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 28, 2012

Blenko BD 2012 Stories

On June 20th, West Virginia celebrated its 149th Birthday. Blenko Glass, one of the few remaining Glass making companies has been celebrating the state birthday by producing a limited number of birthday glass since 1980. This year and for the past few years, Artist Arlon Bayliss has been designing the Blenko Birthday glass. The glass was available for purchase on 23rd June (Saturday) for $149. The glass is numbered and limited to 1 per person.

 Quite a few number of Glass enthusiasts have showed up for the event and few camped at the premises 2 days prior to the event. Here are a few people and their pictures and stories during the event.

 #1 & #2

First in line is Leslie and her husband Christian Kimworthy (#2). They were at the facility on June 21st at 4:30AM. They both helped Blenko wrap the glass in gift bags for the event. They were #3 & #4 last year.

#3 & #4

Ralph and Abbey Borror Came in at 6:30am, on Thursday for the piece. Were #1 & #2 last year. Story is published in July 2011.

#5 Matt (10th grade). He came in last year as well. He was #8 last year. Rachel, his twin sister is #12 this year. #12 Rachel McDonald, 10th grade at Cabell Middle school. She and Matt (#5) are twins. Rachel swapped her number card (#12) with Phani (#15).

#6 Carolyn Shaver, Missed last year but came the year before. She came in at 6:30am on Friday along with her daughter Crystal who is #8 this year. Carolyn's husband's picture is also attached. He had a lot of fun with this great grandson. 

#7 is Debbie Deweese, was #7 last year as well. Her picture is posted in July 2011 blog post. 

#9 James Shifflett (left) was #5 last year. Visiting this year with his wife (Shelby - #11) and Son (Chris #10, right). #10 Chris Shifflett: he was #10 last year. #11 Shelby Shifflett is first time to Blenko BD event.

#13 Patsy Stewart (right), info on her is in July 2011 Blenko BD post. She came in at 11am on friday. She was #10 for the past 2 years. Mary Douglas, #14 (left) is Patsy's sister in law. She is #9 last year. She came in at 11am on friday. Mary is kind enough to take to save my chair for next year for the event which I plan to attend.

#15 Phani was #12 for the past 3 years. 

#16 Geoge Jackson, his story is published last year. His wife is not attending the event this year.

#17 Larry Burley, his story is published last year. His story is published last year.

#18 Darren smith, Works for dept. of veterans affairs, Huntington. He came in last year and was in 40's in the line. #19 Syndi smith - 5th grade (Daughter of Darrent smith). Both Father and Daughter are collecting blenko for 5 years.

Cindy Sharp, Ralph Sharp, Mark Greathouse, Eppie Boles, Danny Dawson and his wife have attended the event this year. They were here last year as well. Picture below is of Mark with Eppie. 

Eppie Boles: Not sure which # she is but she has been collecting Blenko BD glass since Blenko started having BD glass. She has all the pieces but her 1983 BD bowl has cracks. She is trying to find a replacement. She has a total of 33 pieces to date. She never purchased anything other than Blenko BD glass but had many gifts from friends and family. Worked at Union carbide plant till 2002 and retired. She lives in St. Albans.

Hillary made it this year with her Dad and they are in the Mid 80's. Her mother is not yet 100% to be able to
make it. Hillary's uncle Barry is the Mid. 70's in the line.

Everyone is excited about next year as it would be 150th WV birthday. Arlon Bayliss has already started
working on concepts for next year. This year he made a slide show of the BD piece signing prior to the event and also a slide show on the eve. of BD event, where he let a camera capture pictures every 30secs. It was presented upstairs Blenko visitor center during BD event.

It rained during the day for a half hr but the people in the line had enough shelter to keep them dry. It was a nice warm day, chilly night with Foggy ending the next morning and a perfect setting for the BD event this year. Hopefully everyone this year would be able to make it next year for the big event and very anxious at that.



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The lake in back of these photos - - - - is this also Blenko?

Anonymous said...

Lookin at this photo
I now understand why you don't party 'all nite' fear of lost your
girl next door beauty and get red eyes and frizzy hair ?
Sweet photo of father and daughter.
ps my Mom and I didn't see either of you.

Anonymous said...

The BD photos are never flattering
perhaps you could ask for before photos. Take pics as people arrive - prior to standing in rain for 15- 48 hours.
Just a suggestion,
BTW even you my dear look less than perfect