Title

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, June 17, 2011

Arlon Bayliss - Blenko Glass Designer



http://www.arlonbayliss.com/

Many people think Arlon Bayliss may be the best thing to happen at BLENKO GLASS http://www.blenkoglass.com/ in a decade. Blenko had long been without a trained glass designer . Mr. Walter Blenko can be credited with this excellent hire. The last full time designer was Matt Carter. In the years after Matt's departure, Hank Adams, http://www.wheatonarts.org/ or Wayne Husted , http://www.waynehusted.com/ would return to do a couple pieces or assist with a line. Often designs would be done in house, with Richard Blenko and the glassworkers collaborating to create or else change a mold. The Bayliss Team came on board with energy and fresh ideas.


It sometimes seems Blenko and Blenko collectors don't appreciate a designer until after he's moved on. I hope this doesn't happen with Arlon Bayliss. I like his designs, his birthday pieces have been unique, well designed, and well received. Often Birthday Collectors find the

designated BDay Vase to be " less than beautiful" the Bayliss pieces have been beautiful, colorful and each very different from the years regular line of glass. Bayliss gives this item a great deal of thought, and the product has been exceptional.


Many times I recommend to people - they start now with a WV Birthday Collection and forget about trying to find the 30 or so older vases. Collect the new Blenko . Many Bayliss items, I'm certain are going to have a strong life on the after market.


For more than 20 months I've been requesting Blenko give me contact info for Bayliss, so I could forward your questions to him, and also ask for an interview. Last week another reader sent me a link to his website and after a couple emails, he (Mr. Bayliss) agreed to write about his Blenko work for this blog!

A post that is pre set ( for 2nd week in Jan) states we're waiting for contact info . Ignore this, and know a Bayliss post will appear in February.


Today I'm including the link to his webpage for you - and I've taken an image of Blenko Glass, his design to use in this post. . . . the photo will serve as temptation to visit his site, and to find that WV Birthday Vase.


Mr. Walter and Mr. Bill Blenko made a good, no a great decision with the collaboration of Bayliss Team and the fine Blenko Glass craftsmen.


The future for Bayliss and Blenko is bright!

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The naive and ignorant will not inherit the earth.
Hilary find another cause, this one was dead before you arrived.

roundhead2 said...

TO who ever you are. WHY? This site is for showing and talking about glass. We,and all who visit love glass. As far as the company of Blenko it will be what ever, we can not waste energy on worrying about the tomorrow's of Blenko. We wonder about people who get stuck on the business of Blenko, cause really it is none of our business. Would that not make us judgemental and gossip mongels? My, I just like to go window shopping and dream about the Old glass that I would like to add to what I have.I am sorry for being so out spoken for there are better words that I could of used, only that would put me on your level Anonyous! Smile and think positive about life. If I had the money I would be buying up all the Blenko I could find, when they are know more, Hope and Pray you have all small numbers and the Blenko signed. Hillary's cause is collecting Blenko not running the company. God Bless and my God bring peace to your home. Roxie

lewisphddvm said...

Laughing
LMAO. Both anonymous and Roxie are correct.
Blenko shoots itself daily, Hilary is navie but not ignorant.
Blenko management is none of our business, however, it declines as we speak.
Firing a seasoned employee, firing management to hire a 25 year old (no offense to Glasslady) who is now apparently firing at will and causing distrust and low morale.
The Visitors Center declines with each trip. Mindy knew glass, Diane knew the product also.
Angie knew glass but often failed to smile or talk.
My last visits to the VC were not productive.
Made me miss Minday, Diane and also Rodney Wade, who if you couldn't fine something would allow for a special order.
To learn of Don Limly's leaving also saddens me.
Perhaps KT will design and make the glass and her Mom can sell the glass.
My question is who will buy the glass.
Quality control should be the issue for management. Color and design decrease consistently.
Roxie, this is an observation, not meant to result in a negative response from you.
I continue to read the blog weekly. I no longer comment to avoid starting a negative landslide.

Dr.BOB said...

Lewis
You are as my Granpop use to say "preaching to the choir" all collectors would agree, the changes are not good.
In 2005 I thought Blenko could survive, now I watch the painful death.
Talking and bobbing ones head is never an indication of good management.
The Funeral March will go on without me, I no longer purchase new glass. The one exception is Bayliss, I will purchase Bayliss, but a good designer w/o quality craftsmen or the support of management isn't enough.
Bayliss will survive and flourish.
In kt's life this will the the climax, nothing again of any magnitude will be available.
Major question is: Should we wear black for the parade, wear blue and gold, or just stay home?

westvirginiajanis said...

This photo of this modern art glass hanging in this medieval way is delightful. Also, if you have the time, visit Arlon Bayliss' personal website. The wall for the airport in Indianapolis is breathtaking. His team has designed and installed a wall of abstract glass VVVVVVVV birds that change color depending the light that day as well as where you are standing in like at airport screening.

Bayliss Team also designed and installed a fabulous art glass display at the Marion County Library in Indiana.

Not since seeing a Chihuly glass installation have I wanted to hop on a plane to see a public display of glass.

Head on over if you have time!

http://www.arlonbayliss.com/

REALLY makes me appreciate the Bayliss Blenko pieces even MORE and want one of those wonky pitchers.

WV Janis

westvirginiajanis said...

This photo of this modern art glass hanging in this medieval way is delightful. Also, if you have the time, visit Arlon Bayliss' personal website. The wall for the airport in Indianapolis is breathtaking. His team has designed and installed a wall of abstract glass VVVVVVVV birds that change color depending the light that day as well as where you are standing in like at airport screening.

Bayliss Team also designed and installed a fabulous art glass display at the Marion County Library in Indiana.

Not since seeing a Chihuly glass installation have I wanted to hop on a plane to see a public display of glass.

Head on over if you have time!

http://www.arlonbayliss.com/

REALLY makes me appreciate the Bayliss Blenko pieces even MORE and want one of those wonky pitchers.

WV Janis

Anonymous said...

Bob
We heard kt say the holder of gas note would never again try to collect, as public sentiment would not allow.
This was an arrorgant comment, the comment of a very young 25 year old. The comment has made its way around this state and others.
Blenko no longer has the public sentiment. No paying your bills while you have I phones and new computers for all . . . well it isn't good managment. West Virginians like honesty they also know how to live with very little and on budgets.
Blenko family has WV values, these young people, well I dunno about all this.
Billy

Anonymous said...

No = not paying bills.

Anonymous said...

Chihuly
will be doing installations in Ohio and South Carolina in 2010
Glass Fan

chitrakahn said...

We buy only Bayliss
at the gift shop.
Other glass we purchase is usually from the 60s.
We do buy dozens of water bottles to use for work related gifts. We also believe the quality of gift shop employee has declined.
As consumers unless we are ask, my belief is 'what happens at blenko should stay inside blenko'
sewage is never a good topic.
Dr. Bob
I agree the changes were not in the best interest of growth or development.

Bayliss is the only good thing in the last 6 years.
Cheers to Bayliss Design Team, either with or without Blenko I plan to follow Bayliss and purchase his designs, what I can afford.
Happy New Year to All.

chitrakahn said...

wonky pitcher
in the picture
was the 2008 Birthday Blenko vase.

Anonymous said...

I am around and see things and talk to people, I know Don Lemley is working with Dave at Osburns glass factory. You get these two glass-guys together lookout Blenko. They will start getting orders and naturally needing talent the best ones left at Blenko will go where they have a chance of working and not being layed off half the time. What is the young one going to do then? Are her and the ladies in the office going to make the glass to.

Anonymous said...

Does osburn do rodells etc?
I would follow Don, if in fact they do.
Blenko was raising the prices on these items monthly.
Sam T.

Anonymous said...

dave can make rodells.he made them for years at blenkos

sweetdoc said...

Welcome back Roxie.
I've miss your comments,
WVJanis's wisdom and photos,
Margie's sweet docile comments
Ram's words of affection
and anonymous' words of salvation.
Blenko everyone!

Anonymous said...

Sam,

Just call osburns glass and ask for Don Lemley. If he's not there leave a message he can call you back.

Anonymous said...

I think Arlon Bayliss got it RIGHT with the orange and black birthday vase. But that was really the only design that he got right. The basic shape of that vase was used for a few other vases(Bella Bocca) and sold very well. But the Bravo line has not sold well, don't know why they keep it in production. And the other new designs are just sad. I would love to see Blenko Glass go to the OLD catalogs and do a complete retro line. I'm not sure if they still have the glass artist that can make such items. But it's a good dream!!!

Anonymous said...

The problem with Osburn as I see it is, he needs to start melting batch with color. Get away from all that crystal and make red,colbalt, green,light blue,orange ........ Come on Dave,YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Anonymous said...

COLOR BLIND
you are COLOR BLIND
it was a honey golden yellow
and Navy blue
I didn't know Blenko used the mold again - Shame on Blenko!
This glass item sells out in 1 hour, why screw with this collection?
If this is true and I'm going down there Monday. I will stop collecting Birthday pieces.
In the last 5 years, I've spent a small fortune trying to amass this collection.
Jordan

Anonymous said...

"The designer, Arlon Bayliss, said the burnt orange vase with black stripes was inspired by how the West Virginia sunrise and sunset made him feel." This is a quote from the designer himself. Someone needs to let him know he is color blind.

Jordan,did you even see the vase??? Honey golden yellow and navy blue?????

Also, I did not say that Blenko used the same mold. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. But the basic design was very similar.(The Bella Bocca line) Can you not see the similarities?

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is any way the glass workers that remain at blenko could hold a candle to the old Master Craftsman. But it is a good dream.

susan said...

I'm now collecting Bayliss
along with Anderson.

DrAnnu said...

Check out this gentleman's web
excellent designs. I googled the school very small to support a glass design program.
Someone should write (you) about the school and its offerings.
Is part time available, or weekend classes?
I'd like to try just one time.
Teaching and a private business must keep Bayliss and Compamy very busy. Blenko has good fortune to attract the talented and gifted.

sweetdoc said...

arlon bayliss is a keeper
Blenko is very fortunate to have him.
Cheers to Arlon.

Anonymous said...

Do you realize this is republished and you didn't write or have bayliss write a post?