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.