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, June 30, 2010

Ebay - Check these out!

Blog Reader Elle
sent several photographs of framed blenko - these are limited edition prints.
Elle thinks they would enhance a Blenko collection.
Check them out on EBay.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Hi Hillary,
I wanted to share the newest Blenko offering in my shop - a Blenko Balloons vase #828L. It's beautiful! You can find me at http://www.muddycreekantiques.com/ or at The Old Timey Shop on Main Street in Milton.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shorty Finley - Recovering From Minor Heart Surgery

Shorty Finley retired more than 40 years ago, however, he still returns twice a year to Blenko Glass. He'd go more frequently if asked.
At age 90 Shorty stays busy going daily to his farm, where he feeds several hundred
two and four legged creatures, plows a small garden, and hunts for the fox, he holds responsible for killing his chickens.
Shorty builds traps for wild animals, or raccoons that eat trash and then re locates them to the hills, he proudly tends a small flower bed near the small cottage in Milton he calls Home.
Several weeks ago Shorty was in the hospital for what he calls 'yet another small heart surgery'
He tells me he is feeling better and welcomes visitors. If you live in Milton, or near enough to drop in on Mr. Shorty Finley this would a time you'll find him at home.
Shorty Finley, and Jessie Carpenter often combined their skills while at Blenko to produce some of the finest glass. Both Jessie and Shorty still live in Cabell County.
The glass history, the combined oral history these gentleman possess is amazing. We should be
recording and documenting these stories.
Shorty my dear friend, if you're reading this. Get well soon. Don't go out in the heat! Not even to the Go Mart!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Dr. Hillary,
On one of our trips to Milton around 1990 , after seeing relatives stopping at Blenko and Charley Gibsons. We stop at Fred Balls shop. After looking at every thing and listening to one of Freds storys he showed us a cane that was signed and that we should have it . The signature did not mean much at the time but I looked it up a while back and I was suprised at the significance of the mans name in the handcraft glass. ALESSANDRO MORETTI worked at pilgrim and did dimenstrations at the 64 worlds fair. His cousin is Mario Sanden. they are Pilgrim glass.
Thanks Larry T.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fairfield Porter Show

Known for his expressive compositions and a color palette influenced by his coastal surroundings in Southampton, New York and Penobscot Bay, Maine, Fairfield Porter had an illustrious career as a leading American realist painter. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is pleased to present its second solo exhibition featuring the work of Fairfield Porter (American, 1907-1975). On view from June 4 to August 13, this exhibition consists of twelve paintings, dating from 1959 to 1975. Included are still life, landscape and portrait paintings.

Over the years, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery has championed the work of Fairfield Porter. In 1995, the Gallery presented Fairfield Porter: Drawings and Poetry, an exhibition that paired the poetry of the artist with his spontaneous line drawings.

Fairfield Porter was born in 1907 in Winnetka, Illinois; Porter grew up in a wealthy, socially progressive home with two parents who supported the arts. In 1912, his father, who was an architect, purchased Great Spruce Head Island in Maine, and later, designed and built a retreat for the family. In 1913, Porter spent the first of a life time of his summers on the island. Porter traveled extensively with his family throughout his youth. On a 1921 trip to Europe, he discovered a love for Renaissance painting. Four years later, he entered the fine arts program at Harvard University, which at the time emphasized art history over practice. In 1928, Porter completed his degree and moved to New York, where he studied at the Art Students League with Thomas Hart Benton and Boardman Robinson. In 1931, he traveled through Italy, and in 1932, he returned to the United States and married poet Anne Channing, settling in New York City. They had five children.

Although Porter remained financially unaffected by the Depression of the 1930s, he was moved politically by the hardship he saw all around him. He supported the publication Living Marxism with personal funds, and he also illustrated and wrote for Arise, another Marxist publication. In 1936 after the death of his grandmother, Porter returned to Winnetka, where he showed locally and became a member of the Chicago Society of Artists. Returning to New York in 1942, Porter befriended New York School poets and painters John Ashberry, Robert Dash, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Alex Katz, Frank O'Hara, Neil Welliver, and Jane Wilson. In 1949, he moved to Southampton, where many of the abstract expressionist painters lived and painted. In 1951, Elaine de Kooning suggested he take over her monthly column at Art News. Porter stayed there for seven years, and in 1959, he began writing art criticism for The Nation.

Porter’s favorite statement about painting came from Henri Matisse: “Every corner of the canvas should be alive,” and his work adheres to this idea, whether the painting is a still life, a landscape, a portrait, or a scene from everyday life. Porter’s dynamic compositions of vibrant color were held in high regard by his artist contemporaries, and in the 1950s, through the recommendation of the de Koonings, Larry Rivers and Jane Freilicher, he begins to exhibit regularly through the 1960s in New York at Tibor de Nagy Gallery. His first exhibition there, in 1952, was warmly received by New York painters, but fellow critics were considerably less open-minded about his figurative expressionistic painting. It was not until the mid-1960s that Porter’s work began to get the attention it so deserved. In 1966, the Cleveland Institute of Art mounted his first retrospective exhibition, and in 1969-70, he spent a year at Amherst College as a teaching artist-in-residence. Solo exhibitions followed almost yearly at Hirschl & Adler Galleries until his death on September 18, 1975.

Today Fairfield Porter is recognized as one of the great American artists of the postwar period. His work is in the collection of over hundred public collections including The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. His work has been the subject of several monographs including Fairfield Porter: An American Classic by John T. Spike (1992: Harry N. Abrams) and Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors and Pastels by Joan Ludman (2001, Hudson Hills Press). Currently, in addition to the show at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, Porter is also the subject of an exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blenko Handcrafted Cards

New Shipment Arriving !

Go to Blenko Glass in Milton, WV
or phone 304 743 9081 to place your order.
Original design - handcrafted paper cards.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Esty Blenko

Blog Friends:
I’ve just packaged the second order of fifteen cards (three red, two each orange, green, turquoise, blue, purple and brown – you’re going to LOVE the brown!) to send to Blenko tomorrow. I’m hoping Blenko will have them for the WV anniversary on the 19th. They will be $15.00 each in the Visitors Center. I will also be selling them in my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/therenaissancewoman You have to sign up for Etsy to buy things, but it’s all free. I have three water
bottle cards listed right now, plus a couple of other non-Blenko cards, and will be making more soon. Thanks for everyone’s interest!

Diane (The Renaissance Woman)

Blenko's WV Birthday Celebration

I'm certain most of the Heart of Glass Readers spent the night or else got up early to stand in line for the Birthday Vase!

This year the vase is beautiful, most everyone agrees Bayliss & Team's Birthday Designs stand out! My Dad would purchase - and most other collectors of this series will purchase the vase regardless of cost, time, or the design. However, its extremely nice to have a Blenko designer who also values this series.
Blenko Glass always has additional glassware and many one of a kind items available for purchase during this event - also Mr. Blenko is available to personally sign any item you purchase this day!
*" Its a Great Day To Be A West Virginia Glass Collector!"
* Pat White's statement altered to include Glass Collectors.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Osburn Modern Glass - 1st Edition WV Birthday Vase

This is a photo of the
1st Edition - WV Birthday Vase being offer
for sale on June 19, and 20th by Dave Osburn
of Osburn Modern Glass.
The cost is $80
The color ( not a great photo) is intense and very beautiful. We'll request a better photo. Or if you purchase this vase - send a photo to theblenkoproject@aol.com
Osburn Modern Glass in Milton is allowing phone orders now and they will be taking orders and selling in the shop this 1st Edition until the 100
are sold.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Perfect Father's Day Gift

One of the most prominent West Virginia Glass makers
FENTON GLASS offers a limited edition
Father's Day Vase.
Special inscription of G. Fenton's signature.
Check out the Fenton Glass website for additional information.

Looking for vintage Blenko Lamp

Dear Hillary,
I am sending this e-mail because I am looking for a replacement for a vintage Blenko lamp that we owned and was broken by an over-active grandchild. We believe it was an LP-16 which was made in the early 50s. It was a "7-up bottle" green, large fluted globe shape about 12-18 inches in diameter. If anyone has any knowledge of one of this description that might be available, I would be interested.
Thank you.
Suzie Dickinson

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


These grapes, about 11 inches long and heavy, are designed by Hank Adams #9480 for the 1994 catalog. However, mine are sandblasted BLENKO 2003 so they must have been reissued. They remind me of the glass containers made in Spain used for holding wine. This cluster of glass grapes is green. They were made in a darker color or two. I purchased this cluster thinking they would be easier to photographs. Green does show detail better than the darker colors; however, I had to add the real fruit in the background because this green looks very flat and gray by itself. They are a stunning addition to a glass fruit collection.
WV Janis

Monday, June 14, 2010

Whats' So Special About June 20th?

Well June is the month of Brides! This month three of my dear friends are being married.
For BLENKO GLASS and WEST VIRGINIA GLASS Collectors June 20th is WEST Virginia's Birthday ( google West Virginia or click on the State of WV website for a list of activities) also several West Virginia GLASS MAKERS are making LIMITED EDITION ITEMS in honor of WEST VIRGINIA DAy.
Fenton Glass will be open for tours and selling a special June 20th (Father's Day Vase).
Dave Osburn of Osburn Modern Glass is issuing his 1st Edition WV Birthday Piece
Blenko Glass will again ( June 19th) offer to 147 people a vase for $147.

Fiesta is again this year issuing a WV Birthday item.
Note: These special WV Glass Items make the perfect Wedding Gift. Correction: Fenton Glass is doing a special Fathers Day Vase for June 20th.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Hi Doc,
Just wanted to share a trio of 6913"s with the blog. Great Myers design with a dimple pattern around the body of the vase. The colors are Lemon, Turquoise, and Olive Green. These fit right in with the other '64 vases Myers designed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Technical Problems

We're experiencing some technical problems. Until these are solved the blog will no longer be updated daily. We ask for your patience as we attempt to resolve these issues.
Heart of Glass Blog is a product of the community, we need your photos, your stories, your comments. Please continue to comment and send your photos and stories to theblenkoproject@aol.com . I can't publish photos taken by professional photographers unless you also send a statement of release from the photographer. Thank you Hillary

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Hi Hillary,
Just resending this photo of the Husted 5715's since it never loaded onto the blog. Colors are Gold and Tangerine.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Upcoming Blenko Events/Reminders!

West Virginia Day Celebration
Saturday, June 19th
Come join us on June 19th as we celebrate our state's 147th birthday during our 30th Annual West Virginia Day Celebration. On June 20, 1863 West Virginia was incorporated as the 35th state of the union and to commemorate this historic day Blenko Glass has designed 147 limited and stunning pieces, to be sold to the public on a first come first serve basis. Each 15" tall charcoal piece which has a satin finish crystal stopper will be numbered and signed by Blenko President, Walter Blenko as well as the WV Piece Designer, Arlon Bayliss. During the celebration we will also have glassblowing demonstrations along with WV Day birthday cake and refreshments for all to enjoy. The sale will begin at 8am on June 19th and there will be no presales on the WV Day Piece. So come early and don't miss your chance to own one of these rare and beautiful pieces. Blenko President, Walter Blenko, will be attending the event and available to sign all additional Blenko Glass purchases.
Festival of Glass
August 6th & 7th
Blenko Glass will be holding our annual Festival of Glass Event on August 6th and 7th. The Glass Festival will feature glassblowing demonstrations, classes for the general public (fees apply), special signing events, and a variety of Limited Edition items. There will be a food vendor on site and all attendees will receive a free gift. Event hours are as follows:
Friday, August 6
8am - 5pm
Saturday, August 7
9am - 5pm

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Blenko's Celebration of WV Birthday - June 19th

We received this photo today from Katie Garrison VP Blenko Glass. Check out the Blenko Glass website for exact times - but activities are planned for the entire day. Blenko will be serving IceCream and Cake and Drinks.
Mr. Walter Blenko will be on hand to sign glass. The Birthday Vase is signed by Artist - Bayliss and Mr. Blenko.
Questions? Please phone Blenko at 304 743 9081 *Update from Christy:

We do not have the Festival of Glass schedule completed yet, but it will be held on August 6 & 7. We will again have classes (fees apply), an on site food vendor, signings, special pieces, glass demonstrations, etc.
We will get you more information as we get it completed.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Blenko Pitcher Information?

Hi Everyone....
I enjoyed the PBS special on Blenko glass and the family several years ago. During the show, I bought one of the beautiful pitchers. It is about 10.5 inches tall, in amethyst glass with a amber handle. See image attached. Signed by Richard Blenko, 2000.
Can you tell me anything more about this pitcher? Or it's current value?
Thank you so much,
Sharon Nickodem

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Free Form Bowl

Hillary: Here is a photo of a Blenko free-form bowl. I didn't see it on the Blenko collector's page so I can't provide the design number or the name of the designer. I probably used to know. However, for me, the glass is only as beautiful as the art photo I can take with it. I would love to have not only Bruce's inventory but also his expertise with the product line! If anyone knows details, please share.

Happy WV Day 2010 to everyone. I'd also like to add a hello and virtual hug to Margie Hale, longtime Blenko Heart of Glass reader who loves us all in spite of this invisibility cloak.

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Dr. Hillary,

We have found two more milk cans and a two Husted tea pots.
The other two are from 65. Our house is a collection of beautifull things
from the people who live here to the history and the art that make a house a

Thanks Larry T.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Husted on Ebay

Hilary I want to own this object d' art - Blenko made by Husted. It is now available on Ebay and the price is very low. My question is is this a reproduction or is this Husted Blenko? How can I tell with an online purchase? Carrie Ann
Carrie Ann,
Ask questions of the seller. Many questions. One thing I'm certain of - the stopper shown wasn't original to this piece. I own this one and the stopper mimics the bottom its a triangle ( cone) shape. My computer won't accept photos from my camera so I can't publish a photo . Check the Blenko Collectors Four website or Blenko Museum for photo of this item with the original stopper. HJH
Note: Some collectors will ( when the price is very low) purchase Blenko and then search for the appropriate stopper. Difficult decision.