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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BLENKO GLASS RESTRUCTURE

Blenko Releases INFO
Blenko Glass in Milton has made organizational and management changes “in response to changing market conditions,” according to a press release issued Tuesday.
Richard Blenko, Gene Weekley and Brent Aikman are no longer with the company, according to the release.
During a stockholders meeting Monday, William H. Blenko Jr., Walter J. Blenko Jr. and Don B. Blenko Jr. were elected directors.
William Blenko was elected chairman, Walter Blenko was elected president, and Don Blenko was elected vice president.
“Blenko Glass Company will remain, as it always has, a family owned and run company continuing to make hand blown glass in West Virginia,” the release states.
Check back for more on this developing story.

19 comments:

Dr.BOB said...

WHOA what does this mean for collectors?
Value up or down?
Who will sign glass?
Who will manage?
These are the kind of things people need to know.

westvirginiajanis said...

What will Richard Blenko do post BLENKO?

WV Janis

westvirginiajanis said...

What will Richard Blenko do?

WV Janis

westvirginiajanis said...

What will Richard Blenko do?

WV Janis

westvirginiajanis said...

What will Richard Blenko do?

WV Janis

Hillary J Homburg said...

Dr Bob
I don't have answers for your questions, but soon we will know.
REGARDLESS
BLENKO will remain BLENKO and it'll be selling glass made by West Virginians. It will be a family owned and managed company located in Milton.
My prayers consistently include the above. We need West Virginia Small Factories and Businesses OPEN and Functioning!
BUY GLASS! It's the best reaction!

Hillary J Homburg said...

WV Janis
Your blog question is the same one I've received X 25 in emails to theblenkoproject@aol.com
I don't know! Richard Blenko is a most remarkable man, he is very talented, he has been the 'face of blenko' for many years. He has worked hard to keep Blenko in the news and on shelves in Department and Speciality Stores.
BUT this is a part of life - and Richard has many other interests. I could easy see him lobbying, or working as a consultant for the glass industry, making & directing films- the list is endless. Only time or Richard will tell.
hjh

Anonymous said...

wow! so is this a good thing that my 30 plus blenko pieces are all signed by richard???? LOL Ebay here i come!

sweetdoc said...

SHOULD WE SELL?
In my building we have 9 people
5 docs
and 4 support who all collect
we have combined glass of more than 50K in less than 2 years
What is best plan for us?

sweetdoc said...

Most is signed by Rick.

Tim said...

I hope you all do not unload your glass needlessly. I also hope you all didn't buy Blenko solely as an investment (although these days the returns seems much better) I do hope all of you bought Blenko to support a family owned business, a West Virginia company, and mainly because it is beautiful glass that brightens any area.

Anonymous said...

Tim is so right! You should buy what you love, support a West Virginia business and US business. Signed or unsigned is not really that important to many people. More so with the vintage pieces signed by the designer. It's a nice plus, but personally, I don't care if it's a piece I want. I buy because I like it, not for an "investment".
Remember "Beanie Babies"? Now you can hardly get a $1.00 for them at a yard sale! Not so many years ago they were going for a whole lot more in their hay day.
Car Girl

lewisdvmphd said...

RICK BLENKO WAS THE FACE OF BLENKO
YOU OFTEN SAID THIS HILLY.
BLENKO IS NOW A FACELESS PRODUCT.
MORE DIFFICULT TO PROMOTE.
YOU MAY BE READY FOR THE CLOSE UP OR SWAN SONG, MY Sweet Hilary.
SORRY! THIS IS BAD NEWS FOR FUTURE OF BLENKO.

susan said...

Post Blenko what will Richard Blenko do?
What he should have done instead of Blenko, he will be successful
and productive.
Rick was the only Blenko who cared about art.

Anonymous said...

What will they do about the PBS tapes and the shopping network spots without Rick at BLENKO?

Hillary J Homburg said...

I haven't heard anyone address these issues.
Richard Blenko served many roles at Blenko and national promoted WV & WV GLASS on his own time.
Perhaps someone who knows about the PBS situation can speak to this? COLLECTORS? HELP! HJH

mismgr said...

Calm; I talked to people at the factory today. Plans are in place to introduce some of the factory workers and other top management as the face of Blenko. I requested a signing event for this fall, was told to do a follow up closer to the time I need. Hopefully this will end up being a needed shot in the arm for Blenko Glass. I can't say it enough BUY BLENKO !!! Increased sales will do more for the factory than any amount of worry of panic.
Spoke with Richard today also. He seems to be relieved and in good spirits. Hope for the best, pray for the economy, BUY American Glass, don't panic, and do the next right thing. If you do want to panic and sell your collection I will give you $.25 on the dollar. LOL (just joking)
Remember the higher power doesn't give us more than we can carry together. Buy Blenko. Larry from TX

Anonymous said...

I see that it has been suggested that everyone keep their remarks positive. I live in Milton and see things a bit differently than most of you. I’ve read this blog periodically since its inception and some of the comments made by those of you who do not live here have been insulting.

I invite you to join the Milton, WV message board at www.miltonwv.org and participate under the topic Blenko Glass Shake-up. Skimming through other topics you will see that many of the people you have revered are viewed quite differently by the local population. We’ll try to answer inquiries and questions as directly and honestly as we can. Some of our comments may not be positive nor what you wish to hear.

Yes, we value Blenko and recognize it’s tourism draw. WE want to see it survive, too! Talk to employees, former employees/designers whom we know on a much more personal level than most of you, and you will see that this restructuring has been needed since Richard Blenko, “the face of Blenko” took the helm in the 70s.

There are many factors besides poor management that have created the present situation…high fuel costs, the flood of cheap imported glass on the market and changing marketing trends. I promise you, we can talk about this in a civil manner, and perhaps offer suggestions leading to solutions to save our important landmark.

Don’t pine for Richard Blenko whose lifestyle is much different than most Miltonians’. He’s going to be just fine. Worry about the poor factory worker/glass blower who doesn’t make much more than someone working in a fast food establishment. Worry about the poor factory worker who relies on that job to feed his family, yet gets little credit for being the “true artisan” at Blenko Glass. Worry about the poor factory worker whose pension is so low he must stand in line for commodities and qualifies for food stamps. These fine people are important to us.

Don’t criticize us for not supporting Blenko. Criticize the Blenkos for whom you hold such high esteem for never allowing their company to be annexed into the city limits to prevent paying B&O tax, yet expect all the amenities that our city can provide…sewer and water, fire protection, etc. Let’s work together to keep over 100 needed jobs. I have lots of ideas and I’m sure you do, too.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.