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, January 03, 2010

Blenko Myths and Legends. . .


Last week at a glass meeting I heard a tall tale about a bakery in Milton the story was

each year this bakery does the Blenko Birthday Piece in 3 dimensional cake, and its better than the Cake Decorators who are on HGTV. Tell me its true. Dave C.

The number of Blenko Myths/Legends continues to grow. The cake story is almost true. The cakes are a work of art, the lady who creates the cakes lives outside of Milton. We met her a few years ago, I wrote to Blenko Glass to ask if they would contact her for permission to publish her name and number as "the Baker " when the information and her permission arrives I'll add this info to the post. Each year in honor of West Virginia's Birthday and as a part of the WV Birthday Vase Sale the Blenko Glass Company host a reception on the 2nd floor - free cake, coke, coffee and sandwiches. June 20th is a big celebration for West Virginians, for Blenko Collectors its a special time. The Blenko Family is always available on June 20th each year to sign any Blenko item purchased.
Dave, perhaps someone else will have other photos, these two were left in a folder from 08. While the cake isn't 3 dimensional, it is, each year an exact replica of the Blenko Glass WV Birthday Vase.
Dave, thank you for reading Heart of Glass. If you haven't been to WV and Milton on June 20th let me invite you to attend June 20th 2010!
If you have memories of a June 20th trip to Milton, share your story with Dave.


Anonymous said...

HOT Smelly night, we arrived at 4am and 12 people were already present.
No toilet, no food, we were not prepared.
They tell me - probably a blenko myth - it got better the next year.
I didn't return. The total trip cost me $800, I wrote to ask Hillary for a refund, she didn't write back.
Nice glass,a good story but never again.

susan said...

Is this #2 in the Bayliss Blenko glass B-Vases?
We bought but were disappointed to see Blenko selling unsigned identical items weeks after. We didn't come for the next vase.
Bad business in my opinion to liquidate what was to be a limited edition item in a gift shop.

susan said...

We left the line for Go Mart trips when we needed coffee or to potty, unlike Paul we loved the experience of bonding with other glass bugs

Dr.BOB said...

Anyone with extra Birthday Vases
plz leave me yuor email address I need the 80s and 93 94 95

Anonymous said...

Good Day Blenko...

westvirginiajanis said...

Regarding the BLENKO Birthday Piece Experience:

2008 was my first time in line....

I arrived before sunrise, not knowing what to expect. In line near me was the son of a WV legislator, a designer from Charleston and many, many othre kind people. We chatted, laughed, and shared WV glass stories. I met Hillary’s relatives, some of the glass collector’s group, and a woman from Milton who ran home to get blankets for the overnighters. When the doors opened, I got my piece, spoke to Bayless, the birthday piece glass blower, and the Blenko Family. I went upstairs, watched glass being made, had coffee and PHOTOGRAPHED the beautiful cake. I came back downstairs and bought more Blenko and “interviewed” the woman who had the last spot in line. The whole experience made me proud and happy to be a West Virginian. For me it was a giant birthday party for WV and you didn’t have to know the governor to be invited. My only complaint was no toilet while waiting in line. I called and requested that a port-a-pottie be added the next year. Guess what, IT WAS!

2008 was so pleasant, I decided to spend the night in 2009. Armed with a lounge chair, a thermos of coffee, and a citronella candle, the night was pleasant. Just after dark, it was as if the earth opened up and breathed out fireflies. They rose to the upper canopy of the trees. Since there is so little light pollution, the sight was almost as magical as seeing the phosphorescent bay aglow in Puerto Rico. How fun it was to chat with other WV glass collectors and to see people from the year before, including the woman who had been last in line! I didn’t stay as long in 2009 as, unfortunately, the Bayless team was not in attendance and I do not know Walter Blenko. Previously I had interviewed and photographed Bill Blenko, Jr. and was disappointed that I didn’t get to see him again. However, I had to accept those changes and just be relieved that BLEKNO was still a working glass factory. I photographed Miss WV, a Milton resident in attendance at the event, purchased a little more glass, and got back on the highway.

Barring unanticipated schedule or health issues, I will be back in 2010. Part of this tradition is what you make of it. I may try to do something fun like pull together a BLENKO trivia game for waiting in line. Maybe you have to be a proud West Virginian, to have overcome adversity and poverty, to have received a great college education in WV to appreciate all that the BLENKO WV birthday piece experience represents. As for 2010, hopefully, the design team can be there and I’ll be able to fit in a trip to Kissin Kates & Hillbilly Hot Dogs as well!

Happy 2010 BLENKO & collectors,
WV Janis

Anonymous said...

This cake lady is an artist, the photo looks just like my vase.
Important questions for you all, did the cake taste good?

Dr.BOB said...

Reading with interest the Lemly
issues at Blenko.
Hilary do you know anything about this, if so shre with readers.
Most of us know Lemly from visiting the plant.
Large man with even larger heart, his devotion to his company was worn on his sleeve.
When a girl your age is allowed to fire life long employees, something is out of order.
In the last 5 years, beginning with Dave Osburn the pool of talent is leaving, either being ask to leave, or deciding they are no longer valued.
Do we have Milton readers? Whats the local scoop? What is the word from the other blog

Dr.BOB said...

WV Janis
Having Ms WVa
instead of the designer
is consistent with
the drain mentioned in previous post.
Collectors would prefer contact with artist.

glassbug said...

add my name to the list of people interested in Limly, what happen and why?
Did he resign due to health? I seem to remember someone mentioning his health last year.

glassbug said...

Is antique open?

Anonymous said...

. . .when a girl your age is allowed to fire . . .
Dr Bob
I've been following TheBlenkoProject Katie T was a student assigned to Blenko while Glasslady was in dental school and hawking blenko.
If Glasslady fired someone it would have more validity.

Anonymous said...

Returning after day #2
no post with the ladies address or number.
Did Blenko fail to respond?

Anonymous said...

dr bob I know i could not believe when i heard they fired lemly. I met him the first time during the first collectors meeting,then i drove back one month later just for his class on dales de verre. He was wonderful could explain glass and how it was made so I could understand. He made it look so easy and fun. I'll go back to the visitor center but I have bought my last dales. is there another blenko blog? where is it?

DrAnnu said...

Information hasn't arrived from blenko glass?
What gives with this.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Annu

The reason you have no info yet is they are way to busy to help. They have so many customers calling in wanting glass they dont care if they make few mad. If you want answers call between 8 and 9 am, they start getting ready for lunch at 10. Or call between 1pm and 2pm. At 2:15 gotta get ready to go home.