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.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Just wanted to drop a few more photos in your in-box for the blog. You are familiar with my penchant for the earlier designer pieces but these are a few from Don Shepherds tenure as designer for Blenko ( 1974-1988) that I particularly like. The trouble is I stumbled onto some black poster board and now I cannot decide which background I like better for these designs in crystal. Would love to hear some feedback from your readers. From left to right you have a 7825 decanter ( 12"), 7823 vase (11"), 7824 jug (9 1/2") from the Cumulus line. I do have another specialty line from Don in crystal that I am waiting to shoot later this summer.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
My waterbottle collection now exceeds 70, all different, some more unusual than others.
I am looking for the handled water bottles and bottles in odd and discontinued colors if readers have these for sale. Well, let me know. Elle
Elle This certainly looks like Blenko. If it is, the asking price of $150 is
in the range of $100 to $200 we've seen as asking prices.
Good luck! www.blenkoproject.org for additonal information on Blenko Glass Collecting.
Friday, June 24, 2011
How do you know you might be getting ready to find a real deal? Well, in this grouping of three Husted designed #5411 crystal footed compotes (10"), it was that one was stuck on a bottom shelf at the back of a small out-of-the-way antique store while another was displayed upside-down. The Chartreuse seed-glass compote was found tucked away in the back of an Oklahoma antique store behind a lot of other stuff and covered in many layers of dust. The Amethyst piece came from a pretty upscale antique store in Atlanta but was sitting on an upper shelf upside-down. The prices for the two would make many a Blenko retailer head spin but they are wonderful additions to our collection. The left hand piece is in Charcoal.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
The Heart of Glass blog welcomes photos of your glass, your stories of Blenko or WV Glass, your post about American Glass events. We welcome and publish most comments. We can not allow personal comments. We have no intimate knowledge of any blog readers or commenter's. Please do not write asking for contact info for another blogger.
If you collect glass, we welcome your request for identification, help in finding items. We welcome your photos, your stories. We can not and will not connect you to another reader or person who makes a comment. We try to respond to each email within 10 days, filling my box with spam or request to have contact info isn't appreciated.
If and when a reader offers glass for sale. We will forward your emails to the reader. Otherwise no forwarding. This is a blog to promote BLENKO GLASS www.blenkoglass.com, WV Glass and American Glass. We focus on the craftsman, we encourage everyone to buy local and buy Made In USA.
(photo) - Key / leash holder made by Glen Brogan.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Weston, WV – History comes alive on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at the 7th Annual Bottle, Fruit Jar and Insulator Show held at the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The show, held in conjunction with the Weston Street Fair, features a dozen or more collectors from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. These knowledgeable collectors will have a few prized items for display only, but most of the bottles, fruit jar and insulators will be for sale. Some items have been recovered from abandoned and filled-in wells and privies which the collectors dig in order to find this long forgotten glass. Admission to the show is free.
For those wanting to sell, the first 6-foot table is free, then just $5.00 for each additional table. Set up starts at 7:00 a.m. with parking available next to the Museum. Call 304-269-5006 between noon and 4:00 p.m. to reserve your table.
In addition there will be a sidewalk sale in front of the Museum displaying table-top antiques and lots of glass. The Museum is selling many duplicate pieces of donated glass from its collection.
This could be a day of family fun as the Museum has a children’s section and a wonderful marble section as well as the permanent display of American Glass. Then it could be on to the Weston Street Fair and Antique Market with food, crafts and entertainment provided by a wide variety of bands and even a Weston Idol contest.
The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day noon to 4:00pm. The balance of the year the museum is open daily noon to 4:00pm and closed on Wednesday and Sunday. Admission is free. It is easily accessible off I-79 exit 99 onto US 33 West for two miles to Main Avenue. A left turn onto Main and the museum is on the left at 230 Main Avenue. Begun in 1992, the museum relocated to its present location in 2007 and occupies 12,000 square feet with over 12,000 pieces of glass on permanent display. The museum is home to the National Marble Museum and The American Flint Glass Workers Union Archives. The museum holds an annual marble festival and numerous special exhibits throughout the year. More information can be found at http://wvmag.bglances.com/. Questions about programs or the museum can be directed to 304-269-5006.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
best of Blenko!
Just wanted to pass on a few more shots from this weekend. Hope you and your family had a relaxing Memorial Day.
A nice pair of Charcoal jugs with Crystal handles. Both are predesigner pieces with the taller (17 1/2") being a Blenko #443 and the smaller (7 1/2") is a #417.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Today at Blenko Glass - The WV Birthday Vase is being sold.
Also a number of items have been created for this event. You'll want to drive down to Blenko and do some serious pre Xmas shopping.
A delicious Birthday Cake and soda are being offered to visitors this day.
Your photos of the day - - your comments about standing in line - - photos of your recent purchases or your collection are always welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arlon Bayliss ( designer) and Walter Blenko ( CEO) are on hand to sign your purchases.
This is a great day for BLENKO GLASS shopping.
If you haven't started a WV Birthday - Blenko collection. May I suggest you start now and perhaps collect only the Bayliss designs. Arlon Bayliss http://www.arlonbayliss.com/.
Arlon Bayliss - Blenko designer will be at the WV Birthday Celebration in Milton, WV.
Try to be on the property 5-6 hours before the opening of Blenko Glass.
Photos from Blenko GLass.
Friday, June 17, 2011
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.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Readers: We received this message from our friends at the Auction House - you'll want to check out the Blenko.
Auctions are an inexpensive way to add quality to your collections.
We wanted to notify you of the upcoming Blenko Auction, along with other mid-century items on Friday, July 15, 2011. Please pass this information along to any of your members, or post information online! The auction will be held live online for anyone who can’t attend, the link will be posted shortly. You can check our website for some photos and a brief listing at www.conestogaauction.com.
Unreserved Blenko Glass, Vintage Aluminum and Mid-Century Auction
Friday, July 15, 2011
Sale starting at 1:00 PM
Friday, July 15, 2011
From 10:00 AM
A leading influence in the post World War II era of modern decorative arts, Blenko glass brought style, color and utility to that market. Now identified as mid century modern this economical line of art glassware is currently enjoying renewed interest by older collectors and new interest by young collectors on a budget. This single owner collection encompasses a broad selection of colors and forms not recently seen on the market in such volume. Topaz, tangerine, sapphire, amethyst, emerald, turquoise and ruby are just a few of the deep rich colors that abound in this collection. Hollowware, stemware, dinnerware and decorative are basic forms that hint at the variety of modern interpretations that Blenko artists exploited. Horizontal “Long Horn” vases, over-sized goblets with air twist decoration found within stems and stoppers, thread wraps and Blenkos’ own crackle style glassware objects are a few of the designs within this group.
Other colors such as jonquil, chartreuse, amber, pine, wheat and Blenko blue enhance Blenkos’ iconic forms like their double spouted square body water jars, ivy vases, pinch decanters and dimple sided objects of all utility. Unusual centerpieces like, double tiered vase within vase, large diameter chargers, compotes and console sets. One of a kind forms such as fish vases, steer head wall vases, zodiac medallions and a frog bin compliment the variety offered at this auction. This is a rare opportunity to choose from free form pitchers, glassware, service pieces, over-sized vases and bottles with all forms of stoppers.
Can’t make it to the auction? Bid live through LiveAuctioneers.com!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
We are publishing your photos on Heart of Glass Blog - http://herald-dispatchblogs04.blogspot.com return frequently to check for identification.
This was purchased in the late 50’s most likely, gift for my mother. It is about 15” high and was sold as a “Blenko” vase. Is it? I just put something on your blog site but fear I do not know how to do this properly.
It is an amazing singular design of a triangular shape, a gorgeous blue-turquoise. I can find absolutely nothing on line anywhere like this so maybe am under the false impression that it is a Blenko.
Any help appreciated!!! And good luck with your studies and professional life as a doctor of dentistry!!
Friday, June 10, 2011
I am in a quandary here. I could not decide which one of the following photos to send you. I picked up two of these pitchers recently which complement two I had already. Feel free to choose one or all for the blog. I will identify the first photo and if you choose another shot you will just have to transpose the correct color and design number to identify the pitchers in the other photos. From left to right is the Nickerson designed #727 in Turquoise (8 1/2"), #729 in Tangerine ( 11 1/2"), #729 in Crystal Crackle, and a #729 in Olive Green.
Bruce Thank you, I couldn't decide either - both are terrific. We'll publish both.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
If you have not made reservations at Huntington, or Winfield motel please do so this week.
You'll want to arrive early - or else come on Friday evening and spend the night talking about
Blenko and the weather!
www.blenkoglass.com or www.theblenkoproject.org to learn about the West Virginia Birthday Collection - which started in the 80s and happens once each year!
Limited Edition Glass designed by Bayliss www.arlonbayliss.com Design team of Anderson, Ind. The cost $148 plus tax.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Just added another Husted decanter to my collection, a Blenko #6152 in Amethyst (15"), alongside another Husted design, Blenko #6146 in the "61 Charcoal ( 14"). Not your typical designs. Especially enjoy the texture both pieces exhibit on the surfaces.
The Birthday Vase goes on sale at 9am you'll want to be in line several hours before the opening time.
Blenko has plans for the entire day - birthday cake, a glass sale, Mr. Walter Blenko, Mr. Arlon Bayliss ( designer) will be available to answer questions and sign glass.
Check out the Blenko Glass website for details.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Mr. PB Writes:
I sent a comment few days ago for a link on Blenko 2011 BD piece which I found in Herald Dispatch. I dont think anyone is able to read the comment. There are pictures in herald dispatch at this link:
Can you please do a post on this so everyone is aware of it.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Saturday, June 04, 2011
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) is announcing a call for entries for a juried landscape art exhibition at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The show will be the first of four in the Inspired: A West Virginia Series of Juried Exhibitions presented by the Division. The landscape show will open June 28 in the Commissioner’s Gallery of the West Virginia State Museum.
For more information, and to register, visit http://www.wvculture.org/museum/exhibits.html#inspired
Friday, June 03, 2011
And being named the best of British on a series of national television adverts could be seen as a wonderful thing.
Just ask master glass blower John Ditchfield, of Glasform in Singleton, who has been named just that, thanks to a series of adverts for the Nokia E7 smartphone.
His work was selected as one of the unique and eccentric crafts and delicacies the UK has to offer in the adverts, which see Scottish friends Carrie and Claire collect quirky and wonderful items on their way from the Highlands down to London’s famous Brick Lane Market.
Dubbed the Made in the Shade girls, they used their new piece of technological wizardry to plan a road trip through the UK to various small retailers.
While the adverts were obviously designed to spread word about the latest phone, they’ve also managed to highlight the works of smaller producers, artists and manufacturers across the UK, and reignited the local produce debate.
Small versus big. David versus Goliath. Individuality versus mass production.
And it’s obvious that while the large chain stores have their place, there’s still a real passion for individuality out there.
Mr Ditchfield said: “They came down here for a reccy first of all. They were looking for smaller items and wanted the best of British. They thought what we did was amazing and perfect for their film.
“They loved what they saw and said it was a wonderful place.
“I’m very proud to be called the best of British. It’s an honour.”
“When they came to visit, I worked as normal and they just filmed.
“It wasn’t just a visit from the two girls though – they came on a double-decker bus with their cameras and people as well.”
The series of adverts sees the enthusiastic duo collecting items and food to sell on their arrival at the London Market in the E7 borough – see what they did there?
Mr Ditchfield added: “In the end, they opened a pop-up shop in London for two days to showcase all of the interesting products they got along the way.
“We don’t mass-produce things – we’re not big enough to do that.
“But we have recently made 300 lamp shades for one of the oldest theatres in the country in Leeds.
“Our speciality is decorating glass with colour.
“People bring in their wallpaper and carpet colours and ask us to try to match it in a piece.
“We don’t use machines.
“We make our items using old newspapers, tweezers and scissors. It makes it individual.
“It’s nice to be producing something that’s not mass-produced, really.”
The week-long tour by the Scottish duo took in the length and breadth of the UK and culminated in a two-day sale at the market last weekend which was apparently met with huge enthusiasm.
Needless to say, the goods on sale sold out in no time.
John Nichols, head of marketing for Nokia UK, said the idea behind the adverts was to recognise Britain’s individuality.
He added: “We want to celebrate the diversity and eccentric talent of Britain.
“The UK’s full of amazing people and their stories; we’re delighted to be giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents.
“One of the destinations where experts Carrie and Claire were filmed was at Glasform, which is one of the leading British glass-blower shops.
“Specialising in producing bespoke antiques of the future as well as architectural glasswork, the shop will feature in the upcoming Nokia ad, which airs on national TV from May 23.”
Glass blowing has recently been featured in BBC 2’s Britain’s Next Big thing, showcasing the difficulties faced by a traditional glass blower.
It’s by no means an exact science, which means every piece is unique – but can involve a lot of failures on the way.
However, the reaction of shop owners to the pieces proves that a little individuality can go a long way.
Details of the trip and subsequent sale can be seen at www.facebook.com/nokia.uk.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Here is a list of Glass Companies - many no longer with us. When I read about defunt glass companies it makes me very sad.
Let's support BLENKO - by buying Blenko, and by getting the word out about this beautiful art glass. We should NOT allow another glass manufacturer to close!
• B L E N K O An American company based in Milton, West Virginia; founded in 1921 (after three attempts and failed companies) by William John Blenko. The company was named Eureka Art Glass Company specializing in colored stained glass. In the late twenties and thirties the company changed names and Blenko started making decorative tableware. In 1946 Winslow Anderson was hired as the first design director and elevated the level of artistic achievement. 1952 Wayne Husted came on board as the second design director and introduces oversized stoppered bottles and other fifties icons. 1963 Joel Myers begins as design director. These first three designers were the beginning of a Blenko tradition that is still alive today. Subsequent designers have been and are; John Nickerson, Don Shepherd, Hank Adams, Chris Gibbons & Matthew Carter. Blenko is still doing business out of Milton, West Virginia.Blenko colors include: Amethyst, Antique Green, Aqua, Azure, Charcoal, Chestnut, Cobalt, Crystal, Desert Green, Ebony, Emerald, Grass, Honey, Jonquil, Kiwi, Pine, Plum, Rose, Ruby, Sapphire, Sea Green, Sky Blue, Surf Green, Tangerine (amberina), Teal, Topaz, Turquoise, Violet and Wheat.
• B I S C H O F FA.F. Bischoff Glass Company was founded by A.F. Bischoff in Huntington, West Virginia in 1922. The company moved to Hurricane, West Virginia and again to Culloden, West Virginia where it produced glass from 1942-1963. Bischoff made items very similar to those of other West Virginia companies. In addition to using some unusual, even bizarre, original; shapes, Bischoff copied designs from leaders like Blenko. Lancaster Colony, of Columbus, Ohio, purchased Bischoff in 1963, keeping the Bischoff name and molds. (Blenko’s fifties designer Wayne Husted, joined Lancaster in that year to head its design and production department.) The following year, 1964, Sloan Glass bought Bischoff, and Sloan closed in 1996.Bischoff colors include: Amberina, Amethyst, Charcoal, Copperette, Crystal, Emerald Green, Gold, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Peacock Blue, Poinsettia Red and Wisteria.
• E R I C K S O N G L A S S W O R K SCarl Erickson was a Swedish-born glass artist who brought the spirit of Swedish design to his Bremen, Ohio Factory. This defunct glass factory was purchased by brothers Carl and Steven Erickson in 1943. Carl designed most of the mold-blown glass, distinguished by heavy casing, controlled bubbles, and frequently, a heavy ball of glass for a base. They were identified by a yellow and blue paper label, and free-formed pieces had an engraved signature. The company closed in 1961.
• H A M O NRobert Hamon founded Hamon Glass in 1932 in Scott Depot, West Virginia, where it continues operating today. The company produced crackle glass from the late 1940’s until the mid-1970’s. In 1966 Hamon merged with Kanawha Glass Co. and, although the production was separate, Hamon items were included in the Kanawha catalog. Features which help identify a piece of Hamon include the handles will have a ridge across the end on most Hamon crackle pieces. Like Pilgrim’s style of crackle, the Hamon finish is extremely fine. This easily identifiable finish is also called “onion crackle” or “Swedish crackle.”Hamon colors include: Amber, Amberina, Amethyst, Blue, Crystal, Green, Ruby and Smoke.
• K A N A W H AWhen Dunbar Glass Company in Dunbar, West Virginia closed in 1953, production head D. P. Merritt and others joined to form the Kanawha Glass Specialties Company. Named after nearby river, The Kanawha, the company opened in 1955 and made blown crystal in addition to cutting and decorating purchased glass. In 1957 they changed the name to Kanawha Glass Company. By 1960 they began production of the colorful decorative wares that have become so familiar, especially crackle glass. Soon Kanawha was making 350 production items in seven colors. In 1969 Kanawha purchased Hamon Handcrafted Glass in Scott, Depot, West Virginia. The Hamon Crackle Glass that was added to the Kanawha line retained its identity, which explains why Kanawha catalogs often show two different types of glass-molded and hand-blown. Production continued until 1987, when Kanawha was sold to Raymond Dereume Glass Inc. in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This lasted for only two years, closing in 1989.Kanawha colors include: Amber, Amberina, Amethyst, Authentic Cranberry, Blue, Cranberry, Crystal, Green, Ruby and Yellow.
• M O R G A N T O W NThe Morgantown Glass Factory (1899-1971) operated under several names-The Morgantown Glass Works, Economy Glass Company, and Morgantown Glassware Guild. Under the leadership of Joseph Haden and his sons J. Richard and Samuel, Morgantown produced high quality handmade traditional “Depression Era” glass and several Art Deco stemware designs until the 1950’s and 1960’s brought a new emphasis to the company. J. Richard Haden, the last vice president, introduced the Décor Line of glassware in modern, often angular, shapes and vibrant colors. But their most typical fifties items were the freeform vases and bowls designed by Steve Britvec in the 1960’s.
P I L G R I MThe Pilgrim Glass Corporation in Ceredo, West Virginia was founded by in 1949 by Alfred E. Knobler. He purchased Tri-State Glass of Huntington, West Virginia and then land in Ceredo (near Huntington) and built the Pilgrim facility, which opened in 1956. From the beginning they specialized in free blown crackle glass in vivid colors. Like other producers of crackle glass, Pilgrim made large quantities of it in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Generally they used colored handles in the 1950’s and crystal handles in the 1960’s. Some items can be identifies as Pilgrim by a mark impressed in the center of the base-either a group of little dots (“strawberry marks”) or a group of wavy lines (“water waves”) Like other companies in the area Pilgrim made a range of decorative objects in both crackled and plain colored glass. Two brothers Alessandro and Roberto Moretti introduced Murano style to Pilgrim in the 1950’s. Their introduction of glass animals, figurines, and other Venetian style items gave Pilgrim another desirable line. Pilgrim colors include: Amber, Amethyst, Blue, Crystal, Emerald Green, Lemon-Lime, Olive Green, Ruby, Sea Green, Sky Blue, Smoke Crystal, Tangerine and Topaz.
R A I N B O WThe Rainbow Art Company was founded in 1942 in Huntington, West Virginia by Joseph Goudeket and Henry Manus. Originally a glass decorating business, the Rainbow Art Co. turned to producing its own hand blown glass in 1954, and it became the Rainbow Art Glass Company. Like other neighboring companies, they produced blown glass in vivid colors, often with a crackle finish. Rainbow made crackle through the 1970’s, which was later than most competitors. In 1973 they were purchased by Viking and continued to make crackle glass until 1970. The Rainbow factory burned down in 1983, and all operations ceased.Rainbow colors include: Amber, Amberina, Amethyst, Blue, Crystal, Golden Amber, New Turquoise, Olive Green, Orange/Amberina, Pink, Ruby, Smoke, and Tangerine.
V I K I N GBased in New Martinsville, West Virginia, the Viking Glass Company emerged from the New Martinsville Glass Company in 1941. They were known for manufacturing hand-made, quality glassware of the Swedish type. Viking was predominately a pressed glass factory. In the fifties Viking introduced colored glass to compliment their crystal lines. Over time a number of people created designs for Viking; Dick Schnacke, Gail Docktor, and Bill Prindle. In the late 1950’s Billy Reinbeau arrived at Viking and developed the “spun mold.” This was an important development at the time and remained so until the factory’s closing in the 1990’s. A spun mold used centrifugal force to raise hot glass up into the sides of a moving mold. The results were abstract and very graceful fluid forms. Color complements form and design. It was critical to Viking’s successes. Kenneth Dalzell, former head of the Fostoria Glass Co., re-opened Viking as Dalzell-Viking in 1987, but it finally closed in 1998.Viking colors include: Amber, Amberina, Avocado Green, Amethyst, Bluenique, Crystal, Honey, Lime Green, Persimmon, Thistle, and Ruby.hjh
glass company info from web.