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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.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Amazing Texas Glass


Hi Hillary,
Just got in the Gold Anderson pouch vase and wanted to share. I'm
working nights now so I may get the chance to shoot and send more
photos of our collection soon.
Enjoy,
Bruce Specht

9 comments:

susan said...

Bruce & Family.
Thank you for sharing the photo, your glass collection continues to inspire me, it adds weekly to my knowledge of Blenko, and ignites a believe that I too can find these vintage treasures.
My question for you is, are you collecting any of the new designs? If so which ones. I have been buying, and storing the new lines in a closet or using for gifts. For my untrained eyes the new line and the new colors leave me cold.
Other than fish, and a few odd items, I have nothing on display in my offices or home made after 1990.

annu said...

Add my name to the long list of admirers.
Excellent photo, when I attempt to photograph glass, the results are sad. Yet you Bruce, WV Janis, and Phani all take the most colorful photos.
Yesterday I had ruby blenko at the oceans edge, the blue ocean and sky, the white beige sand, the yellow orange sun the combination would have made Sarasvati and Rahu (both ends of the sphere) cry for joy.

Dr.BOB said...

Hilary
In today's Charleston Gazette on line there is a small write up about your WVa Birthday Glass at WVU.
Annu always a solid voice.
Your description of the beauty could perhaps inspire these photographers, we each have a role to play in this game of life.
Blenko will do what Blenko does, the past is the best predictor of the future?
As collectors and future collectors my suggestion is shop now for the inexpensive vintage before the tide of public opinion moves.

chitrakahn said...

Name those colors
Bruce.

bridgett said...

Oh Bruce,
you are one lucky man.

Bruce Specht said...

Susan
I find that there are several of the new items( post 90’s) that I find attractive. Unfortunately the prices are usually prohibitive and I also want to see and feel, if at all possible, what I am buying. I especially enjoy the “Desert Green” and “Watercolor” pieces. I have the Blenko Collectors society jug which is in the “watercolor” style with the green stopper which I enjoy immensely. I do have several of the ’96 “cobweb” designs. However, I mostly favor the vintage Blenko due to the designers incorporation of a wider color pallet. I can relate to some criticism of Blenko in that there was a period of time that color all but vanished from the lines. What could be further from Blenko than lack of color. Without it the designs must be even more outstanding which sadly, by and large, was not the case, The newer pieces also tend to be heavier which detracts from their utilitarian purpose. Two modern pitchers that I purchased online are so physically heavy in their execution that they would take a power-lifter to wield in pouring beverage from them. The vintage pieces do not have this issue. Yes, they are more susceptible to breakage, but they are very functional in everyday use. I do display and use our Blenko and enjoy the impact they bring to any flower arrangement or garnish tray. In addition to this new addition in Gold and the previous piece in Amythest I recently had the good luck to pick up an Anderson pouch vase in Turquoise for the rock bottom price of $5.99. That turned into a wonderful wedding gift for a couple from our church that knew of our collecting “bug”. Along with the vase I included care and cleaning instructions from the Blenko Museum webpage along with information about the designer. Your gifting of Blenko helps to keep spreading the Blenko legacy and you may be well ahead in the long run with your purchasing the current designs. However I have to ask you this, If you don’t want to have your glass out and enjoy it now what will change in the future to make you want it out? I can say that my only regret right now is not enough shelf space to properly display our whole collection. As has been said by wiser people than me, collect what you enjoy and forget the investment aspect. You will find much more enjoyment in your collecting when you do. There are several pieces that serious collectors would say that I am missing but quite frankly I find those pieces not to my liking. I enjoy what we have and will do so until the time to pass them on.
Enjoy
Bruce

glassbug said...

Susan,
I am not happy with the new designs, handles aren't in the right place, the glass is heavy, and not properly weighted etc.
Then I recall what Dr Hilary said " Its handmade, its made in the USA and if we want to have glass from USA we should be supportive" so I buy and tell everyone the charm is in the imperfection.
Attitude is everything. Giving glass is important, buying new is necessary for the company to survive.
Does anyone here 'collect' the new?

Hillary J Homburg said...

Glassbug,
I love the new designs!
I don't have enough money to collect, but I enjoy the Bayliss Design Teams work.
These designs are unique, colorful, Bayliss is a gifted designer. The values will surely incrase over time.
Randy Rider the new foreman &( long time Blenko glass worker)cheif glass maker is a multi talented gentleman, he and the craftsmen at Blenko strive to produce quality. If you haven't shopped Blenko in the last 15 months, come back, check out the Gift Shop. You'll be surprised at the quality, the quantity. Randy is working 10-12 daily to assure you'll want to collect the new.
I'm hearing the men are now encouraged to try new items, many off hand items are returning example: mushrooms, a large collection of fish. Many surprises can be found on the shelves of Blenko Glass Gift Shop. Look underneath the shelves, check out the shelves in the back, and also ask the friendly shop keepers : "whats new, do you have any end of day items? " hjh

Anonymous said...

I, too, use much of my Blenko; if I don't hve room to show it, I don't buy it. An example, last Christmas I lined a large smoke blue bowl with Saran wrap, then put a large white pointsettia and some evergreens in it; it was the centerpiece on my dining room table all season, to many compliments.
I have several pieces of "Desert Green" from 2004 - 2007, all from the VC, including some "one-offs" or limited amounts; and careful shopping. All the color amounts are a bit different but striking.
Color is my first attraction to Blenko, then design. Then I hope I can afford it! Which most of the time I can't, which leads to some very careful shopping. I have a few 1930's pieces, up to a 2008 angel. Lots of smaller, more affordable pieces, old and newer.
Car Girl