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.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Blenko Fish

Those of you who have been reading the Heart of Glass blog for a while know that, on occasion, we like to talk BLENKO fish. The fish in this photograph are not the famous Winslow Anderson design shown on July 1, 2009, but they are BLENKO fish less than two years old. Fish with contrasting, non-clear eyes, fins, and mouths are easier to photograph. After about twenty tries, I finally got these two guys to cooperate! They have a green and crystal brother but two was company and three was a CROWD when it came to this photo shoot. When I was there in June, they had a pink one. If you want one, I'd suggest trying to call and make a request. You never know what the workers might cook up for you. So much work is involved in making these rascals! The fish are about 8-9 inches long and 6 inches tall. I'd love to know about the prototype. Who started making them and when? Does anyone else collect them?

WV Janis


Phani said...

Dont they say, 'the more the merrier', like the famous Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn movie. Either way picture is great, looks like the blenko fish are either crying for food or singing for an opera. I'd like latter.

Anonymous said...

Like the fish. Would look good hanging out next to one of those lilly ponds people put in their yards. Roxie

Anonymous said...

Love the photo, WVJ, that green guy looks ready to talk,, maybe "more gruel, please" (from the musical "Oliver"). Saw a very few in the VC last August at the Festival of Glass, but none "spoke" to me. Like many other things in life, it's all in the timing.
Car Girl

westvirginiajanis said...


I forget the paragraph I wrote to accompany my photo of the Blenko fish, but at least you were able to retrieve the photo. They are both signed; one from this year, one from last. Glass fish are challenging to photograph.

WV Janis

glassbug said...

I collect fish and also frogs and angels from Blenko.
Would like to start a cane collection, but I can't seem to find canes.
2 years ago I started collecting Hilary's Birthday Blenko now I have 12 pieces.
To learn Blenko will make fish upon request um m m mmm this is very interesting. I had assumed they only did these things for the special few.
Thank you WVJ I will now be asking for special items.

glassbug said...

Fish have open mouths as per asian lore
this brings good luck into the home.

Hillary J Homburg said...

Don Lemley - the antique and stain glass director at Blenko Glass tells me Winslow Anderson in 1954 made the first official FISH.

annu said...

I am a big fan of the Blenko fish.
To create without a mold, to create without a designer, to create from a photo only in ones mind. This is a work of the heart.
The men who make the fish should be available for photo and signature allowing collectors to document the source of their fish.
Your thoughts?

annu said...

Car Girl
Timing is a B____ isn't it?
Mine timing is notorisously bad.
Your statement is correct all of life is about timing.
My gdad calls it striking while the iron is hot!

Anonymous said...

Hi Glassbug and All,
I noticed that you mentioned that you were interested in glass canes. I was lucky to have been able to purchase two made by Bob Hamon (now deceased) of the Hamon Glass Co. I obtained them from his widow and they are for sale in my store.
We also have some nice Blenko fish, including one unique one that Richard Blenko particularly admired and signed for us. It is pictured on our website (pg.3) if you would like to take a look.
Linda King
"Kissin Kates"

Anonymous said...

kissin n kate
why not have glasslady put your fish on this blog
so we can all see w/o having to move.
Lazy, fat and over fifty.

chitrakahn said...

Once a week or every other week can you show photos of all these items made by Blenko in the previous week?
Then number the items and we can phone to order.
Just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Have your seen the Homberg glass garden?
Last year at the Festival of Glass
garden party, Hilary Mom had fish surrounding her yard koi pond. Fish and frogs it was a beautiful picture. I returned to Blenko the next morning and purchased fish and frogs for our senior complex.
Margie Hale.

sweetdoc said...

O O O OH how I am enjoying this photo, can imagine it enlarged as a great 16 x 20 or 20 x 24 print.
r Both relaxing and refreshing.