blog/blenko/2008/08/something-new-at-visitors-center.html) I can’t begin to tell you how wrong that strategy is
5. Am not a designer, decorator, or artist, Medical Doc Educator but the females in my life collect the colors
of Blenko, they report joy in sun shine on their glass
- The quality of their product remains low, it has never recovered from it’s peak performance in the 1950’s/60’s and that would need to be corrected in conjunction with any marketing
6. I agree with the this somewhat the quality control isn't good. We recently made some purchases not inexpensive got them home and learned the bowls were even or the stem was a bit 'off''
my wife is forgiving and declared it to be handcrafted so not always perfect. I disagree if not perfect should be labeled NO PERFECT 2nds etc. and price reflective.
- For more on this please read my last newsletter on my personal web site:
Damon states he doesn't read Blogs but refers to 2 of your post, so decide for yourself if he does or does not.
You (Hillary with 2 L's) ask him to comment, and it shows that you want both sides and discussion which
can only lead to growth and development for Blenko.
Kudos again to you.
Good Luck!
May your next obsession be truly worthy of You! Blenko Glass like all family owned companies is a dinosaur in this century. As much as we want, unless major changes happen to the economy, the mind set
of citizens and workers it will be a struggle to survive.

annu said...

The Ebony collection was the right one for me, now have them do it again . . wait . . .play it again, Sam.
I'll be a major collection of Ebony blenko for my red leather chaise and new TV only 2 purchases since graduation.
Phani I agree the glass garden at Blenko is attractive.

Ram said...

1. Blenko Assets
The biggest assest of Blenko
- Shapes & Colors
- Skilled Craftsman
- Handmade

2. Customer Base
- Target Customer
We have to see our customer base based on sale volume this will definitely give us idea what we need to focus on
- local sales - people buying locally
- internet sales - online order
- corporate sales
- are we missing Young crowds or are they targeted customer base
- Blenko Shape, design, colors should be accordingly to create that young crowd base and price adjustments to attract them

3. Maketing Strategy
- Branding
- Blenko Website with Professional look & feel, Blenko logo, T-shirt with Blenko Print
- TV/Internet
- emails, prints, mailing, youtube or any popular media etc
- Event Organisation
- local and out of state, Blenko display booth to reach out to customer
- Word of mouth
- word of mouth is one of the biggest tool too to reach out
- Product line
- Event specific
- Holiday specific
- Anything thing Creative
- Deals/Partnership
- Offer Deal along with local branded products
- Corporate Marketing
- Reaching out to Coporate for product show case


Hillary being a dental student has devoted her time,energy and thoughts for the promotion of Blenko in every possible ways
and she has been successful in creating awareness & promoting of Blenko and we all know this but larger part needs to be done by Blenko too and we all to promote and support Blenko in our ways..

Ram

Anonymous said...

Blenko is not ever going to be PERFECT! thats what makes it so great each piece is unique. Each craftsman has a way of doing things. I have a small newer crystal fish and when i bought it i could almost tell for certain who made it. Thats why i enjoy the glass so much because i know it was made buy someone that loves what they do are extramly talented and super nice. I live right in milton and have been telling everyone i know and some i dont to buy blenko I even added it to my myspace page. One thing that they really should do is set up a booth at the WV pumpkin festivle glass blowing is an ART. I just so perturbed with the direction seems to be going.

also if anyone has or knows of where they is a punch bowl and cups designed by winslow Anderson(like the one up stairs of the VC in the botem of the case where winslows pieces are displayed) and would like to sell it please let me know

Anonymous said...

Not being perfect but not labeled
is dishonest.
Also not returning phone calls about special orders etc, these are unexcusable items. Someone wrote about Cracker Barrell my Boss tried to order 36 items personalized for an award and was never called back. After 2nd call he went to a vendor in Md. Many things are not working.

7:30 AM, August 05, 2008

Anonymous said...

Just read the Cracker Barrell may not have transpired. We tried to order in the spring twice without success for an award ceremony. Spoke to female who did not return call.
WVUGUY07

h0llyk911 said...

Hi all!

I have been an avid admirer and pretty recent collector of all things Blenko and have read all the comments that have come before me.

And although I think you all have viable points there is one thing that needs to be remembered – sometimes, even a non “perfect” Blenko piece is more valuable than what could have been purchased at Target or Wal-mart. We buy the pieces out of love, appreciation for a non-outsourced local market, or maybe just because we like it. I buy something of every color because I want to have it. It’s mine. And now I have a cool new piece that someone else may not. They may discontinue the color or not. But I have it, goshdarnit! Maybe a glass blower had a little fun and frosted a glass pumpkin or made a pink corn and somehow it makes it to the Visitor’s Center. Oh yeah – that’s coming home with me!

And as for a way to get more people to “notice” Blenko – I think it’s already out there. I agree that the website is archaic and easily fixed. The customer service may not be what it was but at least English is still spoken (anyone tried to call HP computer help lately? AT&T?) and word of mouth is still key. I learned from my mom who learned from her grandmother about the beautiful glass artists and their ability to turn volatile balls of glass into things like cats, faces, vases and, in one instance, a questionable centipede.
As a local gal I can tell you that the lines are still long, the stacks of “mine” at the counter are still high and precariously perched and the faces of the avid collectors are still tight with concentration as they meander through the aisles (carefully lest they become the bull in the china shop).

Blenko needs to tighten up, that’s for sure, but for the fanatics, like me- we’ll be there, come heck, high water or holiday seasons. ☺

Holly S.