Title

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 08, 2012

A Blenko Angel



Not all angels are created equally - - all Blenko Angels are lovely.

Les Womack retired Blenko Glass foreman returns three or four times yearly to create Angels and Snowmen.

The Angels are sold year round in the VC ( visitor center gift shop) in Milton.

Blenko Blenko Blenko Glass.

Vintage Angels are often found on Ebay and in your local vintage glass stores.

28 comments:

KyDocCollectorofAmericanGlass said...

The blue one is special.
What is this color?

Anonymous said...

Is Les Womacck living? Is Mr. Fnley lving?
I had heard both he and Mr. Finley had health problems and were hospitalized during the year.
We as collectors admire both these men.
Womack is young isn't he? early 60s. blowing glass can not be good for the health.
Plz keep us up to date on Blenko workers.
Your website helps us to know the men and women of Blenko. I like this having faces to go with the glass.
Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Is Les Womacck living? Is Mr. Fnley lving?
I had heard both he and Mr. Finley had health problems and were hospitalized during the year.
We as collectors admire both these men.
Womack is young isn't he? early 60s. blowing glass can not be good for the health.
Plz keep us up to date on Blenko workers.
Your website helps us to know the men and women of Blenko. I like this having faces to go with the glass.
Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Read the previous comments about Trippe Glass
Co.
The people who comment are often rude
and cut to the bone with their comments.
Saying what others may think, is not a sign of intelligence. Speak nothing that will cause harm.
Blenko has changed. You all have the choice of buying vintage glass or supporting the
Trippe / Blenko factory. I have bought only vintage for a decade. Visit Vintage Glass and Blenko Museum for the best examples of vintage Blenko.
Pat Nelson

CPK.collectoroffineart said...

Laugh.
These angels are much too expensive.
Les Womack is capable of much more, this man has worked glass for 4 or more decades.
Why use this talent to make trinkets?
Blenko.

Anonymous said...

Both Les and Shorty are living and healthy.
My son tells me both often come to Blenko.
Linda

Anonymous said...

ky doc
its cobalt encased in crystal I think.
Lee

sweetdoc said...

Readers if you don't know who Les Womack is, ask glasslady to republish his video and bio.
Superior glass worker. A family devoted to Blenko.
Wife, husband and daughter all work (ed) for / with Blenko.
Buy the angels in every color.

sweetdoc said...

Pat,
I too have often heard the Trippe Co comments, but no need to repeat or make public.
Those are issues Blenko show deal with not us.

CPK.collectoroffineart said...

Sweetdoc
You are so very positive.

Anonymous said...

Facts for new Readers:
1) mess may be the large unpaid fuel bill - I think these occured when Bill Blenko was in charge.
2) The lack of structure in plant
This has been in place since the 70s.
3) The lack of a full time designer. This issue started after Husted left.
4) The issue of no training program for new hires.
Issue since 60s.
5) The lack of a national presence? Richard Blenko who started the Blenko films, arranged for PBS, QVC etc was let go in 2008 or 9.
6) Mr. Walter stepped in out of a strong family tie and desire to see Blenko survive.
Mr. Walter tries , he hired Mr. Weekly who had a Master and many yers experience - he was some day knived by others.
Then Ms. Katie ( who came to Blenko her senior year at Marshall as a class project) was put in charge.
Katie inherited all this mess.
She has now been in charge for 5 or 6 years.
She has cleared up 99% of the mess.
I'm certain the fuel bills have been paid and Blenko has changed its older outdated policies.
Carolee
Hilary I dare you to print this.
It is true.
Young readers collectors are missing the history.

Anonymous said...

Facts for new Readers: 1) mess may be the large unpaid fuel bill - I think these occured when Bill Blenko was in charge. 2) The lack of structure in plant This has been in place since the 70s. 3) The lack of a full time designer. This issue started after Husted left. 4) The issue of no training program for new hires. Issue since 60s. 5) The lack of a national presence? Richard Blenko who started the Blenko films, arranged for PBS, QVC etc was let go in 2008 or 9. 6) Mr. Walter stepped in out of a strong family tie and desire to see Blenko survive. Mr. Walter tries , he hired Mr. Weekly who had a Master and many yers experience - he was some say knived by others. Then Ms. Katie ( who came to Blenko her senior year at Marshall via a Mr. Weekly connection - as a class project) was put in charge.
Another marshall sutdent, very bright left and went on to find work in Charleston. Katie inherited all this mess. She has now been in charge for 5 or 6 years. She has cleared up 99% of the mess. I'm certain the fuel bills have been paid and Blenko has changed its older outdated policies. Re: comments about Trippe Glass perhaps these people are acknowledge the hard work Katie is doing. Carolee See more...

Ibuyblenko said...

anonymous.
Your facts are only partial facts.
the fuel bill is not a court issued land lien.
The current designer teachers in a University and in my opinion and also that of Dr Glass he is doing a superior job.
Blenko is an old factory, no one can alter this.
It doesn't take a graduate degree to run a factory.
I read on the Milton Blog they consider Katie to be brilliant and would like a 'daughter just like her'. You should get out more before you comment.
No one managing Blenko could satisfy everyone.
I disagree with the comment Blenko is better than ever! The person who said this is both clueless and would qualify for SSI.
Thank you for the forum

ERDOCSeattle said...

amen

ERDOCSeattle said...

Blenko problems won't go away any time soon.
Bad decisions no decisons and jealousy seem to be apparent issues.
Self inflicked wounds going back to JPM's tenture.

Anonymous said...

I just read in an online profile that Katie Trippe is now a full Vice President.
Glasslady you neglected to make this info public.
Why?
Are you jealous?

Anonymous said...

Katie Trippe
Vice President at Blenko Glass Company

Location
Huntington, West Virginia Area
Industry
Consumer Goods
Join LinkedIn and access Katie Trippe’s full profile.
As a LinkedIn member, you'll join 150 million other professionals who are sharing connections, ideas, and opportunities. And it's free! You'll also be able to:

•See who you and Katie Trippe know in common
•Get introduced to Katie Trippe
•Contact Katie Trippe directly

Anonymous said...

The last remaining factory that makes mouth-blown, hand-pressed glass products in the US, the Blenko Glass Co. in Milton has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Its financial problems come from the garnishing of its funds by a former gas supplier, Big Two Mile Gas Co. to whom Blenko owes more than $500,000, according to the bankruptcy file. Charleston philanthropist Ed Maier is part owner and president of Big Two Mile Gas.
Blenko employs 49 workers and plans to reorganize while continuing normal operations under bankruptcy. The company does not intend to lay off any of its employees.
Blenko Vice President Katie Trippe said, “Blenko Glass has encountered many operating difficulties in recent years, including the current economic recession. Blenko has been working to improve its operations and to become more efficient, as well as to increase its sales.”
Many observers are of the view that the bankruptcy filing wasn’t unexpected when in 2009 Blenko temporarily stopped production because of a legal dispute with Big Two Mile. The gas company had sued Blenko four years earlier. But Blenko lost the case and was ordered to pay more than $500,000.Blenko found a new gas supplier and resumed production a short time later.
However, Blenko never paid off the $514,000 owed to Big Two Mile Gas, according to the bankruptcy filing. It actually owes Big Two Mile Gas more than $900,000 which is made up of $514,000 plus $400,000 in interest. On Wednesday, a Cabell circuit judge lifted a temporary restraining order that allows Big Two Mile Gas to start tapping Blenko’s bank account to collect the outstanding bill.
Blenko owes money to 58 creditors. It has assets worth $500,000 to $1 million, and liabilities at $1 million to $10 million. According to bankruptcy papers, Blenko also owes $1.16 million to Blenko President Walter Blenko, and $1.135 million to Don Blenko Jr, a former vice president, the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office ($153,898), Huntington filmmakers Witek and Novak ($83,451), current gas supplier Teavee Oil and Gas ($76,973) and Mountain State Blue Cross ($435,868).
Having not invested money to improve its plant is one of Blenko’s major undoings. For instance, the factory continues to use old gas ovens. Newer electric ovens would lower production costs while still producing high-quality glass products. The Blenko family also has shown reluctance to pursue state government grants and low-interest loans to raise capital and turn the factory around.
Nevertheless, Blenko’s financial struggles have not hurt the company’s sales.


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Anonymous said...

MILTON, W.Va. -- The historic Blenko Glass Co. in Milton stopped production Friday, saying its bank account had been seized in a legal dispute.
"Without a miracle, it will remain shut down," said Katie Trippe, assistant vice president of the 116-year-old company.

The company's gas supplier planned to turn off service at the end of January because Blenko couldn't pay its bill, Trippe said. The glass plant shut down its furnaces Friday afternoon.

"Without gas, we can't make glass," Trippe said.

Blenko is considering filing for bankruptcy, she and company President Walter Blenko said.

About 50 people work at the company, which produces colorful handmade glass. Twenty people in production will be temporarily laid off, Trippe said.
????? If 20 people are in production how many people are support staff? The total number was 49 right?
Help me chicken little said:

Anonymous said...

Vice President Blenko Glass Company
October 2009 – Present (2 years 5 months) Milton, WV

Operations management, website development, independent/outside sales force training and organization, trade show sales, new product development, trade show management, sales growth and management, production control development, business cost analysis and control placement.

Assistant Vice President Blenko Glass Company
October 2008 – October 2009 (1 year 1 month)

Sales growth and management, production control development, business cost analysis and control placement and operations management.

Marketing Manager Blenko Glass Company
August 2006 – October 2008 (2 years 3 months)

Sales force development, print media and advertising campaigns and sales cost reduction analysis and implementation.

Account Representative GC Services Privately Held; 5001-10,000 employees; Financial Services industry

June 2005 – August 2006 (1 year 3 months) Huntington, West Virginia Area

Representative in the Public Utilities Commission Division for home phone service.

Anonymous said...

Laughing
does this mean Katie worked at a call center prior to Blenko.
Very good creative writing skills.

Hillary J Homburg said...

I didn't know about the promotion
we plan to add Katie Trippe to the Blenko Family page on the www.blenkoproject.org website
as this is a historic event.
Thank you for sharing with us.
HJH

Anonymous said...

Three cheers to Les Womack for returning to Blenko.
I adore my angels.

Anonymous said...

Was Womack the first person to make Angels?
Also will he have a tab on www.blenkoproject.org ?
I want to know more about the older glass workers
and also learn about the current artist.

Anonymous said...

Hilary I want to send you a link to a new blog
i started Tripp Glass

Anonymous said...

Anonymous...last post, is there some reason why you can't spell or copy? You just can't get the last name right, can you. It is TRIPPE. Most people are proud of their last names and don't appreciate people like you, who just can't seem to get it right.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Laughing
does this mean Katie worked at a call center prior to Blenko.
Very good creative writing skills.

5:49 AM, February 15, 2012

What it means, 'Anon' is that, unlike you, Katie Trippe is very smart. She has worked very hard for Blenko and deserves a lot of respect for her accomplishments. People like you are jealous because she has achieved so much. Your nasty comments make you look like a fool.

Anonymous said...

Yes there are people who want desperately to see their name in print.
To them it is important to get it right.
Carolee