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.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The End? I'm Voting for an Act III

Blenko Glass, an American family tradition.

Press Release:January 30, 2009
Blenko Glass Company announced today that it is shutting down production and is discussing with its counsel whether it should consider filing for bankruptcy. The Blenko Visitor’s Center will continue to remain open. The Milton based manufacturer of hand made glass was sued by Big Two Mile, its former gas supplier, four years ago because of a disagreement about the payments due for gas used at the factory. A court found in favor of Big Two Mile and entered a judgment against Blenko for more than $500,000 in September of 2005. Several proposals for settlement of the case were made by Blenko; none of the proposals was accepted.Over the past three years members of the Blenko Family were in contact with members of the Maier Family who are the owners of Big Two Mile. Blenko was led to understand that Big Two Mile would not take steps to shut down Blenko. Relying on those assurances Walter Blenko of Pittsburgh PA and Don Blenko of Wellesley MA invested more than 2 million dollars in Blenko in an effort to return the company to profitability. In recent months the company’s losses had been reduced and Blenko management was looking forward to seeing a positive cash flow in the company’s operations.On January 15, 2009, Big Two Mile took steps to seize “all amounts, deposits, and moneys” in the Blenko Glass bank accounts including its payroll and withholding accounts. Blenko first learned of Big Two Mile’s action on January 23, when Blenko’s bank reported that the bank accounts had been emptied.Blenko had issued a check on that day to pay for gas that it used in its glass making furnaces. When Blenko learned its funds had been seized it was able to recover the check which was already in the mail. Because of nonpayment Blenko’s gas supplier has refused to supply gas for the glass making process after January 31, 2009. Blenko has therefore shut down its furnaces and some of them will be destroyed due to the loss of heat.Blenko employs approximately 50 employees. Walter Blenko, President of Blenko Glass, said “I want to thank and pay tribute to the many loyal employees of Blenko Glass who worked diligently and faithfully against bad economic conditions to keep the company operating and producing world renowned Blenko Glass up until the last day.”For further information please contact: Walter Blenko, President, or Katie Trippe, Assistant Vice President, at (304) 743-9081.


Anonymous said...

Just dropped end to say I still love my Lamp. Weather made me sad this year long and cold. You know I get up with Rog at 2 am. in the winter and I turned my Blue Cobalt lamp on everyday. One of the bestest gifts I have ever received, saying thank you would never do. Feel better it got 60 degree's. Yes. SAD that this world and the people in it only need to hear about change not work on change. I do alot of praying and thinking things out for I spend alot of time alone, have taught myself to depend on God to work things out. Very sad for Blenko, I worked in an old brass foundry and I am sorry to say if the furances aren't broken down from sitting it cost so much and takes so long to get them back-up to temperature to make liquid. Plus if I am not mistaken there is alot to just getting them ready to fire. Oh well the Glass of West Virginia and the coal of West Virginia are running the same race, I feel this generation has made theirs and doesn't want to pay for all the clean air issues that will be coming this way. Not to forget Ravenswood, sad too. All we will have left is doctor's and hospitals and schools, working for the state and food store's. This 2009 is bringing change and not for the good. Big sister loss some money in the stock market and is thinking if things get worse making her losses back and putting it back in CD's. My teeth are wonderful. Jake is growing and more bossy everyday only a very good puppy.How is your Mom, Morti, Casmere and SOffIE? We got a Wii and you need to get one for you and your Mom and Dad you guys will enjoy it. I know that my grand children enjoy theirs. Lilly is bowling a 164 and just got Mario Cart going to learn to drive and shot the target or the bad guy, monster. I highly reconmend everyone to get a Wii good family entertainment for all ages to play together. Margie that nursing home you go visit I hope they get a Wii. There is even golfing and tennis and baseball and fishing, duck hunting and you make your own character. I know I talk to much, only I know that everyone is stressing over the bad news and forming their own thoughts while the gossip grows. Me I am thankful to own afew good pieces of Blenko. I have several antiques that I am sure I will never find the same artist of design to go with. That is the sad part not the pass that has been accomplished, the future that has been discarded to know longer make the New. Like the seasons. Maybe the Spring will bring forth a rebirth, for at my young age I have seen alot of change and when I look back to now it is scary the where we start and the where we are now. Rox

Anonymous said...

Roxie Hello!
It is sad. You Ram and Holly left about the same time, I haven't been commenting as Mountain Rita and some others frighten me. I just read. Welcome back, I am suggesting we arrange a protest of Blenko's closing, and all go to W.Va. for that day.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Roxie. LMAO. Followed West By God Jan's link to Milton Talk line, the milton blog suggestion is 'you' donate 1k and get 'us' aka the vultures, to donate 1k.
I read where you gave your University stipend of 3k to promote blenko and then you gave up your glass collection to University to promote blenko.
when or what or how or when do the donation on the milton blog start?
Let me no then I'll send my check.
Delete my email address please.