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, February 05, 2010

Bronze Look Cameo Art Glass Event Feb 6

Cameo Art Glass artisans Kelsey Murphy and Robert Bomkamp will make an appearance at The Bronze Look in Princeton, WV on Saturday February 6th. The Bronze Look has a nice selection of both one of a kind and limited edition Cameo Art Glass by Kelsey and Robert. As well as one of the largest selections of WV art glass in the state.

West Virginia cameo art glass extrodinare Kelsey Murphy and Robert Bomkamp joined forces with now extinct Pilgrim Glass in 1987. When they began their Cameo Glass journey the breakage rate was 95%, now a million shards of glass later the breakage rate is 4%. Even more amazing than the decrease in breakage rate Kelsey Murphy has successfully carved 12 layers of glass. According to Murphy "cameo glass with 12 layers has never been done before in the history of glass making". "The English glass people back in the early 1900's were able to do five color pieces but most of them blew up. There are only a few examples left in private collections and museums."

In the earliest years of cameo art glass only the wealthiest of families could afford even the smallest of pieces. It was so valuable that during World War II, when London was being bombed, entire collections were carefully packed up and secretly shipped to Canada for safe keeping. The Bronze Look, LLC has brought pieces of this amazing art glass to Princeton, WV with a selction of both "Made in Heaven" one of a kind pieces and Fenton Cameo Art Glass that has been designed by Kelsey Murphy and Robert Bomkamp. Not all cameo art glass is only for the wealthy. The Bronze Look has pieces that any collector can add to their collection.

But what is Cameo Glass? The best way to describe it is that it is hand-blown, hand carved, multiple colored glass in which the carved portions of each colored layer reveal the colors beneath. Kelsey says, "I thrive on challenge". She has actually counted 24,270 things that can go wrong with a piece of glass from the time the sand is dumped into the hopper until the finished art work comes from the lehr (cooling oven). "The glass is both magical an defiant," Murphy says, "Glass is alive, a kind of anachronistic poem. It's strong enough to hold up buildings, but fragile, one of the densest of materials, but you can see through it. You can manipulate glass, but it will turn on you in a second."


Anonymous said...

OMG this glass sounds like my best friend and lover who is not Blenko.
' Glass is ALIVE, Its strong enough to hold up buildings, but fragile - one of the denest mterials but you can see through it...you can manipulate...but it will turn on you in second.
All women should cut this to hang over the mirror.

Anonymous said...

This is some of the most beautiful cameo in the USA.
Great post, good info, and why is the Bronze Look in WV
if he were in the Chevy Chase / George DC area he'd be wealthy.

glassbug said...

This is spectacular.
What glass serves as the base?
Was is made in WV?

Anonymous said...

Darn the weather will prevent us from making the trip. Blizzard

Anonymous said...

Maybe because a little bit of heaven is better than all the wealth in the world. I LOVE W.V.!!!!

lewisphddvm said...

Ugly Betty is being cancelled.
I recall reading on another blog, you and your posse watched this together on Thursday nites w/ cheap wine and pizza.
So sorry for your loss. The lead characters are good actors and actresses.
L. S.

DrAnnu said...

More Bronze Look
always welcomed addition.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

While I can not get to Princeton
and can't get afford this cameo
I want to be informed of Bronze Look events.
Please make this a montly or weekly event, can you?

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it