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, 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.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

2 items
did you see the damon crain newsletter about blenko
and the gazette mail charleston plea for investors in blenko?
both were sad.
your comments?
Sue M

sweetdoc said...

Found the Gazette article on line, this was confusing? What do investors get in return? Who is in charge of this? Either the article was poorly written or there is no plan.
Why have you not told us of this new plan?
Glasslady you are suppose to keep us 'up to date' on Blenko happenings.
How much is each investor being ask to contribute etc.
Lots of questions. Is the plan on line?

Anonymous said...

This is copied from Milton Blog for you all to read about Blenko " I am very much impressed with Ms. Trippe. She is quite young but extremely bright and talented. I wish that I had a daughter like that. If Blenko is to be the beneficiary of a cash infusion, I believe it to be in the best interest of the future company to keep her on in her current or similar capacity. She has a firm grasp of the marketing strategy and economics, so she sees clearly what needs to be done. She does not have the available cash flow to make it happen."
WELL THIS IS FROM THE MILTON BLOG, MY COMMENT IS I WILL CONTRIBUTE BUT WOULD EXPECT QUALITY EDUCATEDMANAGEMENT NOT IMPRESSED WITH ON THE JOB 2 YEAR TRAINING. DOUBT OTHERS WILL BE EITHER, TRAINED MANAGEMENT WOULD HAVE A PLAN BEFORE MAKING OFFERS.
MOUNTAIN RITA

Hillary J Homburg said...

Anonymous
Sweetdoc
Mountain Rita
I read the Gazette only after reading your comments today (monday morning) - checked my email I have no information about proposed 'investors.' My suggestion is to phone Blenko 304 743 9081 or the Gazette.
Mountain Rita, Mr. Walter Blenko is a brilliant lawyer let me assure you he did have a plan and it was working. What happen end of January was unforeseen complication. While I'm certain you always mean well. You don't have all the facts. Katie is my age, I've been around Blenko & in school all my life and I wouldn't have stepped up to that positon if ask - I admire her courage and her confidence in her knowledge and abilities.
hjh

annu said...

Can you post real photos of these items?
Also if anyone has items like these for sell, unusual unique high quality items can you post photos and prices?
I want to start a collection, have only a couple items. Currently I have bought only for gift giving. Now interested in my own collecting.
Thank you

Phani said...

When I look at the bird's egg ceramic pot, it looked like the iron which is in the mineral ilmanite and in the pot has rusted to become those brown/red specs on the pot. Am I getting this right? I assume this is a atmospheric reaction? or is white color on the pot the result of ilmanite? someone let me know. Just curious!!!

Anonymous said...

Glasslady,
To assume one has knowledge or talent because they have confidence
is making as a__ of U & Me.
Shame of Blenko with 2 million dollars to spend, paying judgement off, then a good management team and a plan would have been priorty.
No offense to you glasslady but 24 year old should be seen more often than heard, and even then they should dress appropriately for the title.
Sue M.

lewisphddvm said...

Glasslady I agree with Annu
just because a pig thinks he/she can fly doesn't mean it will happen.
Lack of communication skills, poor or no planning?
If you had no knowledge of request for investors and BCS had no knowledge, who has knowledge?
We have been supportive of Blenko by purchasing for nearly 3 years. We purchase vintage and at gift shop with great frequency. For over a year the one sale person a chunky girl never said 'Thank you ' to me.
Does Blenko appreciate the customer base? Does Blenko appreciate the Collector base? Does Blenko appreciate your role as 'cheerleader' advocate?
Does Blenko appreciate the community of Milton? Is there communication within and external communication?
This girl may make a great daughter for the Webmaster but I wouldn't allow her to manage one of my clinics without experience and a degree in management or bus admin.
Answer these questions if you dare.

Anonymous said...

Sue M., you are so right! I have spent many years in marketing, sales and public relations and she is not a good representative for the profession.
Does Blenko value the support of buyers, collectors and citizens of Milton? It does make one wonder. It has sometimes appeared that the management has forgotten that without treating customers right the best product in the world will fail. So very sad to see this happen to Blenko.
L. B. Evans

Anonymous said...

It was not Ms Trippe that had the 2 million to manage. It was the four before she took over. We seem to forget about the managment that help this mess along.

Anonymous said...

It was not Ms Trippe that had the 2 million to manage. It was the four before she took over. We seem to forget about the managment that help this mess along.

Anonymous said...

Good day HIllary. Like the article from Mr.Husted about the teapots. Will be looking for one of those clay ones. Have seen one of the Blenko ones.I am so sorry that the teapot did not stop all the judgemental writing and throwing of stones at the Blenko company and their young VP. I hope they read this because that judging and throwing of stones just might cost them someday. GOD GIVES AND GOD TAKES AWAY. I would worry if I were them. Hay should some of them invest in Blenko I know who won't have a job. Me I would not want their old dirty money, for this is a good example of MONEY is the root to all evil. Look at the EVIL it has and is causing Blenko. I would worry about that the young MRS.Tripp talking to all the lawery's she knows and sueing for haressment. The tables could turn. I was raise that GOD does the juding unless it is under a court of law and still he judges.I can not for the life of me understand how educated people can talk about and put down others when they should be helping this sick minded world that we live in. Know one needs laughter anymore, all they need is someone to talk bad about and they are in their golry. Think to some it is better than sex. Sorry Hillary. All I know is when the pot gets full someone is going to get it all over them. I am looking for job I have had on the job management training and I am a certified medical information specialist, with alot of common since and a hard worker who is muti-talented, with a great big smile and pretty blue eyes, long hair down pass my knees. Its people like you that cause people to have low self esteem and that person must be SOL. Not brave enough to write your name,just post a comment, that says alot about you. Love you Hillary and I am sorry if I said anything wrong, I know how upset this is for you, it must be like part of your childhood will soon only be a memory, I am sorry, I know how that feels, I lost my Momma when I was eight and I hold on to those memories of her and I am 54. I stll have not found any love like my Momma's. Love ya Roxie P.S. You just keep smiling this will all be over soon and what ever the outcome do not let others get you down and if you want to let out all those unlady like feeling just go spit in the street and you will feel better. Had a guy ask me once what a lady was, I told him a lady can and will be what ever and when ever she has to be it is the gossip of the world that makes her not a lady. Roxie

Anonymous said...

Let me address the 2 Million, and the 4 'let go.'
Mr. Rodney Wade certainly never handled money or made administrative decisons.
Mr. Brett didn't handle money or make administrative decison.
Mr. Rick Blenko was not allowed to be involved with administration from day the '2 million dollar men' came.
This leaves Mr. G.W. who I believe was KT's mentor before she turned
also KT was marketing director and sales director was she not? Was there a marketing plan? A sales plan? A projected budget? For all the time the '2Million' was invested.
Who is to blame? I think 3 or the 4 people were never in a position to handle funds or decison making.
Who cares who is to blame?
Bad hires, multiple bad hires, no business plan, no exit plan, no strategy for growth or development.
Children playing?
Also '2million' I would have to see the cancelled checks to believe this amount.
Sue M.

chitrakahn said...

Hilary
I also would welcome photos of these glass items.
I would welcome information about the need for investors? Who is handling this etc? Do you have this? Phoned the Gazette the writer had no knowledge.
Re: The VP my own paents said they feel very bad for her as she will probably ruin her changes of other jobs.
We should all pray for a positive outcome and also stop the talk and anity up our $$ if the investor plan has merit.

annu said...

Mr. Wayne Husted your talent makes me breathless.

sweetdoc said...

I continue to read, still no word about the need for investors on your blog or their web page.

sweetdoc said...

I continue to read, still no word about the need for investors on your blog or their web page.

Srjphd said...

An earlier poster said they had never been thanked, I really find that hard to believe, the times that I have been in the gift shop the girls have always been very helpful. I have been shopping there for several years and think that the 2 girls that are working the gift shop now are the nicest that I have ever dealt with. Has anyone heard how long the gift shop will be open?

Anonymous said...

lewisphddvm
I read your comment posted 2/23/09
To answer your question, it is obvious they do not appreciate their customer base. Why do I think this? They would have more help in the Visitor Center and less in other areas ( antiques, office, etc.) I don't know the financial contributions from these other departments however, I live in Milton and pass by the VC serveral times a day. The parking lot is full,especailly since their financial problems came out. I have shopped there and often there is a line of people waiting to pay for their purchases. This is a no brainer. I mean they usually have 2 people working there, sometimes more and sometimes less. Yet there will be 4 or 5 cars parked at the office. Does it take that many to count the money from the previous days sales?????
I have been shopping at Blenkos for years and the past few years the Visitor Center has really cleaned up. It is clean and the girls are always helpful and appreciate my business dealings. What department are you shopping with the "chunky girl" that has never said "thank you"? Those girls never stop when I've been there!!!!!
It is obvious Ms. Trippe is in over her head. She lacks experience and knowledge about running a company with this type of problems. I'm sure she is a lovely young lady and would be a lovely daughter but that doesn't mean she is capable of this job. When I saw her in an interview on the news, she looked and sounded like she could just cry. I felt sorry for her.
If this company does pull in some investors, I hope they are involved in all aspects of the company. I understand that they let some people go a few months back, my guess is they need to clean house a little more so that this company can get back to making glass and great customer service and keep glass production a WV tourist attraction.
milton resident

Hillary J Homburg said...

Lewis could NOT have been speaking of Diane or Mindy the current VC workers. If you read this blog, you know they accept calls about glass, answer questions and offer freely suggestions.
I've given their names to 50 or more people in the last 6 months as contact people at Blenko. These 2 ladies are first class, and very hard workers.

Anonymous said...

I think the asst.V.P stayed at a holiday inn express!It takes years of experience to run a buisness.This is just another bad move for Blenko Glass.So you can't blame past management for this choice.

Anonymous said...

Very intereting comments about the cars at Blenko, I went to Blenko at 4pm the office lot had 5 cars, the lot in side the gates had 8 cars and the VC gift shop had 10 cars two overworked very busy ladies trying to wait on about 15 customers. Managment at its best!
If the gift shop is making the money, why not have the 'brains' from the office assist with the gift shop? Why does it take so many people to run the office at Blenko? If the plant isn't making glass why so many peoples cars inside the gates? What is happening at Blenko? Is this business as usual?
With Lewis' comment, that girl took a job a Toyota, and is no longer working. My bad experience was with a 16 or 17 year old girl at the VC and also an older lady both plain ole rude.
Commentors stop downing the marketing program at Marshall, I don't think Katie Trippes' degree was in marketing. She will have a bright future at Wendy's.
Patty Miller

Anonymous said...

Don't be bad mouthing the Holiday Inn Express.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to clear something up about an earlier post. You mentioned a 16 0r 17 year old in your post that was rude. That was in the past, right? The reason I ask is because there is a young girl that is probably around that age, she has been working the past 6 to 8 months and she seems very sweet. She has always been nice and very helpful when I have been there. I think I know who you are talking about. Some people work at a company and get several years under their belt and think they can act however they want, and their boss lets them by with it. I think Milton resident was right when they said "clean house"
You people know who you are, if you don't I certainly hope investors figure it out before they put money into a company that is being ran by a bunch of lazy people who think they are in charge or have not been put in their place!!!!!!! Ms. Trippe could prove worthy by working only those who truly are needed and not the "choosen ones". The VC seems to be the happening place, how about getting some of the "choosen ones" down there and remind them why they are still receiving a paycheck? It's called WORK!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Drove by Blenkos today. Not hardly any cars at the office. Wonder why???
Gift Shop parking lot was pretty busy. I didn't go in so I don't know, maybe some of the office people were in there working. Silly me, you know thats not gonna happen!!!! Is Friday the last day? Haven't read or heard anymore about what they are gonna do.

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