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, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Photo of #5 West Virginia Birthday Vase.
Friday, March 23, 2012
If you have not been may I encourage you to load up the station wagon and drive down to Milton, WVa. Water bottles for under $20 - Bravo line at buy one get one, many Hank Adams designs, many items for the 2011 catalog, lots of architectural vases.
Prices have never been lower.
My parents drove up on Friday afternoon in less than 3 hours they spent $1,000 at the warehouse and gift shop. The car was loaded with boxes of glass.
My Mother said Randy Rider - Foreman and senior glass finisher was on hand to answer questions about the glass.
We always gift BLENKO for weddings, promotions, graduation, birthdays, major holidays. Stock up during this sale for upcoming events.
I will post photos of the available glass, and also Sue, Mary and Mickey ( Blenko Glass )warehouse / shipping assistants later this week.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Can you tell me about the Blenko Birthday Vases? Why people collect, how much I should pay, and are they 'for real' a limited edition? When are they sold? How many are there? Where are they sold?
Thank you for writing. Below you'll find a brief history of this series (http://www.blenkoproject.org/). My family has collected these since 1982 - My Dad later acquired, with the assistance of T. Kosla the Blenko Society President, the first two from a former Diamond employee. Yearly, he and two hundred other hopefuls stand in line at Blenko Glass in Milton, WV on or near June 20th ( the birth date of West Virginia). This blog and the Blenko Glass website, and the newspapers announce the date and time.
Yearly Blenko Glass produces a unique and special vase for the occassion. In the last 5 years Arlon Bayliss ( http://www.arlonbayliss/. com has designed the WV Birthday vase. Many feel the last five are the most beautiful. If you are starting a new collection - my suggestion would be to start searching for the last five. You don't need to have the entire collection to be a Blenko - WV Birthday Collector.
Overview - Blenko - WV Birthday Vase
In the late 1970's Blenko Glass had three shifts of glass shops working. Business was good.
Monday, March 19, 2012
In 1980 William H. Blenko, a marketing genius, entered into an agreement with the Diamond Department Store to produce a signed and numbered vase for June's celebration of statehood. The number raises each year to equal the age of the state. In 1980 only 117 pieces were produced. All pieces are signed and numbered.
Each year the Birthday vases are sold out within 3 hours of the store opening. The Birthday Vases are highly sought after. My Blenko Project advisers say this will become the most highly collectible Blenko Series as it is produced yearly, by different designers, and in very limited numbers. It is the longest running annual signed/numbered item that Blenko produces.
The Series had a very humble beginning - While sharing a NY Taxi a Diamond executive asked Mr. Blenko about the possibility of producing a 'special' bowl that could be used on the table, for fruit or flowers, and that was very versatile for the homemaker. The bowl would be signed and a limited number. Mr. Blenko knew the cost of making a design and mold for such a limited series would be expensive and thus not profitable for Blenko, he entered into the contract and asked Don Shepherd, Blenko Designer, to design the piece.
Mr. William Blenko or Mr. Richard Blenko yearly came to the Diamond, and later Stone and Thomas, Department Stores to sign each piece of glass and meet and greet the ladies who bought his Birthday Vases and many other Blenko pieces for their homes.
The Birthday Vase grew in popularity and by 1987 the lines to purchase them were outside the Diamond Department Store doors before 7am. This tradition continued. In 2005 the Birthday Vase was sold at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, WV. The Birthday collectors began to arrive shortly after midnight the night before, and by 11am (an hour after the store opened) the Birthday vases were sold out. Later the sale would be moved to the Milton WVa. Blenko Visitors Center / Gift Shop .
It is the perfect union - West Virginia's Birthday Celebration, a West Virginia Business, and West Virginia Hand Crafted Glass. Bill Blenko, while always trying to be supportive of his home state, started a very successful yearly tradition for many families. He succeeded in his goal of producing an annual piece to celebrate the Birthday of our state. My own family has collected this particular piece for over 20 years, each year they see friends they know only from Blenko Vase collecting.
The Blenko Project has knowledge of six complete sets of birthday pieces. WVU Foundation, Mrs. John (Eppie) Boles of South Charleston, Mrs. Ken Ellis of Campbells Creek and her daughter Renita Williams have complete West Virginia birthday sets. John Homburg was the only member of the Blenko Collectors Society to have the entire collection. West Virginia birthday collectors are an eclectic group. Many are obsessed with only birthday pieces, while others collect all things Blenko. They are also savvy collectors who realize that this collection is one of the most unique in the country. Perhaps, they like the art advisers to the Blenko Project realize the WV birthday series becomes more valuable with longevity.
The future of the WV Birthday vases, like that of the Blenko Glass Co, is bright and increasing in value as the country once again embraces the idea of purchasing the finest handcrafted glass products. West Virginia handcrafted glass is superior in design and color. This quality is one of the many reason Blenko Glass Co remains a viable business and a state treasure. The 2012 Birthday vase will be available for purchase in June 2012 ( check this blog and the Blenko Glass website or exact date).
A very conservative estimate of value for the entire collection of is between $19,000 - $26,000. Reported prices per piece vary from $2,000 to $375 depending upon age and condition. The first ten pieces are the most sought after. The 1980 - 1981 pieces cost between $900 and $2,000. These pieces are very limited. In 1980 only 117 were produced.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
March 14 5pm - 6pm
March 17 Noon - 1pm
March 20 5pm - 6pm
March 22 8pm - 9pm
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
If you know of estate sales, auctions etc with vintage Blenko send the info to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post on the blog for our Blenko Society.
Many new collectors report they don't have access to vintage glass dealers. hjh
Friday Evening March 16th @ 6:00pm Saturday March 17th @ 10:00am
Mountaineer Auction Gallery Clendenin, WV
Directions: I-79 CLENDENIN Exit #19 ONTO RT. 119 SOUTH 1.7 MILES. MOUNTAINEER AUCTION GALLERY LOCATED ON LEFT.
Estate Auction featuring personal property from The Estate of Mary Fane Glotfelty, Charleston, WV & items from a southern Jackson Co. living estate featuring excellent quality coins, antique furniture, collectibles, glass, china & more…
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Monday, 12 noon Eastern time, 9am Pacific time
Blenko will be offering 2 of our new Limited Edition ''Morning Glory'' pieces, including the 7'' tall Compote Bowl and 13'' tall Pulpit Vase seen below. Each piece is limited to 30 numbered pieces and will go on sale on Monday, March 12 at 12 noon Eastern time, 9am Pacific time and are only available online at shop.blenko.com.
Limit 2 per style per person. No phone orders will be accepted. Shipping charges will be calculated at the time of shipment. All orders will be shipped by a date no later than March 31, 2012. No special number requests will be taken, numbers will be assigned as orders are received.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
March 10 - 24, 2012
Saturday 9am - 4pm
Monday - Friday 9am - 3pm
Cash, check, and all major credit cards are accepted and parking will be available at the warehouse and in front of the factory. Come in early for the best selection. Inventory over-runs discounted 30% - 70% off while quantities last. Limited availability on specialty colors and designs. Prices as marked. No additional discounts or coupons.
Friday, March 09, 2012
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
March 10 - 24, 2012
Saturday, March 10 8am - 4pm *Special hours*
Saturday, March 17 & 24 9am - 4pm
Sunday Noon - 4pm
Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm
Along with the Annual Warehouse Sale, an Open House & Inventory Clearance Event will also be held at the Visitor Center Store.
On Saturday, March 10 two new Limited Edition ''Water Lily'' pieces; the 7'' tall Compote Bowl and the 13'' tall Pulpit Vase seen below, will go on sale. Each piece is limited to 40 numbered pieces per style. Limited 2 per style per person
Shades of mint green and blue highlight the unique features of these two beautiful pieces.
Compote Vase/$42.00 Pulpit Vase/$48.00 Note: This and other information regarding warehouse sale was received today - Thank you to Christy at Blenko.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Please forward your resume and JPEG photos of your work to email@example.com.
No phone calls, please.
Monday, March 05, 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
W. I'm passing along your comments via the blog. I would also suggest you write to Blenko Glass - if you'll email firstname.lastname@example.org, I'll provide you with address for administration. Customer satisfaction is important to Blenko Glass. hjh
My one and only trip to Blenko was as an International Master Gardener last year.
We enjoyed our stay in WVa. The visit to Blenko was on a very old bus, without air conditioning. Our host had no microphone or method to amplify their voices. We were
given a packet of information on Blenko and a card about your Blenko Project and this
Our tour guide ( one person for 35 ladies) also didn't have any method of amplifying his voice. The tour was us standing in the observation deck and him speaking. No much of a tour.
He was good to answer our questions. Blenko needs to purchase some method to amplify his voice. Also perhaps consider opening the factory when a group from many other states visits the factory. Standing in observation deck is not a tour. Selfguided or otherwise.
Now the VC , we shopped using the coupons for $5 off. Problem was, only one cashier and 35 ladies with purchases. Blenko Admin. knew we were coming and had the dates six or months in advance. I know this as I asked the tour guide, and the Blenko employees. Not good planning.
Perhaps you should suggest they move people to VC cash register when large groups are visiting. Office or Shipping people? Surely someone could be spared for an hour.
Since our visit, I have become a E Bay regular to purchase Blenko. I'm trying for a collection of pitchers. Thus far I have 24 completely different pitchers made by Blenko.
You have my permission to publish this email. I hope you will not use my full address. I do think perhaps only two Canadians attended the conference.
I would recommend visiting West Virginia to all with whom I have contact. The people were the best, the State Capitol one of the most magnificent. We were also allowed to visit the Gov. Mansion. Offered cookies and tea.
Great State. Please pass along my suggestions. They should be taken not as criticism but as the voice of an outsider who now also wants Blenko to have a future.