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.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Debra Novak - Blenko Retro

Recently I bought all the Blenko Glass films. The one I like best was directed by Debra Novak when did she leave Blenko Glass? Was she involved with other Blenko films? If so can you provide me with the names and contact to order?
What did Novak do after Blenko? Was she the artist in residence?
Karen Miller

I wrote to Blenko about this - as I'm not certain but I think Novak was never a Blenko Glass employee. She is an outstanding WV film maker. She most often works with John Witek.
Perhaps some Huntington reader will have more information. I've been trying for over a year to replace my copy of the Novak/Witek Blenko Film -may I ask where you bought the film?
The following information was obtained from the West Virginia Divison of Culture - Film Office.

Blenko Retro - Three Designers of American Glass120 min. 2001 South Carolina ETVJohn Witek and Deborah Novak produced this colorful, award-winning documentary as a follow-up to their earlier film Hearts of Glass about the flamboyant and wildly creative glass produced by Blenko Glass of Milton, Cabell County. In the years following World War II, the family-owned Blenko Glass Company hired a series of three designers who later became world-famous, both for their glass designs and for their other design work. Their West Virginia glass pieces were considered some of the most creative in the world during the 1950's, '60's, and '70's, and this video provides insight into both the creative process and the production process of this unusual and collectable glass work. To purchase the video, visit South Carolina Educational Television's Web site at www.scetv.org/blenko/. (note: this didn't work for me - the film may be out of print).
This one isn't BLENKO but is an outstanding WV Film by Novak.
From Ashes to Glory120 min. 2000 Witek & Novak/WPBY-TVThis award-winning documentary deals with the worst sports disaster in American history - when almost the entire Marshall University football team died on November 14, 1970, after their plane crashed outside Huntington, killing all 75 aboard - and the team's subsequent rebound. The climb from the 1970 disaster to Marshall's two national championships during the 1990's in the I-AA division marks one of the greatest comebacks in American sports history. The video, co-produced by John Witek and Deborah Novak, describes Marshall's dramatic shift in fortunes and chronicles 30 years of sports history at the school. To obtain a copy of the video, call the Marshall Alumni Association at 1-800-682-5869.

Thanks for reading and for your comment.


Anonymous said...

Deb and John are married live in Huntington area and continue to make
wonderful films and continue to be very successful after their blenko encounter.
Jamie Davis

Phani said...

I went to Houston museum of fine arts and 3 Red/Ruby Decanters by Wayne Husted, not sure which yr but they were tall and not like the usual decater sizes I saw at the visitor center, ranging from 2-3feet tall and gorgeous. B, I know you love ruby and I am sure you will find them very beautiful. When you come down here, lets visit the place and look at them.

sweetdoc said...

I too an looking for this film.
Can you give us photos of the Houston Museum Glass?
Lots of collectors such as yourself live in Texas, Hilary keeps talking about a cohesive group in texas that meets monthly.
Do you belong?
Not B but would love to see the glass?

Phani said...

Doc, I wish I would have taken some pics but photography was not allowed in there. One of the vases on display is a 5815L designed by Wayne Husted and couple others. I am not a collector but I support my companion.

susan said...

In my next life I want a supportive companion like you.
Do you have brothers?

susan said...

Beautiful woman
great film maker.
Do they (john and deb) still live in WV?

Dr.BOB said...

Rick Blenko is being over looked, he continues to direct and produce film.
Blenko will suffer w/o his abilities to promote.

Anonymous said...

I agree whole heartedly with you.
Blenko is suffering w/o Rick and other Blenkos direct involvement.