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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Photos of WV Glass

Note: Larry of Serenity Glass - Heart of Glass readers will never see too many of your photos. Please send more!


You may regret having asked for more WV glass pictures. I have a ton of Fostoria, Viking, Morgantown, Paden City, Fenton, W.V Glass Co and others. I will try not to overload you by breaking them down into 6 picture groups. I took and edited 20 photos today with identifications on the image. Let me know if I send too many. larry from TX

Over 1,100 Post to the Heart of Glass Blog!

Note: The image is from Blenko Museum website - a pre designer grouping of Ruby Glass.

I meant to mark the 1,111 post but neglected to do so - we are almost up to 1,200 post on the Heart of Glass Blog.
Thank you all once again, for reading, commenting, for your emails about BLENKO GLASS http://www.blenkoglass.com/ , your concern for Blenko and for me.


I'm suggesting we celebrate together at the 2009 Blenko Collectors Society annual meeting! hjh

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dalzell- Viking West Virginia Glass Collections

Hillary, I have seen the photos of other glass co. in West Virginia you have been posting , here on the shelf are examples of Dalzell-Viking. Thanks Larry T.

Serenity Glass in Texas To Close - Brick & Mortar Shop

Below is a note is from Larry of Texas . Larry has given hundreds of photos to the blog in the last couple of years. He tirelessly answers your emails for glass identification and has been another 'cheerleader' for Blenko Glass. Sometime next month Larry will be doing a post to update us about how to access his glass website, and what he might have for sale. These are very difficult economic times for all business, even more so for vintage glass. If you plan to buy vintage Blenko or American Glass, email Larry with your list, he may just have what you want in stock. If you have been following the blog, you know Larry cares about American Glass, does his research and his knowledge of American Glass is extensive. When I say BUY LOCAL. I'm including Larry and Serenity Glass in the term LOCAL. For NEW Collectors - Buying quality is very important. With Serenity Glass a buyer has the secure feeling that the seller knows what he has to offer. hjh (Larry Note)

To All;
For questions concerning B.C.S. send emails to Tim or Karin at tkalonzo@swbell.net I know they have a busy schedule, but an=m certain they are interested in continuing B.C.S. ask what you can do to help support and grow this group.
Together we can do it. B.C.S. will become more important as time goes on as the history of BLENKO fades( weather they close permanently or not) Collectors hold the future of BLENKO Glass. I will take this time to announce to all of you I am closing my bricks and mortar operation the end of Feb. I will strive to have a better online presence, do shows, and mail/phone orders. I will continue to post and support this blog.

larry from TX

cell 214 724 5081

Thursday, February 26, 2009

West Virginia Glass - Fostoria

My grandparents lived in Wheeling, W.Va., so I grew up using Fostoria and visiting the Fostoria outlets with my Mom and my Grandma.

In our home we have a small collection of Fostoria and a small collection of other West Virginia Glass, and a lot of BLENKO GLASS - we seem to love the colors of BLENKO.

To me, Fostoria is eloquent glass, the colors, the designs, I always feel special when I bring out the "Fostoria" for a dinner party or for a brunch.

This Fostoria Regal Blue is very nice, Larry didn't sent information about the quanity or the price so email him if you want to add these pieces to your collection or start a collection of fine West Virginia Glass. hjh

Blenko Visitors Center - OPEN and Shelves Have been restocked.

Notice: Today my Mother was at Blenko Glass, she reports Mindy and Connie as saying are receiving a NEW STOCKING today evening. This will include more Designer Samples, many pieces of very old glass - many samples that never made the line. Many one of a time or small quantity items. If you haven't been to Blenko Glass for the ' We Might Be Closing Sale" GO NOW!!!!
Mindy told my Mom the word is they have enough glass for 7-10 days. Unless sales are brisk.
Note: This DOES NOT mean Blenko will close, we have no inside information, only that the current supply (furnaces are closed) will be running out.
They are now selling items that have been in storage or just 'forgotten' about.
If you happen to purchase anything new or different, send an email.
If you purchased the GOLD BOWL that was a designer sample, please send photo. My Mom couldn't stop talking about the bowl.
She bowl a designer sample - wedding bowl - for her Nephew Shan, who was married on 2/20/09 I'll post a photo when it arrives.

Reader Writes . . .

Amongst the things the people who visit this Blog love are: Blenko, Vintage Cars, Classic Movies, Dance, Theater . . . Larry Thompson son of Harry Thompson ( Blenko skilled craftsman) sent the following:


, Some of my friends in the Indy roadrockets car club made a rod run to Charleston last year. They are a silly group stuck in the 50s. When you have time you might check out there web sight Indy roadrockets.com Keep up the good work.

Larry T.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where to Buy Quality Blenko Glass?

The questions I've been ask most often this month are:
1. " Where can I purchase quality Blenko Glass?" Can you recommend sellers? Online or brick and mortar stores? I'm asking for your help- readers please recommend stores and websites or ebay sellers by name.
Readers please send your favorite store, address phone numbers and website if available to: Theblenkoproject@aol.com we'll compile a list of sellers for readers.
Your comments about items found, and if the seller have knowledge, is consignment, what period you most all find etc are all welcome. Also if the list price is negotiable.
#2. Is Blenko closing? How long will be Gift Shop VC be open?
I do not have inside information about BLENKO, I write or call just as you would. Please phone Blenko at 304 743 9081. IF we get any information from the factory we will immediately pass this along to you.
#3. Where will I be able to buy BLENKO after the closing? See #1 and wait for the post sometime next month.
#4 Why can't you post photos of what they have at the visitors center?
They have not sent photos, I am over 3 hours away from the factory. A reader did send yesterday photos of every table in Blenko. I will publish these before friday. However, I was told it changes daily . An article in the Charleston Gazette quotes Katie (VP at Blenko) as saying they had another weeks worth of glass in the holding bend.
#5 . Investors? Is this open to Collectors to the public? Why won't the government do anything?
I have NO repeat NO knowledge of Blenko seeking investors, I did write to the factory on Monday for clarification - when this arrives, I'll post the information.
Re: Government doing something? What would you propose they do?

Blenko is a privately owned, family owned business.
May I suggest you phone Blenko at 304 743 9081 and speak with Katie Tripp about this, she was the person quoted and photographed in the newspaper article.
#6. Have you read the things said about you in the 'other blog'.
The only blog I read besides this one is a Herald Blog - Hot Topics, and This is Not My Blog a Charleston, WV Blog.
While I appreciate your offers to defend me, it isn't necessary. Also not necessary to copy and send me the comments. My life is too full of happiness and good fortune to allow for negativity.
#7. Why are my comments not showing? Why haven't you published my photos?
If you send photos and I don't respond with a note of thanks. It means the photos went to spam. Place the word BLENKO in the title of all email.
Re: comments, while I am not always the person to approve the comments, I attempt to allow only positive, on topic comments. As collectors we want Blenko to be successful offering suggestions for improvement is okay. Suggestions and comments that are 'mean and nasty' are not. If you think the comments are sometimes 'mean' you should see the ones we don't publish.
#8. Did you pass your exam and when do you finish school?
WOW its been four years of Dental School, and you have all been very patient. No punt intended. School is over for me the middle of May, then I go on to Ohio for some advanced training. Yes. I did pass my national board exam. When I finish rural rotation and have more time, I'll update you about boards and my life.

Events in Huntington - International Film Festival

The Marshall Artists Series presents a week long festival filled with award-winning films from around the world. The festival runs from February 20—February 26, 2009 and will be held at the historic Keith—Albee in Huntington, WV.

Films are Shown every evening at 5:30 and 7:30pm. A Synopsis of each of the six films being shown and the date and times can be found here.

Tickets may be purchased at the door, advance tickets are not necessary. Individual film admission is $7, and tickets for Marshall’s staff and faculty are $5.50 each. Tickets are free for full-time Marshall Students.

There is still time for you to acquire tickets and attend the remaining 2 nights. Great films, great prices, totally restored theater in the lovely downtown Huntington area.
You still have 2 more nights to get down to the Keith Albee!
(I went last night to see Elsa & Fred, a romantic comedy from Argentina, and took some photos of the glass inside the theater - to be posted soon!)

Tea for Two ? Tammy Kosla style

Tammy Kosla was the President and Founder of the Blenko Collectors Society. Her glass collection can be seem on the Blenko Collector Four website and also on http://www.blenkoproject.org/ (Chicago Collector).

I am not a purist when it comes to my Blenko collecting. I am into collecting to enjoy and to have fun. I don't buy glass for resale purposes unlike some others that occasionally post here. When I no longer have fun collecting that is when I will be done. If someone wants to call a 573 a teapot then they should be allowed to do so. I had a friend call me tonight and said it looks more like a coffee pot. I just hope no one out there would think about putting boiling water in any piece of Blenko. Also unlike a couple others I do not wish to see the Blenko company permanently closed. I believe everyone should collect what they want to collect. If it is a 573 "teapot" or a 9316 "face vase" or something made at the company in 2009 then they should buy it if that is what they want. I have always had a problem with being told what I should buy. I personally like Don Shepherd designs but in some eyes the glass made after 1974 is not something that people should invest their money in. Sorry I believe in collecting what you like not what someone tells you to buy.The first picture proves that some people need to let up and start enjoying Blenko and life ! As you can see in the picture I am NOT a purist otherwise I would not have used crystal punch cups with a chartreuse handle to serve the tea along side a Teal 573 "teapot, coffee pot, cocktail pitcher"The 2nd picture is for those that think the 573 can be just a coffee pot.Life is short, Enjoy it!
Tammy Kosla

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blenko Glass Visitor Center Open Today!

The Visitors Center - Gift Shop remains OPEN this week.
We don't have photos of available glass, or descriptions etc. We are not a part of the BLENKO GLASS marketing plan - you will need to phone 304 743 9081 to ask what may be available. We have been TOLD the Gift Shop will remain OPEN this week, and the shelves have lots of glass. IF you shop there this week - take photos and send to the Heart of Glass - not everyone is available for shopping in person. hjh


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wayne Husted - 1951 Teapot and 2 Blenko 1956 cocktail pitchers

We've been discussing Teapots & Blenko. Wayne Husted is my may considered to be THE Blenko designer - he was with Blenko 1953-63. These photos and note are from Husted. *Note correction to 53 made on 2/23/09

Hillary...Attached is a Jpeg picture of the ceramic tea pot that I threw on potterswheel in San Antonio Texas, in 1951. I had use of the ceramic studio ofHarding Black, a favorite local ceramist.I spent the summer in San Antonio throwing pots between my undergraduateand graduate years at Alfred University.The Witte Museum was near Harding Black's ceramic studio and the museumlet me live in their studio that was huge and where Gutzen Borgland (sp.must wikipedia). sculpted his models for Mt. Rushmore.I actually dug the clay for this tea pot in the hot sun an hoursouth of San Antonio, The clay is damn near porcelain in qualityas it fires very high at cone 13. I added the white glaze withspecks of mineral called ilmanite (sp?) which is iron that meltsinto the glaze as you can see. I liked the fact that it made itlook like a birds egg.This is one of only a few pieces I have of the over a hundredpieces I made in ceramicsduring the summer of 1951. I sold some of the piecesto Jostens, a San Antonio department store... butI sold most all of the ceramicsI made that year to a very high end craft store onMadison Avenue in NYC. Swedish name can't rememberbut will. Once I was looking into the stores window and found myself next tothe famous character actor Vincent Price who made a nicecomment about my piece in the window.The other Jpegs are of two Blenko "pitchers" I designed atBlenko in 1956 (for 1957 lines).There are other spouted pieces I designed and one is onlyabout six inches high so could be more scale of tea potbut none were really designed for specific use. Or as someonesaid at last week's cocktail party in Sausalito. "Wayne is thedesigner that created a lot of stuff that doesn't function.True as I figured most Blenko was just to look at. TheseBlenko items I feel sure were seldom used to pour from.Wayne.
Note: Wayne's designs for Blenko Glass are very popular. In the Blenko Project survey he was most often listed as the designer "I collect". Most everyone has 3 or 4 Husted items are their dream dream list.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Life - NERB cont

North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners, Inc.
NERB Exam today from 8:50 - 5
Basically this focuses on practical hand skills.
Restorative Exam (amalgam & composite on live patient)
Periodontal Exam (scale & root plane 6 teeth on live patient)
The WVA Law Exam was yesterday, I'm certain everyone in my class
passed this exam.
We are today completing one of the major remaining requirements for a May graduation.
May 16th is graduation. Yesterday we took formal picture in our gowns and hoods.

Blenko Teapot * cont.


as we listened to the discussion about the possibility of a Blenko teapot, I couldn't refrain from sending this pic. Obviously not a working teapot, I found this ornamental in the gift shop about a month ago. This is a "lunch-time" piece that made its way to the visitor's center. It is actually a failed attempt at making a snowman or a bunny. Buy the glass that makes you smile!

Tim K.
Kissin' Kate's Antiques
This is delightful! I also agree buy the best quality you can afford, one great piece rather than a dozen just OK items. Being surrounded by quality makes everyday special. Thank you for sharing!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blenko Tea Pot.

The answer is NO not really a 'teapot' but many beautiful objects of art for pouring . . .

Your question was: " Did BLENKO GLASS make a Teapot? "

I didn't know, so sent the question to three people from the group of knowledgable glass collectors I most often call upon. I haven't heard from Tammy Kosla who has the Blenko Catalogues memorized and maybe a walking Blenko encylopedia - so the jury is out - but the answers I've received are below

Tim and Karin Alonzo of Texas not only sent an answer they were kind enough to send photos.

Now ladies our search for these will begin

Blenko made several designs that resembles a teapot

. Here are a few:571 is called an "Iced Tea Pitcher with iced guard"

573 is a "Cocktail Pitcher", but most resembles a teapot

.574 Martini pitcher944 pitcher was designed by Winslow Anderson it is called a "vase with handle

"5729 Rooster Decanter is one of the rarest pieces. I know of only one in a private collection. 6145 Rooster Pitcher.

Blogger is acting up so photo placement maybe off -. hjh

Wayne Husted had this to say:

Hillary...I suspect that this idea came from the several spouted designs I createdwith tea pot like spouts but you said “covers” and actually I think one ofthese little spouted pitchers had a cover, as sample but not put into line. I will have to show you picture of tea pot from my graduate work at Alfred .. which I still have. Also the one without cover can be found on Damon Cranes website. In fact I just advised a collector that it was one of best buyson the site. Wayne.
Note: On Sunday we'll have photos of Wayne Husted's Tea pot from his graduate work at Alfred! Return for this...
We didn't hear from Tammy Kosla yet - TK has memorized all the Blenko catalogues, she KNOWS blenko, I'm anxious to hear her comments re: teapot.

Life after Blenko?

The question was. Is there Life after Blenko?
Dear Reader:
History is said to be the best predictor of the future. The Blenko Designers - all became more well known after leaving Blenko.
Winslow Anderson, Joel P. Myers, Wayne Husted, Matt Carter, Hank Adams all made a good life and fame and fortune has been very kind to them.
Many of the craftsmen at Blenko will be able retire, others have multiple skills that are transferable to other job settings.
Blenko Glass www.blenkoglass.com remains open, furnaces are down, they are selling the previously made stock while determining the next move.
BLENKO GLASS - Milton, W.Va. off I-64. Take a day trip to Milton, visit the 2nd floor of the gift shop (Blenko Museum) then walk around the lake, view the garden of glass. If you haven't phoned your local representatives about BLENKO GLASS
do so this week. hjh

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Antique Glass - Stain Glass

Blenko Glass http://www.blenkoglass.com/ phone Don Lemley 8:00 - 4:30 he is available to take your call, to discuss your needs and to fill your order for antique glass.
BLENKO GLASS known world wide for their beautiful colors and hand rolled panels of sheet glass.
Buy Now!

Matt Carter 1995 to 2002 Blenko Designer

We are using photos from Blenko Museum Website with permission of Damon Crain. The Blenko Museum's mission is to promote anylysis and understanding of the work of the Blenko Glass Company, focusing on the Historic Period of 1947-1974. They are a private independent organization, not affiliated with the Blenko Glass Company.
There are now many sites devoted to BLENKO GLASS - Blenko Collectors - and American Glass. Google Blenko Glass and spend the day looking at photos and learning about Blenko!

http://www.blenkomuseum.org/ These photos by Damon Crain speak volumes about Matt Carter's time at Blenko Glass. The 'Ruby Millinenieum' and the tangerine web and 2 of the 2034 opaline yellow - are Matt Carter designs that I own. Matt Carter's work (over 100 designs ) will be add to the Blenkoproject http://www.blenkoproject.org/ website this summer. Matt Carter was kind enough to send a CD of his work at Blenko.

I again apologize for spacing - Blogger has been a problem this week.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blenko - Great Design in the 70s

There are those 'people' who say Blenko Glass www.blenkoglass.com hasn't had great design since the early 60s.
The Blenko Museum www.blenkomuseum.org has a sampling of all the 'great Blenko designs' today I have lifted a few of John Nickerson's designs.
You'll want to check out the Blenko Museum, the photos are beautiful, professional photos by Damon Crain. The documentation is accurate. Great source for research and information gathering. Or if you are like me .....its a WishBook site!
Note: To learn more about these photos, the description of the glass etc go to www.blenkomuseum.org .
Any one have these items in their collection?

John Nickerson Gallery; 1970-74

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blenko Glass - An Education On the Website. www.blenkoglass.com

Photo and information about the steps in glass making process from the BLENKO GLASS Website.
http://www.blenkoglass.com/ Terry the Blenko Glass web goddess loves Blenko Glass as much as I do! She is bright and creative enough to have a family of her own and a BLENKO obsession!

Thanks to Terry the website http://www.blenkoglass.com/ is an educational tool. One can watch (video) of glass being made, view tools etc. Check out the website.

Blenko Glass is made using the same methods and tools that the Master Craftsmen in Europe used hundreds of years ago. All workers at Blenko are trained on the job and perpetuate a 1000 year old tradition. The workers in glass factories are divided into groups of six, called "shops." The shop members each have a specific duty to perform, and each task varies in its degree of skill. The "Finisher" and "Blower" are the two key members of the team. The "Gatherer" is next in line, and the "Bit Gatherer", "Stick up boy" and the "Carry-in boy" follow in that order. It is essential to the successful completion of a piece of glass that each member of this team perform his task skillfully and faithfully. Just as in any team, full cooperation is necessary. "Check out the Blenko Glass website, then tool around to the Blenko Collectors website, The Blenko Project website, The Blenko Museum website, and Collecting Blenko website and many more....Blenko addicts continue to grow in number.


BLENKO GLASS VISITOR CENTER / GIFT SHOP IS OPEN THIS WEEK, The Museum upstairs is also open! The gift shop has an excellent supply of Blenko and WV made glass tableware. Reader Bridgett reported that on Sunday she saw several lamps still available at the gift shop. She also noted the clearance tables in the back of the VC had glass and were frequently refilled (these tables contain items that have been marked down more than once - they are usually 25 - 30 % BELOW wholesale. All items in the gift shop are less than retail price. hjh Questions? Phone 304 743 9081

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fostoria Green

These photos are from Larry of Texas who owns Serenity Glass. Visit his website, Larry knows American (WV included - smile) Glass. www.serenityantiques.com Fostoria has several Collectors Group and they are open to new members email theblenkoproject@aol.com for email addresses and links.

The Answer: Where was Harry Thompson' Glass Made

On feb 6 we showed photos of glass made for Harry Thompson (return to this blog post to see the glass).
We were sent this copy of Dean Six's book with photos and descriptions of glass similar to the glass in the Harry Thompson photo with birds and dogs. Mystery solved. Thank you. As in the X FILE series. The answers are OUT THERE! We just have to find them. Actually many of you KNOW the answers, some of us are still seeking answers, and many of us are just now learning about the questions...but I am grateful daily to you . . . each you .... my teachers. . my guides in the world of West Virginia Glass. hjh note: Buying a good set of reference books should probably come before purchasing glass.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day! Give GLASS West Virginia Glass

its the #1 gift of the heart! http://www.blenkoglass.com/ Fenton Glass http://www.fentonartglass.com/ , Osburn Modern Glass (Milton) 304 743 9283 or http://www.tamarackwv.com/ TAMARACK for all West Virginia crafts glass, wood etc. Many independent West Virginia Glass Artist are represented at Tamarack.

Give GLASS a gift that will last a life time, it doesn't add unwanted pounds, it won't immediately go into the trash after 7 days. Buy Made In the USA, Made in WV when possible and BUY LOCAL anytime its available.

BLENKO glass gift shop is OPEN today and has a nice selection of West Virginia Glass 304 743 9081.

Tea for Two or more? Question - Did Blenko Make a Teapot or teapot(s)

The question is: Hillary what's your favorite Blenko teapot? I haven't been able to find a Blenko teapot? How much should I pay?

What's your favorite teapot?

We'll ask the 'collectors' if Blenko made a teapot. I don't own a Blenko teapot. For me teapots are objects of art - I adore tea pots. My favorite teapot is usually the most recent one my Mom brings into our home. Personally, I own three teapots, one is a vintage black Wedgwood pot purchased by my Grandma Jessie in England as a remembrance of her visit for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the other two new (less than 5 years old) designed by Vera Wang.

Photos above - Do you have a preference in this group? The Vera Wang Wedgewood are still in stock.

If we learn Blenko made a teapot, I'll search for a photos for you. If you have information about Blenko and teapots or photos please share. hjh
*** Corrections to this post made 2/16.