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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blenko # 533 Pinched -side Vase

Readers always ask " what to collect", Blog friend Bruce often shares photos of his glass collection. A perfect answer to the what should I buy, look for, and collect. Always beautiful Bruce's Blenko.
Hi Doc,
A nice trio of Blenko #533 Pinched-side vases in Jonquil, Turquoise and Tangerine.


susan said...

Oh Bruce!
I want to spend 3 weeks just looking at your glass, have you ever consider having a gallery showing?
Alice owns a gallery in Mount Pleasant.
Alice - why don't you and Bruce combine forces?

susan said...

Oh Bruce!
I want to spend 3 weeks just looking at your glass, have you ever consider having a gallery showing?
Alice owns a gallery in Mount Pleasant.
Alice - why don't you and Bruce combine forces?

DrAnnu said...

The blue is magnificent is this color being made now?
I have not seen this shade of blue on the Blenko webpages.

Phani said...


Have you seen last yr. BD piece? Aqua blue? Its gorgeous too and a similar color.

Dr.BOB said...

Why are my comments failing to appear?
Blenko Blenko Blenko

Anonymous said...

Been there and done that. We shared about 150 pieces in a gallery show in Wichita Falls Texas two years ago. Richard Blenko flew in for the opening reception and signed newer pieces that the center had for sale along with any pieces that collectors brought. Was a great experience and would consider doing it again especially since I have added several newer and unusual pieces.It does take a significant effort to pack, ship, setup, document/catalog and dismantle an exhibit. We had a blast sharing our collection and visiting with other collectors. It also turned into one of the most attended shows based upon registry documents that the Kemp Center has hosted.
Dr. Annu
Turquoise was made for several years and comes in a wide range of variations. The current blue in Blenko production is electric blue. You can see it by going to the blenko glass company webpage.

wayne said...

About the Rose color:

A Fun history of Rose.

In 1961(not sure of date) Bill Blenko Sr. got a call from the buyer at the very chic I Magnin store in San Francisco. His name Jacque DuPres, not sure of the spelling but the pronunciation is unforgetable. Jacque DuPres. He
was effusive. His message: "I have an idea for Blenko that is just too hot to discuss on the phone. "You simply must come out here to San Francisco with your designer so I can reveal the idea, but I can tell you that it ia a great opportunity for Blenko."

So, Bill Blenko and Wayne Husted flew out to San Francisco for Jacque
Dupres's 'Mystery" idea meeting.

Mr. Dupre's office was on the street floor of I Magnin's very chic all white marble about eight floor store. Mr. Dupre exposed his idea enthusiastically. The idea: "Everyone thinks that only Eurpean Glass is chic and artistic but we have an American company right here in West Virginia that can make glass just as unique and beautiful as any say from Sweden."

"Now gentlemen we are to meet upstairs with Mr. Hector Escabosa (the President of I Magnin.) "Hector and I are very close friends, we just came back from the bull fights in Spain and he is very sold on my idea to feature a special line of Blenko Glass at our I Magin store."

Bill Blenko Sr and Wayne Husted are ushered into Mr. Escabosa's sanctum santurum with a panoramic view of San Francisco from the top floor of I Magnin, by Mr. Escabosa's chic secretary.

Husted is directed to the chair facing Mr. Escabosa's desk. Bill Blenko is directed to a chair almost against the back wall.

After a perfunctory greeting, Mr. Escabosa wisks out a strip of fabric color samples. He points to a shade of hot pink and asks: "Can Blenko make this Pink?" Bill Blenko starts to respond and Escabosa bluntly interupts him "I'm asking your designer".

Husted defers, turns his head around to Bill Blenko Sr's backwall chair, and passes the quetion off.

Bill Sr. aays: "Yes, we can make that pink". Escaboaa then takes
the current Blenko catalog and asks
Husted to point to the best selling
items. Again, Mr. Escabosa cuts Bill Blenko off short insisting on Husted responding to the question.

After Husted has pointed to about a dozen items in the catalog, Hector Escabosa says: "Fine! Make those items in the Pink.
Good Day gentlemen!".

Ah Blenko just another begging vendor to the chic elite store.

This cursory meeting snub was not pleasant, but the proverbial straw that broke the camels back was when Bill Sr. and Wayne Husted and Jacque Dupres exited the elevator on the first floor and Jacque DuPres offers his hand and in the same perfunctory spirit of Mr. Escabosa saying: "I hope you gentlemen don't mind my not joining you for lunch as I have a lot of work to do".

Bill and Wayne had flown about 3000 miles, It was noon, they were hungry and Husted had never seen Bill Blenko Sr. more offended.

Bill Blenko's exact words were
"We will make those items in that pink, but those bastards will never get them"

And so Blenko did make the items, and many more in that Rose color.

Bill Blenko would flash his very memorale smile when reporting that Mr.Dupres had called many times to see how the project was going..but "I was too busy to take his calls."

While some of the quotes may be less than perfectly accurate, the story is true.