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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, May 05, 2009

What's Available At Blenko Visitors Center?

Blenko always handmade, made in USA!
The number 1 questions in my email the last 30 days has been what's available at the Blenko Gift Shop / Visitors Center, and is it worth the long drive?

My Morgantown home is 3 1/2 hours away so I wrote to Christy at Blenko to ask, I'm publishing her response.

My own thoughts are: Driving to Blenko is always worth the trip, you will view highly skilled craftsmen making West Virginia Glass. Each visit is different, and its always educational, entertaining, and you never know what you'll find at the Visitors Center. Often they have one of kind items, end of day pieces and Designer rejects 'unadvertised' beautiful glass for 50% of the retail price.

Mothers' Day, Weddings, Birthdays, for any occasion BLENKO GLASS has a wonderful limited in number, colorful item of glass, fine quality, handmade West Virginia Glass. Why not gift your friend or loved one a one of a kind gift?

Remember BLENKO GLASS is the last remaining producer of antique glass in the United States.

Don't be caught buying IKEA, TARGET, Home Goods art glass - these items were not made by skilled craftsmen and they were NOT made in the USA.

Christy's response to your questions about Visitors Center.

Hillary:

The VC doesn't have any large stopper vases at the moment. We are slowly restocking after depleting almost all of our inventory in February when the future of the company was in doubt. The tables are full of glass, but most of the glass being produced is going out on wholesale orders. It it going to take some time to get things back to normal. We do have a small amount of pink ice available for Mother's Day. Also, the bluebird ornament is available for sale now.

Christy

NOTE: I'll ask Christy to let us know when the large stopper vases are available.

Another reader wrote to say the water bottles are available in all colors except cobalt, so if you are a waterbottle collector this is good news!

hjh

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Blenko Blenko Blenko I won't comment as you are not allowing comments to appear.
Why.

Anonymous said...

MOUNTAIN RITA AND THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A QUOTE FROM THE BCS PRES THAT SIGNED GLASS HAD NO ADDED VALUE.
FROM TERRY KOVAL
AN EXPERT? EVEN BCS WOULD AGREE?
Collectors are beginning to realize that Blenko glass has had an important influence on glass design in America.

The Eureka Art Glass Co. (later renamed Blenko Glass Co.) opened in Milton, W.Va., in 1921. William Blenko, Eureka's founder, had tried glassmaking before but had failed. He soon introduced some manufacturing improvements. He invented a process for making large sheets of antique-looking glass and developed a ruby glass that didn't change color when reheated.

The company made a good product, and Blenko's son Bill was a successful salesman. The glassworks sold colored glass for stained-glass windows, but the Depression destroyed that market. So the company started to make tablewares. Blenko hired two trained Swedish glassblowers who made classically shaped glass in many colors. They also made reproductions of old glass as well as modern designs.

By the mid-1940s, after the war, unusual forms of colorful glass were sold. Blenko glass became a favorite in gift stores and an ideal decoration in a ¤'50s room. Chartreuse-colored glass was a hit, abstract designs sold well, and very tall colored vases were designer favorites. The glass was considered important enough to be included in museum exhibits right next to the best Swedish and Italian pieces.


Blenko is still working today, and its glass pieces are still cleverly designed and sell well. Collectors have started to buy the earlier pieces, and prices are rising. Signed pieces bring the highest prices.
GET YOUR BLENKO SIGNED. IF YOU CAN, IT DOES ADD VALUE SOME SAY 50% MORE VALUE. PRICES IN MY TOWN ON WV BORDER ARE GOING UP DAILY.
NOW ? IS - WHO SIGNS BLENKO? WITH RICK NO LONGER AROUND?
WHY NOT HIRE HIM ON CONTRACT TO SIGN AND PROMOTE BLENKO?
RICK BLENKO WAS BLENKO
BLENKO WILL CONTINUE TO SUFFER IDENTITY CRISIS W/O RICK.
MOUNTAIN RITA

Anonymous said...

Thank you Hilary
I won't be driving down until they make the big vases or birthdaypieces. I will check back, does Kissin Kate keep these in stock, and do you know her price list?
Margie Hale

Anonymous said...

I was to Blenko this weekend, they have many glass items and a dozen large lamps.
Amazing color selection. Probably 10 different types of lamps.
Karen

Anonymous said...

Hilary
On Monday we drove up to Charleston to shop at your Purple Moon. Did you know they closed?
There was no sign, however we stopped at 3pm and it was most definitely closed.
Sad, to see a dynamite shop close to the bad economy.
PJ

Anonymous said...

PJ:

I'm really confused if Purple Moon is closed, as they just announced a juried art exhibit and a call for submissions.

Will there be a Blenko WV birthday piece this year?

Anybody have any suggestions for places to stay during the Vandalia Festival in Charleston this Memorial Day weekend? We have no idea what the crowds will be like. Could possibly bring our small camper. Would prefer a hotel or bed and breakfast.

Hope all is well. Glad to see Margie Hale is still online and that Hillary is on schedule to attend dental school at OSU.

Bob H. Why go to Ohio for Grad school in dentistry? My answer would be because Hillary knows that usually clients/students/patients benefit from having doctors/dentists/professors who get training from more than one location. To stay in one place is to limit one's access to expertise. As a matter of fact, universities frown on students getting all degrees from one institution. Hillary has received a fine education from WVU. Now time for part B.

Hillary: Let me know if you need some artwork for those walls. I love the furniture but the walls are way too stark!

Best to all,

West Virginia Janis

Anonymous said...

Bliss is like a breeze. As long as you have your hands open, you can feel it flow. Once you try to possess it, it moves away from you!

bridgett said...

My life is hetic with travel, however, one constant is heart of glass blog. Your blog is like the Pakistan ad for cold meds - never outstanding, sometimes awesome, always always there.
In 7 days you will finally be a Doc, what great item did Blenko Glass make for you? Please publish photo and share with us.
Like Sol, I also get into Columbus, I won't visit, but will offer recommendations for eating and partying and hairdressers, if you need info respond to this and I'll email theblenkoproject with all my Ohio faves.
B.
ps thank you for the blog, I complain frequently but I return almost weekly to catch up.

bridgett said...

Mountain Rita,
Most of us knew our signed glass to have more value than unsigned.
You misunderstood what Karin A. was saying, she is wise about glass and the value of glass.
You could learn a lot from the BCS group.
I plan to attend, why don't you also come. If someone can talk the 'old' collectors into returning we might be able to regroup and help Hilary and the BCS promote West Virginia Glass.
B.

bone said...

Thanks to Christy of Blenko for this information.
I for one would like to have Blenko give us information on a regular schedule.
Things like, employments/ the men are back and are working on ____ this week.
Things like the future - In May we will be doing _____ & ____ or we'll have a sale, or feature something.
We read this blog and visit the website {never changing} weekly as we want information.
Less fluff, more photos of workers and items currently available please.
More stories about the workers, and the current happenings? Is Blenko marketings? Is it successful, how is business?
This is what we want to hear Glasslady.
bonedoc609@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Why aren't you allowing my comments?

Anonymous said...

Hi Hillary,

Why do we hear NOTHING from our club.No imformation .Club web never has anything new.We try to promote this but nothing ever goes on.

Frustrated

Anonymous said...

Glasslady
do you get up early to write the blog?

chitrakahn said...

Hilary
I also would agree with bone
no pressure but if possible more information from the source and more articles about the employees and their outside worlds.
Also news of new items.
Count me in.

sweetdoc said...

Purple Moon is closed every monday!
Read the sign on the door next time.
Silly silly lady.
Purple Moon is thriving, each time I am there it is busy.
Great items of Blenko and the owners know everything about each item.
Go to buy and know you get what yo pay for.
This shop was for me your best tip - Thank you for Purple Moon.