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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Red - BLUE - White and BOOM!

Check your local newspaper for Memorial Day Weekend events.
Promise me you'll take part in the fireworks! Eat Hot Dogs, Funnel Cakes and think only about the wonderful weather.
If you live in WV get down to the Vandalia Festival ( State Capitol Grounds) for local artisan crafts and music.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Water Bottle


I recently bought 12 Blenko water bottles at an estate sale. Four are signed by Richard Blenko and all are colorful.

They do not have a Blenko pontail or mark on the bottom -- the one you stated we should be looking for. They do have a silver label that says Blenko.

Can I send a photo and will you tell me the value of my glass or if it is or is not Blenko?

Alice C.


The waterbottle is made in a mold, the bottom is smooth. Waterbottles aren't know to increase in value, exceptions are the ones with (1) handle (2) different spouts (3) various colors - rose - charcoal . . . .

Hope this helps.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Comments From Mountain Rita

Blog Reader Mountain Rita writes: " Nothin is like it use to be , people need to get over it.
The new Blenko is the New Blenko and I just happen to like the " New Blenko and the current batch of Blenko workers and the designer. I think history is prove (sic) me right. Blenko has never been better. The colors are good. The designs are good.
Talking about things changin ( sic) what about watermelon - has anyone looked for a real watermelon lately? I have. They are no where to be found.
I remember for years on Memorial Day weekend putting that big ole watermelon in the frig for a day or two prior and then cutting it on the porch or deck with family and friends, spitting out the seeds and having a contest to see who could shoot the farthest.
Now the watermelons are seedless and so tiny - I can eat one by myself.
It your readers want to complain about something - let them complain about serious stuff
Whats happening to our Food!
Blenko Glass they make a good product always have and always will.
As you say Hilery Blenko made in the USA by West Virginians your neighbors.
Can you say this about your watermelons?
Mountain Rita

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reader Needs Your Help with Estate Sale

'Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.' Edna Ferber

I have to settle my Mom's estate. Its a small house near Hurricane stacked full of glass and objects of art or trash that she has collected. We live in Maryland. I don't want to just throw everything away, I have no knowledge, no time, no desire. Suggestions?
Quick Suggestions. We want to return some time after June 1st and list the home with a realtor
and dejunk. Help!
Mary Helen
Its OK to publish my email and phone #.
Mary Helen
Its not OK with me to publish your address if anyone has suggestions or knows anyone in the Hurricane area who handles estate sales please email theblenkoproject@aol.com to assist Mary Helen. Thank you. hjh

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Wayne Husted has been described as Blenko Glass' most popular designer. He is responsible for many of the very large architectural floor items. Wayne often says intuition plays a large part in his designs.
Last evening I read a quote by Florence Scovel Shinn ' Intution is a spiritual faculty, and does not explain, but simply points the way.'
Perhaps this is the difference between creative genius and mere morals?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blenko - Husted 5715

These 2 Bruce picked up for what he calls ' a song' as they were listed improperly on E Bay.
With your reference books in hand, check out E-Bay listings for American Glass. Other readers write about finding vintage Blenko in flea markets, and with vendors who have little knowledge of glass.
Warning! More readers write that they purchased Blenko that wasn't Blenko! Buyers, most especially the new buyers who read this blog - should be careful - I try to purchase glass only from Collectors or an established shop. In the Charleston area - The Purple Moon on Capitol Street has my favorite vintage Blenko.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blenko - Husted 5520

Again, photos from our favorite Blog photographer - Bruce Spect.
Husted's small 5520 decanter in Gold, Teal, Amethyst, Sea Green, and Charcoal crackle.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blenko Glass - Husted's 5612

From the collection of Bruce Spect and Family.
Husted's 5612's in Lime, Amethyst, and Tangerine.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blenko Glass - Husted 5810

Readers often write to ask, 'what should I collect?' The next three days we'll have photos of affordable, vintage Blenko. These are from Spect, he suggest with a few good reference books, and a lot of patience one can have show quality Blenko Glass.

This is a grouping of Husted's 5810's. Bruce Spect & Family have been picking these up for several years. From left to right: Jonquil, Jade, Persian, Mulberry, Tangerine and Turquoise.

The 5810 also comes in Charcoal.
Bruce writes : ' great design that just "pop" with those distinctive Blenko colors.


Above is a photo of the first shipment of water - bottle inspired cards, these are hand made cards. There are seven (each a different color) cards, each with a mailing envelope and enclosed in a protective plastic envelope.

Readers: I have 2 of these cards triple matted and hanging in my living room they are works of art! A must have for a Blenko Collector.
I don't have news from Blenko re: price. I would recommend you phone Blenko to inquire about price and availability.
This may be a limited opportunity. Its one I recommend you take. Use them as cards for special occassions - or use the cards as art!
The creator is Diane Weber a collector of glass and a paper artist.

Friday, May 21, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The Master Gardeners will be coming to Charleston next year - Master Gardeners from every state in the Union. If you don't belong to a Master Gardener Group - call your WVU extension agent. Take the classes and join the Master Gardener's.
Barbara Damrosch's 'The Garden Primer' states: " Good gardening is very simple, really. You just have to learn to think like a plant." (ugh) She also says to "keep the green side up."

Needless to say I was frustrated with my lack of knowledge by the time I finished reading the Garden Primer. My goal was to learn as much as possible before purchasing a home - so I might have a lush abundant blooming garden.

Another garden advisor Gertrude Jeykll said : " Let no one be discourage by the thought of how much there is to learn," . . . ."Each new step becomes a little surer, and each new grasp a little firmer."

Collecting Blenko and WV GLass is a bit like gardening - purchase the books, listen to others and then remember Gertrude Jekyll's advice. One Step at a Time - you'll learn and each mistake is a lesson.
Photo: Blenko water bottle. Available in all colors under $50.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


ETSY do you know about Etsy? This was Donna N's question. Donna reports she uses Etsy more than EBay for Blenko and other WV & American Glass. " . . . the prices are very low."

For 300$ this incredible Blenko Glass hour glass is currently listed on Etsy.
I own this one, mine is not painted and the globes are honey colored it was made by Short Finley
and crew in the late 60s.
The large hour glass may be seen at the Blenko Glass Office in the lobby. The large ones don't often appear in on line sales.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When Pigs Fly!

You and several other people were wishing for the Flyin Pig in ruby!
Ron Hinkle Glass Buckhannon, WV
is where I found the ruby flying pig.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Purple Moon - Charleston, WV

? ? Where to fine vintage Blenko w/o using eBay or unknown seller??
An example of the fine vintage glass offered at THE PURPLE MOON in Charleston, W.Va.
This Blenko sheared bowl by Husted price $140.
If this link doesn't work - let me know. hjh

Monday, May 17, 2010

What I love determines how I love - George Eliot

I'm a George Eliot fan - always have been -my favorite Eliot quote is "what I love determines how I love"

George Eliot in her novel 'The Mill on the Floss' wrote about belonging and the different ways groups or families have of 'doing things.'

In my family cherishing handcrafted items, was just something we did. From Tiffany's Finish flatware to the more common WV Glass we're always enjoyed knowing items were handcrafted and we valued the skill of the craftsman.

This is true of most Blenko Glass Collectors - as I'm meeting more Morgan Glass and Viking Glass and Fiesta Collectors - I realize a love of the handcrafted binds us. Instantly we are friends.

Teaching your children, or allowing them to observe you being proud of your State, your family, your Country can bring a big emotional return.

Arrange an end of school year trip for your child or grandchild's class, why not visit BLENKO GLASS http://www.blenkoglass.com/ phone 304 743 9081 to make arrangements for large groups. Teach your children about WV Glass and
other fine products made in WV.
Photo: Blenko Ram Head . This photo was sent by bgraham2007@gmail.com he's looking for this item to complete a set . . . if you own this and want to sell please contact bg.
Photo from Elle B who states: ' this is the most beautiful small glass item i've ever seen.'

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blenko In The House and The Senate

Blog reader Roxie wrote to suggest we elect Blenko Collectors to The House and Senate - then pass bills that support local factories and local craftsmen. I'm all for this! She also send the following:

'A house is who you are, not who you ought to be.' Jill Robinson

' An honest home that rings true to the lives of the people who occupy it will always be disarmingly refreshing to visitors' Blog reader Roxie sent this quote.
I've been searching for a home to purchase - for more than 4 months. It seems no home is perfect, and then when the home is sold before I decide to rule it out - I mourn the loss!
Frustrating. I thought the purchase of my first home would be exciting, and joyful instead
it seems to be time consuming and filled with pits.
My needs are simple - 2 bedrooms - 2 bathrooms - flat lot for growing vegetables and flowers, room for a garage if one doesn't exist.
Today after receiving the quote and passage from Roxie, I decided not to spend time on the Internet searching but instead to spend time with Ms B and perhaps organize my glass for the move back to West Virginia. The house I need, I'm certain will find me - and I will look upon this home with eyes of Love.

Suggestions for packing Blenko to move? In the move to Columbus I lost 4 very precious pieces of Blenko. Your suggestions or personal experiences are welcome.
Photo: Hearts made by Osburn Modern Glass / Milton, WV

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Forming a Collectors Group

Readers write frequently to ask about The Blenko Collectors Group
while we don't have an update on this group. You can form your own
Blenko Collectors Group. Sweetdoc hunts for Blenko and WV Glass with
a group of 10 -20 people depending on the weather - every other weekend
they go out in a couple of vans - often time its an overnight trip.

Everyone has a good time - there are few limits - Sweetdoc says limits
are the barb wire of real life. She does have minimum rules or boundaries for
membership and traveling with the group.

Sweetdoc reports their group began small, four Med docs and 2 pharm docs

later Sweetdocs Vet and 2 other neighbors joined and so the group and continues to grow.
Question - Do they fight over glass? You bet they do - but its friendly fire
always and the person who 'needs' the glass most usually wins.

Gather your friends and do a Blenko Hunt this upcoming weekend. Note: photo of limited edition Blenko Glass Bunny - you don't need to hunt for this one - he's available at Blenko Glass in Milton.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blenko Question - Bud Dillion

DR. Hillary,
I know you have seen these plates and platter that were made in 1939 at Blenko for Harry and Virginia's wedding and we used them for Thanksgiving dinner till I graduated High school . We recently found a note in the family bible that read The plates were made by Bud Dillon. I vaguely remember him, Dose anyone Know any information about Bud?
Thanks Larry T.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Take a Risk

Agnes De Mille - ' Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how . . .The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong but we take leap after leap in the dark.'

Like me you probably feel more secure when you play it safe. Wear pearls instead of hand painted glass beads from a craft fair.

Just for this week - "take a risk a day, a small change it doesn't have to be bold, step out . . . purchase the Vintage Blenko you been admiring - the one in which fear dominated the purchase. . . buy a new color, or a grouping of a new color.

My blog friend Ellen is always reminding me ' what we collect says a lot about who we are' . . . . when one collects Blenko and WV Glass, my thoughts are it says we care about the environment, we care about the country - Made In USA is important to us and also it may say "we love color," we appreciate handcrafted, & / or the collection may say we love West Vrginia!

This week take a risk. If you care to share your risk taking or your purchase email us theblenkoproject@aol.com .

Photo: Blenko Glass water bottle - In Ruby and with 4 spouts - the finisher took a risk, and the result was beautiful! Very few of these were made. Good luck in finding one for your collection.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Still More Blenko Iris Folding

Here are the two samples of other Blenko-inspired iris fold cards. One is the #920, and the other is the #5813 genie bottle. I’m not completely satisfied with the internal pattern, as it is based on a rectangle, rather than the outline of the bottle, but will work on it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


While all our favorite paperweights were made in West Virginia - the Paperweight Collectors Club sent photos and info:

Artists of the glass paperweight revival in the United States can in general be separated into two groups, those who do lampwork (floral) motifs and those who specialize in millefiori designs. Lampworkers utilize a torch and special small hand tools to create petals, leaves, and berries from colored glass rods that are then tacked together to form individual flowers or bouquets. Millefiori, or “thousand flowers,” are geometric designs such as stars or cogs that are formed by pouring molten glass into dies. These large diameter (typically 2 inches – 4 inches) slugs of glass are removed from the die, drawn down to a much smaller diameter (typically1/4 inch), and cut into short lengths (again typically 1/4 inch). These elements, known as canes, can then be arranged in any pattern the artist desires. Whether the motif is lampwork or millefiori, the next step is to encase it in glass and form it into the traditional paperweight shape.


Melissa Ayotte works with her father Rick Ayotte who is also a well-known paperweight artist. Their studio, Ayotte Glass Studio, LLC, is in New Boston, New Hampshire. Melissa has been making glass paperweights for ten years. Illustrated is her work “Purity Bouquet” which is 3 1/2 inches in diameter. More of her work can be seen on http://www.ayotteglassart.com/ and on her blog http://melisssayotte.wordpress.com.

Ken Rosenfeld works out of his studio Ken Rosenfeld Glass in Milwaukie, Oregon. He has been a glass paperweight artist for over 20 years. His selected work, “Roses,” is 3 1/2 inches in diameter. His website is http://www.kenrosenfeld.com/.

Victor Trabucco has been a glassworker for 35 years. His studio, Trabucco Studio, is located in Clarence, New York, and his website is http://www.paperweight.tv/. His work, “Bouquet,” is 3 1/4 inches in diameter and clearly illustrates the wonderful realism he brings to all his pieces.


Jim Brown’s studio, JDB Decorative Arts, is in Lebanon, Tennessee. His millefiori paperweights often copy the style of 19th century weights made by Bacchus, an English glass factory. Illustrated is one of his close concentric designs titled “Blue Garden Carpet.” It is 3 3/16 inches in diameter. He first got involved with making paperweights 10 years ago.

Drew Ebelhare is another of today’s millefiori masters and has been creating paperweights for around 20 years. His studio, Ebelhare Art Glass, is in Canon City, Colorado. His illustrated paperweight is a “Tufted, Faceted Concentric” from his Old English series which pays homage to 19th century English paperweight factories. It measures 3 1/4 inches in diameter.


Founded in 1953, the Paperweight Collectors Association, Inc. (PCA, Inc.) is a non-profit organization of glass paperweight enthusiasts from throughout the world. Its membership includes collectors, artists, dealers, museums, and libraries.

Its purpose is to educate PCA, Inc. members and the general public about the history, origin, quality, genuineness, and artistic merit of glass paperweights and related objects, and also to promote research in the areas of paperweight making, identification, and historical, geographic, and cultural origins of paperweights.

Additional information, including the history of glass paperweights, lists of artists, dealers, and museums, a calendar of events, and examples of antique and contemporary paperweights can be found on the organization’s website www.paperweight.org.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blenko at Home in CA

When we bought our new house in 2002, it had some lovely blank walls just aching for shelving for my collection. We had made some money on the sale of our first house, so I had a TV hutch built in, a large wall of shelves, and a smaller china cabinet wall that has shelves above and cabinets below for my Fostoria.
Hope that helps with the blog,

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Chilhuly in Columbus - Until July 4

Chihuly Illuminated
January 18–July 4, 2010 • Columbus, Ohio
Columbus Museum of Art

Event hours:Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.Thursday 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m
Web page (URL):http://www.columbusmuseum.org/illuminated

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Blenko Glass Heart of Glass Blog - How Do You Display Your WV Glass?

In 1913 Elsie De Wolfe 'The House in Good Taste' wrote . . ."You will express yourself in your house whether you want to or not." In 2007 Jill Robinson wrote " A house is who you are, not who you ought to be." In 2006 Richard Blenko said " The glass collection reflects the collector."

What does your collection say about you?

Blenko - Heart of Glass Blog friend George sent photos from his home, his beautiful WV Glass collection prominently displayed.

Hilary I am new to glass, I collect clowns in photographs, paintings and now thaks to Don Osburn I will collect glass clowns. George
Note: Dave Osburn Glass is located in Milton, WV. Blenko Glass did a clown face , George put this on your wish list.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mother's Day - Happy Mother's Day

APhoto of My Mom with Winslow Anderson - Taken in 2008 . Winslow was Blenko's first Designer.

Happy Mother's Day
to all Mothers.

Friday, May 07, 2010

West Virginia Glass - Do you collect glass figures?

These are from Dying Glass Art in Buckhannon, W.Va. www.hinkleglass.com Inexpensive glass figures. Do you own glass figures? Have any made at Blenko? Viking? etc if so please send photos to theblenkoproject@aol.com for blog use.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Blenko Glass Heart of Glass Blog

Carol Hornig - ' The body must be nourished, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We're spiritually starved in this culture - not underfed but undernourished. '

We have a passionate appetite for life, we just don't know what we truly need to satisfy our insatiable cravings for wholeness. For some of us BLENKO GLASS http://www.blenkoglass.com/ is more satisfying than an extra dessert. Check out Blenko Glass.

Become involved in a positive addiction, join the Blenko Glass Collectors.
Photo from Blenko Glass Company, Milton, WV

West Virginia - Tamarack - The Best of WV

PAPER WEIGHT collecting is the current range with Heart of Glass readers.
In West Virginia one can shop for all the best of West Virginia in Beckley. The TAMARACK Arts Center phone 304 256 6843. http://www.tamarackwv.com/
Reader C..K. sent the following photos of currently available paper weights from Tamarack.
Photos are made by: Ron Hinkle, Fred Wilkerson, and John Murphy. Many other paper weights are available at the Tamarack Gift Shop.
A visit to West Virginia isn't complete without a stop at Tamarack, you will find the perfect gift for any occasion, or just treat yourself to a day of good food and great art.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Blenko has Mother's Day Gifts - One of a kind gifts - from $5 to $ 350. You'll find the perfect gift for your Mom at Blenko!

Your Mom will love these beautiful gifts from BLENKO GLASS Milton, WV http://www.blenkoglass.com/ .

Give a gift made in West Virginians by West Virginians. A gift that won't wilt, or add calories or be returnned.
Give West Virginia Glass!

Blenko Glass http://www.blenkoglass.com/ has a $$$ off coupon - use it for Mother's Day.

June 19 - WV Birthday Sale at Blenko

Mountain Rita ask that I remind you - The annual Blenko Glass WV Birthday Sale is June 19th 8-5.
If you don't collect WV Birthday Vases, plan to visit Blenko on this very special day. They serve a 'to die for' Cake and other special foods. The Birthday Vase are becoming expensive and they are limited in number, IF your plans include getting a Birthday Vase come early! No later than 7:30.

Regardless of what you collect, Think Xmas gift giving - get your Xmas gifts signed. Come to Blenko on the 19th , Mr. Walter Blenko Jr will be available to sign glass. He'll sign any item you purchase, the the only requirement is you stand patiently in line.

At Blenko we have glass from $5 to $ 350 so you'll find something in your budget.
More details about the WV Birthday Sale as information becomes available.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

BLENKO BLENKO BLENKO - Can we help this reader?

D. S.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mothers Day GIft - Need a Suggestion?

Blenko Glass http://www.blenkoglass.com/ (website) has a $$$ off coupon available for use in

the gift shop or online shopping for Mothers Day.

The Blenko Glass visitors center gift shop is filled with glass this week, many items are also available from the clearance table ( back of the store).

Blenko Glass use a vase for your Mother's Day flowers, or purchase a set of glasses and a pitcher or a designer piece of glass art. Blenko Glass in Milton, WV and online.

The best gifts are handmade - handmade in West Virginia by West Virginians. Blenko Glass is our choice for Mother's Day gifts.
Photo: Chip n dip set from Steve Bair's collection.

Glass Demonstratons - When

How do I know when demonstrations are ? I've gone 3 Saturdays in the last 2 months and never any demonstrations.
Only on SPECIAL OCCASIONS will you find Blenko Glass demonstrations on WEEKENDS.
check out the www.blenkoglass.com Blenko Glass website. Katie Garrison list the dates of demonstrations each month.
Note: Demonstrations are being held this week - weekdays.

Dying Glass Art - www.hinklesglass.com

Your "Hearts Desire."

These Pigs are the creation of Ron Hinkle's Dying Glass Art. http://www.hinklesglass.com/ 304 472 7963. When I started the BLENKO PROJECT http://www.blenkoproject.org/ a friend sent me a
Flying Pig - to remind me " all things are possible - if we remember to aim high, word hard."
My pig and the ones in this photo were made in Buckhannon, WV .
Now if only Ron Hinkle would make a red Flying Pig!
Hinkle is known for his exquisite art glass, lamps, shades, and object d' art. Hinkle Glass is a bit more expensive than factory made glass. Each item is handcrafted by an artist.
Check out Hinkle's Dying Glass Art.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Appraisal Fair -

note: We often shop Mountaineer Auction for Blenko and vintage furniture.

FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2010

3:00 PM- 7:00 PM
Mountaineer Auction in Clendenin announces also an
SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010

Blenko #5815 - Paper Fold Card

These photos come with a warning - It is very DIFFICULT to reproduce Diane's beautiful cards. These cards will be sold at the Blenko Glass Visitors Center.
We own 2 cards - they are triple matted and hang in the dining room of our Columbus home. hjh


I will freely admit that curiosity got the better of me here. I wondered how a different Blenko design might look as an iris fold project. The #5815 is a tall skinny silhuette. I used a rectangle temple for the design, tweaking it til it was the same size as the original cut out. A rectange calls for four patterns of paper, the one I only used three. . . . . . .

.. . . . . . . . Diane