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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - -Blenko Glass in Your Garden?

We're requesting photos of Blenko Glass being used out doors.
If you have glass in your garden,  on your porch or patio,  please send photos and
if you like a description of the glass ie  how long you've used it in the yard etc.
Thank you
Note:  Photo of Blenko clam shell bowl - often used as a bird feeder. 

Readers -  Before using Blenko in the yard - feel the piece of Blenko - if its NIOT  an older heavy piece
you will need to alter your plans.  Some of the 'new' Blenko is lighter in weight.  We have no experience with using the lighter weight Blenko in yards.
   If you have used the lighter weight Blenko in your yard - please write to theblenkoproject@aol.com with your comments.
   Our experience and its been a 20 year history of outdoor use has been positive - with the older heavy Blenko Glass. 
NOTE:  Blenko Glass does not recommend use of Blenko Glass out of doors, nor does Blenko sell glass designed for use out of doors. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Blenko Glass Co. - Blenko Glass Blog - Glassblowing and old newspaper - from Chemistry World Blog

I thought the blog was interesting, because how many times do you hear of chemists talking about wet newspaper for glassblowing?

My opinion about the Financial Times newspaper being preferred by UK glassblowers, this is similar to USA glassblowers preferring the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, because of its higher-quality paper stock.
~Tony P

read the article here: http://prospect.rsc.org/blogs/cw/2012/09/12/glassblowing-and-old-newspaper/

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blenko Glass Co. - Blenko Glass Blog - Pre-designer dented pitcher and tumblers

Blenko #418-P dented pitcher (11") and Blenko #418-L tumblers (6")
From Blog Friend Bruce

Blenko Glass. www.pumpkinpark.com

This quick post is in response to a couple dozen email asking  1) when is the Pumpkin Festival  2) Will Blenko particpate and what new items will Blenko offer?
    Folks,  trust me - when Blenko provides us with info -  I immediately publish.   Its my belief Blenko doesn't make items 6 months in advance - - so I doubt you'll be seeing photos prior to the event.
Blenko is a very small glass factory - with a limited number of employees -  yet they manage to make special items yearly for local events - and continue to offer an extensive catalog of hand crafted glass.
    You can either google Milton Pumpkin Festival or use the link below.  If your questions are answered after this - perhaps phone the Milton Chamber of Commerce or phone Blenko Glass.  hjh

Started in 1985, the festival was designed to help farmers with the raising and selling of pumpkins. Located in Milton, WV between the two cities of Huntington and Charleston along the I-64 corridor. The festival attracts attention from throughout the region. The festival features a variety of activities aimed at families.* ( from  www.pumpkinpark.com )

Blenko Glass will continue with the yearly tradition of having a booth - where they will sell fall items -  PUMPKINS  hand crafted at the Blenko Glass factory. 
The Festival is next weekend -  check the website for exact dates.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - -Myers Lemon group

Lemon has always been one of my favorite  (2) colors in Blenko - #1 is Ruby ( good ruby).

You'll enjoy this photo sent by Bruce S of Texas.

After viewing the Lemon - you may want to start a search for Blenko Lemon.


Form left to right Blenko #6724, Blenko #6948, Blenko #6530-S, Blenko 64-B, Blenko 6911, Blenko #64-D, BLenko #6823, Blenko #64-C, Blenko #6711-S, Blenko #6913, Blenko #6528-S, Blenko #6915.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - -#108 Nickerson blenko stoppered bottles

#108 Nickerson blenko stoppered bottles

Blenko #723's in Olive Green Crackle, Honey, Emerald, Turquoise, and Tangerine

* photo and glass - Bruce S. of Texas

Blenko Glass Blog - - -How Old Is Blenko?

Hilary,  Plz solve this continuing arguement my husband and I have.
He says Blenko is not yet 100 -  I say Blenko is almost 200 years old.
What's the truth?
Marland Bush
Logan, WVa.

Mrs. Bush,
     The truth?  The truth is I don't know how long Blenko has been in business.  We'll post your note, and perhaps someone braver than I will bring resolution to this family argument. 
      I am posting a photo -  this photo would indicate W.Va is #149 years old.  Blenko maybe 90ish.
I sent a note to Mr. Bill Blenko - we'll post the reply.  hjh

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - -Can you help this reader ID his glass?

 Need Help Identifying 2 Pieces of Glasswork


I have 2 pieces of art glass that I can not identify as Blenko or not. Where might I send some photographs that would help solve this mystery?
Many thanks,

Stewart P

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - -Cameo’s Magical Moments: An Exhibit of Kelsey Murphy Cameo Glass at MAG in WV

Cameo’s Magical Moments

An Exhibit of Kelsey Murphy Cameo Glass

Weston, WV – As part of the nationwide 50th anniversary celebration of the studio glass movement, The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia (MAG) is presenting an exhibit of what is described as “the world’s most extravagant contemporary cameo glass”. The exhibit, which opens with an artist’s reception September 21 and runs through December 29, 2012 at MAG in Weston, WV, provides a rare opportunity to see 40 pieces of Pilgrim cameo glass from the private collection of Drs. Joseph and Omayna Touma.
This exquisite glass was created from objects made of up to five layers of different colors of glass at the Pilgrim Glass Corporation which closed in 2002. Fortunately blanks were conserved for future use. Each piece was designed and painstakingly carved by Kelsey Murphy and Robert Bomkamp to reveal the various colors below the surface creating multi-colored images of flowers, trees, animals, scenes and other lovely designs. The diversity of the artistry is amazing and must be seen to be appreciated.

The Toumas have been appreciative of the glass from its beginning in the 1980’s and have enjoyed collecting Pilgrim cameo from the simple and small to the huge and complex. They feel it is one of the greatest accomplishments in Art Glass of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and marvel at the stories and the beauty of the art and its execution.
“It is so much fun to deliver a piece to the Toumas,” said Kelsey Murphy. “They really get the story and understand the hundreds of hours that Bob and I have invested in every piece.”

This exhibit will give the viewer a broad pallet of color, shape, size and image reinforcing visually the commitment, imagination and experience of the over 100 glass blowers, technicians, artisans and artists that made Pilgrim cameo glass a reality.

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://magwv.com/. Questions about programs or the museum can be directed to 304-269-5006.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blenko Glass Co. - Blenko Glass Blog - Auction with Blenko

Living Estate Auction

Saturday September 15th, 2012 @ 10:00am

Mountaineer Auction Gallery 50 Spencer Road Clendenin, WV

Directions: 20miles North of Charleston WV on I-79 North


Featuring a Living Estate from Dunbar, WV along with a Living Estate from St. Albans, WV.

Lifelong collection of antiques, collectibles, travel whimsies, quilts, steins, vehicle, equipment, campers & much more.

Be sure to visit the website for listings on several auctions and open houses scheduled for Sept. and Oct.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - -Recent Blenko Art Project

Hillary, I have attached a photograph of sculpture utilizing Blenko Dalles. Created by Ken Johnson, an artist in S W Florida, entered it in a local art competition. Within 30 minutes of the show opening, the sculpture was sold. An hour later, it was awarded 2nd place. I thought your blog readers might appreciate it because of the use of Blenko. It now resides in a garden on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - -Title: Just when you think you've seen everything possible made out of Glass

Folks this post is from our blog friend T Patti  ..

I would never ever have thought of Hermit Crabs as a valid glassblowing business model…

Exposed: Hermit crabs go public with hand-made see-through glass shells
I loved hermit crabs as a kid and always wondered what they looked like inside of those shells. Now I finally get to see them thanks to glass shells. A glass blower has created a line of glass shell habitats for hermit crabs and it looks like the little guys love them as much as we love to look at them.

Robert DuGrenier is a glass blower with over 30 years experience in creating a wide variety of beautiful glass works. He decided to try to and mimic the most beautiful thing of all — nature — in creating habitats for hermit crabs. He started with creating entire terrariums and then moved on to creating shells. His view is that the terrariums and the crabs going about their business, adopting and dropping their shells is essentially living art.

DuGrenier created the spiral shells out of crystal so the crab would have the same comfortable spirals they are used to, with a material that would do them no harm. He's created a collection of shells so varied in size and with added color. For the crabs that prefer a little bling in their thing, he's also created shells infused with bronze, silver or 24-karat gold.

Sure, the crabs' rear ends look like shriveled little aliens when you compare them to their brawny visible parts. No wonder they're called hermits — they probably want to keep that private and that's cool.

No matter how private they may want to be, there's a problem caused by a lack of habitable shells in the wild due to changes in the environment, and these poor little crabs have been having trouble finding adequate accommodation on their own. Scientists had studied and experimented with the crabs to find out just what goes on in the shells and whether they'd accept man-made ones.

Fortunately, that issue has long been laid to rest with researchers developing 3D printed shells the crabs took to after a short time. Then came the Lego crab shell (that crab hopped right in, and who could blame him?), and now these glass ones. With every step the crabs seem to be adopting their new homes quickly, which is a major score for the health and welfare of these little crustaceans.

We're not kidding ourselves that every family will want a see through shell that could induce monster nightmares. Nor will everyone want to pay the price for them. As they are handmade and quite complex they are likely to be on the pricey side — DuGrenier's Glass Shell website takes inquiries.

But, for those of us science geeks who love to see things as they grow and evolve, these crystal shells are perfect. Not to mention they just really beautiful pieces of art should you choose not to turn them into hermit crab housing.

Glass Shell, via IncredibleThings, via Geekologie

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - Mid Century Modern Glass Symposium in Weston September 27-30

Readers: If you enjoy American Glass - mid century glass - mark this date in your calendar. Dean Six ( author of many books about WV and American Glass) along with other experts in the field will be on hand. The Museum of American Glass located in Weston, WVa has one of the best collections of American Glass, also a large library devoted to American Glass. If you haven't been to Weston - make this your initial trip - - - if you know about MAG - you'll want to attend. If you can't attend - go on line and become a member of MAG - the publication is more than worth the cost of admission.

Rock Wilson - who is the BLENKO MAN - will be the auctioneer. Rock Wilson knows more about Blenko Glass than any other person. This West Virginia man has devoted his free time to

Glass. Unlike online & self proclaimed experts - Rick Wilson has the credentials and hands on experience. To be honest, I'd plan to attend solely for the purpose of meeting and listening to Dean Six and Rock Wilson. hjh

Note: Out of towners - phone MAG to ask about local lodging. We always stay in Morgantown and drive the 60+ miles - but I'm certain there are great hotel / motels in Weston.

Weston, WV – The Museum of American Glass (MAG) in Weston, West Virginia is sponsoring a “double barreled” event focusing on Mid-Century Modern American Glass the last weekend in September. The “barrel” for current glass collectors includes a symposium, discussions and display. The second “barrel” for the public includes an auction, glass identification and a show and sale.

The term Mid-Century Modern was used to describe furniture styles as early as the mid-1950’s and is now recognized by scholars and museums world-wide as a significant design movement. Yet in glass collecting circles, the glass design knowledge base has been stalled in the “depression era” that became wildly popular in the mid-1960’s and early 1970’s. So time has come to move the glass knowledge base forward and build a wider appreciation for glass made in the 1945 to 1970 era. Hence the goal of this event is to network, share and work collaboratively with individuals and clubs to craft a movement that studies and chronicles the American made glass of the mid-century period.

Glass produced after World War II dramatically changed in style, use and design and was made by such companies as Blenko, Canton Casual, Fenton Mid-Century Modern, Morgantown, Smith and Viking. Beautiful one-of-a-kind signed designer glass was also made in the post-war period and will be considered in the week-end discussions.

The symposium, for registered attendees, begins Thursday evening September 27, 2012 with an open house at the museum. It continues on Friday with presentations and table exhibits which will compete for prizes. Registration for the two and a half day event including three meals is just $76 for MAG member and $84 for others.
The public is invited to the Friday evening auction to which symposium participants may consign up to three pieces. The auctioneer, well known Blenko collector Rock Wilson, will provide an additional number of pieces to guarantee 100 lots of glass. MAG will retain 20% of all hammer prices with no other commissions.

The public is also invited to a show and sale on Saturday with free admission from 10am to 3pm with a charge of $5 for early admission from 8am to 10am. From 11am until noon there will be free glass identification with a written report, no appraisals, for up to four pieces of glass per person.

For further information or to register contact the museum at 304-269-5006 or at www.magwv.com.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - Valence system

This post is from our glass blog friend T Patti


Valence system

We inherit precious plates, bowls and glasses as heirlooms, and pass them on to future generations.

But what happens in today’s world where new cultures and foods renders yesterday’s servingware obsolete?

Where is the soy sauce pourer in grandmother’s china set?

Valence creates a new ritual in heirlooms.

It’s a system where new typologies of objects can be created using an alphabet of simple forms – from a single mold.

A meeting of old and new: the glass-blowing mold is crafted in cherry wood, the traditional material for glass making,

and shaped with advanced computer aided design and manufacturing methods.

The mold is what you pass on. The method of creation gets its turn in the spotlight.

You reconfigure the mold to make the object you want.

Valence adapts to create new objects according to your wish.

One mold, many possibilities. Today and tomorrow.

Gaffer: Colin O’Reilly

Friday, September 07, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - Where Has All The Blenko Gone? 2012 Summer Road Trip

This note from our blog friend Bruce ( Texas). Daily I get emails complaining about the lack of good Blenko and the quality. This note from Bruce S will serve as a reminder - - the glass is available, one must (a) read catalogs and know Blenko (b) be willing to wipe away some dust (c) search for Blenko while traveling.

Happy Blenko Hunting! Blenko Glass is available in your community - you don't have to trust or buy from out of towners.


Note: Bruce S has good glass karma - one can not expect to duplicate his experience.

Hi Hillary,

Just got in Saturday from a whirlwind trip to the west coast with the girls and my fiance' Shelley. Did just a little Antiquing along the way but wanted to share a quick photo of our haul. Almost all these came from just one shop with incredible prices. Lots of good glass along the way that we left for someone else to discover if we already had the piece in our collection. Granted I will buy duplicates if the price is ridiculously low. Most of the pieces here were under twenty. Only the Myers crackle vase with the Blenko sticker was more. The Cobalt optic footed vase in the center is my favorite from this trip. I happened to stop at a store that was not opened and was just looking in the window when I spotted several pieces and made the decision to find out when they might open. A short trip down the street yielded the Myers piece and that shop owner called the other owner who had made it to work and was now open. Quickly retracing our steps we had a field day finding not only the Blenko #353 optic footed vase but the six Green sherbert glasses, Lilac rose bowl, and Amethyst goblet as well. The two cruets came from the top shelf of a store in California and the surprise find of a Rialto vase for only $14.00 nestled amongst some other real cheap glass made another stop rewarding. Not my best photo but I will be shooting some of these pieces later for your use. Just wanted to share a little for now.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Blenko Glass Co. Blenko Glass Blog - More Glass from Tx

#100 Pre-designer amber decanter, vase and Anderson 977 pitcher

Color Pallet photo of Amber pieces with Anderson designed Blenko #977 pitcher and Pre-designer decanter and vase

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - Insurance for Glass?

Glass doc,
   In five years I have been over 20K  for Blenko and Fenton Glass.  My collection is of older
pre 70s glass and most all pieces are signed.
    My friend who is also a collector recently lost most of his glass to storm damage - at this time he was informed he has 1,000$ in coverage for glass.  
    I know there are collectors and vendors who have hundreds of thousands of dollars in glass,  so my question is where does one go for insurance?
    I promised myself I wouldn't make another purchase before getting insurance.
Suggestions?  Please respond,  and its OK to publish this letter.  I need help, and help quickly.

   My collection is probably worth less than 5K,  I am not insured.  We'll publish your note in anticipation of a suggestion or two from readers.
    Any insurance agents who provide riders for glass?  If so this is a good time to respond.  Free advertisement for your agency.

Blenko Glass Blog - - -Blenko Glass.

Hilary,  Do you have examples of the older catalogs?  I may be interested but don't want to have crumble paper and photos I can't see.  Suggestons?  Ron
Ron,  Acquiring catalogs can be an expensive adventure.  While owning catalogs is a goal for many collectors,  most all catalogs are now available for viewing - no charge - on line.  I can't speak to the quality of an older catalog -  Blenko  catalogs were always produced and printed by a quality contractor and seen to hold up over time.   My first suggestion is to look on line, using the websites devoted to Blenko for catalog access.   American Glass Museum in Weston owns and reprints many Blenko Catalogs.  As I mentioned in a previous post -  reprints of catalogs are available for under $25 @  on line.  
This photo is of a reproduction catalog I own - the quality is excellent.   Spiral bound and affordable.  If this doesn't answer your question - email theblenkoproject@aol.com  and I'll attempt to send you links to the sites.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - -

The football game -  Friends of Coal - was played yesterday!  The remainder of the season - we can all support both teams. 
    Blenko Glass  www.blenkoglass.com   has a large assortment of WVU  and Marshall logo items.  Purchase now for Christmas gift giving  or buy now for your next pre & post game parties.
    Support all local businesses.   Buy Local .  Buy made in West Virginia when possible.
Blenko Glass is the only American manufacture of Antique Glass.  Blenko Glass is located in Milton, WVa.
    Learn more about Blenko Glass by visiting the Blenko Project web pages,  www.blenkoproject.org .
A not for profit group ran by volunteers,  no glass is sold by Blenko Project,  we exist for the sole purpose of promoting West Virginia Glass. 
West Virginia University -  Football 
Marshall University 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Blenko Glass Blog - - -Blenko . Blenko museum. Blenko Archives. Blenko Collectors. Blenko Four. Blenko Project.

Blenko - Blenko - Blenko -
   The number of sites, and names that include Blenko are endless.
www.blenkoglass.com   The Blenko Glass Co.  official web site.

Photo:   Blenko Cow Boy Hat in crystal.