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, June 23, 2009

BLENKO Family Donates Newest Birthday Art Glass to WVU

This was in our local paper on Sunday. We're over 1,000 miles from Morgantown. Good to know the tradition continues. We didn't come as I just assumed Blenko wouldn't be doing the 'birthday' this year.
Many people in and out of the state will be grateful to the Blenko family for their generosity in continuing to keep the collection in tack and up to date.
Do you know where it's housed?
We attend 4 home football games each year , I'd like to take photos of a completed set.

Blenko family donates newest 'birthday' art glass to WVU

— This piece of art called "Aqua Luna" is the 2009 West Virginia Birthday collectible from Blenko Glass.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In celebration of the Mountain State’s 146th birthday Saturday (June 20), the Blenko family is donating the newest addition of the West Virginia Birthday Blenko Glass Collection to West Virginia University’s art collection. The latest collectible will become part of the complete 29-piece birthday collection given to the University in 2007 by student and former WVU Foundation scholar Hillary Homburg.
The Blenko Glass birthday pieces began in 1980, and since her birth, Homburg - a WVU dental student and Charleston native – and her father have been in line waiting for their Blenko collectible every year on West Virginia’s birthday.
“Before I was born, my Dad bought the birthday collection for me. Then in 1985, I was in line in person – and every year thereafter,” she said.
“While I was a student helping with New Student Orientation, I decided to give my collection to WVU,” Homburg added. “I realized that thousands of people visit campus. If Blenko glass was on display at the University, perhaps those people would develop an interest and want to visit the factory or buy some glass and take it home as a souvenir of their trip to West Virginia. These pieces represent a variety of Blenko designers who were major figures in the American glass scene, and decades of design and color.”
When Homburg decided to donate her collection to WVU, the Blenko family agreed to make a gift each year of the company’s annual birthday collectible to keep the collection intact.
According to the Blenko Glass Web site, the latest West Virginia birthday piece, Aqua Luna, is inspired by the state’s lakes and rivers, suggesting a rising moon over rippling waters. Its strong, confident form boldly announces its presence. Designed by Arlon Bayliss, the 16-inch tall special edition Sea Breeze decanter has a generous crystal stopper hovering over the wide, outstretched rim. Aqua Luna has contemporary proportions, yet is also classical in feeling.
The collectible series is the longest running, annually signed and numbered item that Blenko produces. The limited 146 pieces are available on West Virginia’s birthday (June 20) at the Blenko Glass Visitor’s Center in Milton.
The latest Blenko Glass collectible was given to WVU’s art collection through the WVU Foundation, a private nonprofit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU.


Hillary J Homburg said...

Today I have 17 comments and 5 emails about the June 20th ranging from people trading small number vases for larger # for a fee, people buy to resell (nothing wrong with either of these things) to time date stamped photos for 6-7 hours of seats and other complains and a list of the things Blenko employee supposedly said is going to be changed.
Next May we'll publish what ever Blenko sends about the B Day Celebration. Until this time, enough Birthday!
My goal has been to promote interest in Blenko, if you want gossip, or backstabbing try a different source.
I will not be publishing any additonal comments about June 20th. We have tried to keep the blog positive, when I get 6 or 7 comments about the same issue even a negative issue I'll allow a couple comments.
Life is much too short for this, but I now have a fuller understanding of why 'The Blenko Collectors Society' hasn't been able to fly!

Anonymous said...

Cheers for the Blenko family and most especially Mr. Bill and Mr. Walter.
Excellent marketing. For less than $200 you get press release and good will of the WVU Alums.

lewisphddvm said...

One Two Three
Cheers for Blenko Glass!!
Hilly its about time you took control of the comments. I heard only 3 people failed to get a vase so the line wasn't all that long, in 1990 I recall 25 -30 people in line who were disappointed but stayed and shopped for other glass.