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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cleaning Blenko Glass

This is a photo of glass stopper  - that was dropped while being cleaned.  If you are like most collectors,  you know all too well the feeling of breaking glass.  In my home we use the glass cleaning clothes, and also the  swivel duster to keep the glass clean.  Maybe once every five or six years, my dad will line the sink with towels and attempt to clean a few pieces.   I am attaching links to websites with 'How to Clean Your Blenko.'
Photo from Dr V. ,  should anyone have an extra stopper ( see photo)  please email theblenkoproject@aol.com .
Blenko Archive - How to Clean Blenko Glass
www.blenkoarchive.org/blenko_cleaning.htm -

  • Blenko Collectors - Cleaning Blenko Glass - Blenko Glass ...

    www.blenkocollectors.com/cleaningblenko.htm -
  • Saturday, September 28, 2013

    Glass artist- James Byrnes: Handmade christmas ornaments

    James F. Byrnes is a local glass artist from State College, Pennsylvania. He used to make scientific glass instruments. Now a days, he specializes in hand made christmas ornaments. Below are some pictures of him and his creations. Apart from lampworking, he also blows hot glass. Although, most of the blown glass he makes is donated for charity auctions.

    You can own his creations through his website. If you like his christmas ornaments, please purchase. Support your local artists and buy made in USA.

    In his own words:
    For 30 years I earned my living as a scientific glassblower making laboratory apparatus. During that time I always enjoyed making decorative glass items, which utilize the same basic skill set as scientific ware. Glass is such a free flowing material that it seems a shame to use it only for items of strict function. My artistic goal is to combine my creative desire for design and aesthetic with the structural integrity of laboratory glass ware, to produce items which bring lasting pleasure.
    Jim Byrnes

    Lampworking demonstration at Corning Museum of Glass

    Glass blowing

    Ornaments on lamp

    Ornaments outdoors
    Confetti ornament

    Spindle bubble gum/white 


    Please mention blenko project when you make purchase. I know him, and shadow his hot glass blowing. 

    Website of James F Byrnes
    Creations of James F Byrnes
    Facebook page of James F Byrnes

    Volunteer opportunity at WheatonArts Festival of Fine Craft

    Volunteer opportunity at WheatonArts Festival of Fine Craft

    Blod friend Toni P says:
    A nice way to help out a very worthy organization
    (where I did my first hot glass MYO)


    Every year, the success of the Festival depends on the help of volunteers like you! The enthusiasm and generosity of volunteers help to make this exciting event run smoothly.  We need Booth Sitters from noon until 4PM on either Saturday or Sunday. Help support the artists so that they can take a quick break or grab some food. No experience is required.

    In return for donated time, each volunteer will receive a participant badge (good for both days) and two additional complimentary festival passes. Bring a friend or two with you the day you aren't working and enjoy the show as our "thank you."

    Friday, September 27, 2013

    Myers decanters

    Hi Hillary,
    Just sending a couple of photos today. The first is a pair of Myers designed
    decanters. The Crystal one on the left I picked up as a mislist several weeks
    ago. It is a Blenko #6530S with it's big brother a Blenko #6417 in Turquoise
    that I have had the body for about seven years. I just recently found the
    correct stopper for it. A long wait to see it completed.  It was well worth the
    Hope you enjoy,

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Blenko 64E's

    This photo from the Specht Family collection was taken by Kayla ( daughter),  she received a new camera.
    Perhaps I could say my photos are horrid as my camera is ten years old!  My camera is old,  but my ability to photo glass has always been below average.  Glass is difficult to photograph.  I admire those who can master this challenge.
    PS  Thank you Kayla for this photo. 

    Hi Hilary,

    I had mentioned that Kayla was getting a new camera and I was excited to see what difference it would make in our photos. Well here is a first example of the improvement it will yield. The colors are brighter and very accurate, especially the hard to capture Peacock, Plum and Chestnut. We are both excited at all the possibilities.Hope to be sending more along to the blog soon.


    Monday, September 23, 2013

    Husted pitchers

    Readers,  Weekly I receive letters asking about Bruce 's  photos and collection.
    We hope to increase the number of photos on the www.blenkoproject.org  pages of readers collectons.
       Many collectors like Bruce - has extensive collections,  these collections and the photos often
    leave new collectors searching for the items in the photo.

    Bruce S. has some of the nicest Blenko- and he is a superb photographer of glass.
    Enjoy! HJH
    Hi Doc,
    The second photo for today is a pair of Husted designed pitchers. On the left is
    Blenko #5828-L in Jonquil with it's smaller version the Blenko #5828-S in
    Tangerine. Both have a nice optic pattern and ribbed handles.
    Hope you enjoy,

    Sunday, September 22, 2013

    WV Cultural Center - Arlon Bayliss Glass Artist.

    Event Details...

    Title:Art Exhibit Featuring West Virginia Painters, Sculptors, Photographers, Glass Artisans, Potters
    Description:CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will open a special sesquicentennial art exhibit at the Culture Center featuring West Virginia painters, sculptors, photographers, glass artisans and potters at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.
    Date(s):Sunday, September 22, 2013
    Event Website:  http://www.wvculture.org/news.aspx?Agency=Division&Id=2350
    Venue:West Virginia Cultural Center
    Location:The Culture Center

    Saturday, September 21, 2013

    Warm Glass Video - "Orchid Mania" by Laura Hart of Hart Glass

     Warm Glass Video - "Orchid Mania" by Laura Hart of Hart Glass


    Laura Hart, Glass Artist at Hart Glass www.hartglass.com, in the UK, created her first video, “Orchid Mania”, which runs 6 minutes.

    I really enjoyed the combination of watching her cut the glass sheets, coldworking the glass, detailed coloring,
    and the multiple firings in the kiln, to yield these beautiful finished fused warm glass orchids and other flowers.

    Friday, September 20, 2013

    1950-1959 catalogs

    Several of you have emailed saying catalogs from 1955 to 1959 are not visible on blenko website. I checked and all are there, here is the link http://www.blenkoproject.org/1950-1959
    Below is screenshot comparing the same too. If there are any issues with website, please post here. I will update the website during the weekend.

    As the catalogs are high resolution scans of the catalog pages, it may take longer to load if the internet connection is poor.

    Thanks for your patience,

    ART WALK - Downtown Charleston 5 to 8pm Thursday

    Note:  Due to a blog error this post published after the event.  

    Charleston’s Daily Mail Photographer Exhibits During Art Walk

    At the Blenko Project we have 3 favorite photographers of Glass -  Bruce Specht of Texas,  Tom Hindman of the Charleston Daily Mail and Rick Lee , a independent photographer.  Both Hindman and Lee are located in Charleston, WVa.

    Neither Hindman nor Lee collect Blenko.   However, over the years both have taken magnificent photos of Blenko Glass.

    If you live near enough to make the ART WALK – 5pm to 8pm  Downtown Charleston, WV galleries.

    Its free!

    Hindman chronicles his travel and photographic journeys in www.tomhindman.blogspot.com . 

    Note:  The Purple Moon ( Blenko collectors paradise) will feature Pat and Helm Hamilton’s collection  “Patriotism to Modernism.  Hello hillary,

    WV Birthday Vase For Sale. *8 often called The Bonnet

    Collectors of Blenko Birthday Vases, 
    If you have interest in this Blenko item,  please email theblenkoproject@aol.com  and we'll forward your note of interest to the seller.
    We are in no way connected to the seller - our goal is to allow Blenko Collectors to rehome glass they have a need to sell.
    We have 6 other photos of this vase if you need additional photos email us. 
    Blenko Birthday Vases are not listed in the Blenko Glass Catalogs (www.blenkoproject.org)  photographs of these vases are under the link Blenko Birthday on www.blenkoproject.org
    Subject: RE: WV Birthday Collection #8 1987 The Bonnet
    Thank you for your reply. Considering the number of pieces produced, availability, the mint condition of this Vase and it’s rarity I am asking for a minimum of $3,100.00. I will pay for Shipping, Insurance and Paypal Fees. Would you please place pictures and our correspondence excluding my contact information on your Blog. Again thank you for your time and attention towards this wonderful WV Birthday Vase.
    Kindest regards

    Sent: Tue, Sep 10, 2013 1:03 pm
    Subject: WV Birthday Collection #8 1987 The Bonnet
    I would be very interested in selling my WV Birthday Collection Piece #8 “The Bonnet” or “Ladies Bonnet”. It is Signed by William Blenko  and is Number 55 of 124. This piece is in Mint Condition with no Cracks, Fleabites, Chips or Discoloration of any kind. I have kept it in an Enclosed China Cabinet in my Dining Room. Attached are a few pictures. I would be happy to furnish additional pictures if needed. I may be reached at this email address. I am considering offers.
    Kindest regards,

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    More Beautiful Glass Finds from Bruce P:

    Sometimes the karma surprises even me. I had the good luck to find this
    exceptional Predesigner Blenko 3512LL in Marine Crystal several months ago.
    Looks pretty good alongside the Blenko 366ML in Sky Blue Seed Glass.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Glass ID - can you help this reader?

    I have been unsuccessful identifying the pictures of the art piece
    attached to this e-mail.  The antique dealer I bought it from PROMISED
    me it was Blenko, but I can not find it in any catalogs.  It has the
    characteristics of a Blenko piece, but I just don't know for sure.  It
    stands 12 inches high and has about a 25 inch circumfrance.  It is
    quite heavy, has air bubbles throughout, but has a rather smooth
    pontil.  I want to give it to a collector for a wedding gift next
    weekend, but don't want to make a big mistake if it's not Blenko.
    Please help!  Thank you ever so much!


    Tim Alonzo Blenko Collector - EBay Listed Items

    Hillary, Since several of your blog readers wanted.to know when I list items on eBay. I am attaching a link:

    Vintage Blenko Glass 384-H Water Bottle 

    Blenko Design #8310M - Sapphire by Designer Don Shepherd
    -Tim Alonzo
    Tim,  We have a good number of people asking for Pineapple, Watermelon, Kaufman Dept Store Series,  any Artist Proof  and of course WV B-Day and Charisma.

    * All the photos in this post are from ebay listing of the items. They do not belong to blenko project. V

    Sunday, September 15, 2013

    Ebay Mislists

    A trio of Myers Turquoise decanters that  were picked up as mislists over the past several months on Ebay.
     From the left you have a Blenko #669 optic decanter, Blenko #6912 Coin Dot Decanter, and a
    Blenko #7024.

    Friday, September 13, 2013

    Pittsburgh Glass Center - Art on Fire - Friday Sept 27 2013


    When: Friday September 27, 2013, 6:00pm–11:00pm

    Location: American Eagle Outfitters

    Once again American Eagle Outfitters will be our playground for a fun-filled fundraising celebration and auction to benefit Pittsburgh Glass Center on Friday September 27, 2013. 
    We’ll be celebrating the playful spirit with Nancy Callan, our honorary guest glass artist, and event co-chairs Susan and Scott Portnoy.
    “I try to balance the fluidity of hot glass with the sense of wonder and fun I felt the first time I gathered from the furnace. I believe play is essential not only for the artist but for everyone. When we daydream or play games, we return to our childlike state of mind, where we are free to explore and imagine. This simple joy is a counterweight to our busy lives and is central to my artistic practice,” Nancy said.
    Her upbeat attitude is balanced by her serious love of glass and her mastery of traditional Venetian techniques that she learned working with Lino Tagliapietra for 16 years. Both are evident in the “Mandolin Cloud” that she graciously donated to the auction this year.

    You will enjoy the 13-minute Youtube video below, of Nancy Callan giving a TEDxEast talk. 
    At 4:03 Nancy says: “There’s no shortcuts in glassblowing, you have to pay your dues and work really hard.”
    And at 10:03 Nancy says: “There’s much heartache in glassblowing, I am constantly humbled.”

    Over 100 pieces of one-of-a-kind artwork created locally and around the world,
    will be auctioned off on September 27, 2013 to benefit Pittsburgh Glass Center.
    A few are shown below.

    From Blog friend Tony Patti

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Glass ID

    Maggie ,   We are going to suggest you go to www.blenkoproject.org   for a complete listing - the only on line complete set of catalogs for Blenko Glass.   There you may search for your decanter.   If after searching you don't find anything similar please
    write to us,  and we'll continue the search.
    Dr V uploaded the entire Blenko Catalog collection -  he spent many hours ( along with other volunteers) collecting, borrowing, then scanning the catalogs to allow collectors to do an online search.
    We hope you find the www.blenkoproject.org  website and the extensive catalogs to be benefical.

    Good Morning,

    I recently found a beautiful "amber" colored decanter at a garage sale and believe it to be an original Blenko piece.  I reached out to info@blenkoglass.com and they could not be sure on the identification.  They suggested I reach out to you for confirmation.

    I searched your catalogs and maybe missed it but didn't seem to see the piece I have.

    Please let me know if you believe this is an original and what date it is from and who was the artist.

    Thank you so much!

    Monday, September 09, 2013

    Blenko - Special Series for Kaufman's in the 80s

    Note:  These were made for Kaufman's of Pittsburgh, Pa. 

    Hi Hillary,
    I was reading the blog and saw where someone asked about a special series made
    for the Kaufman store. I don't know if this is the same but I have one other
    piece of this same design which is a larger version of the vase on the left with
    undulating sides and thread wrapped around the body. There is only one other
    design of this same style I have seen which was an even taller vase which I lost
    the bid on several years ago and it ended up in the hands of a large collector
    in Arlington Texas. Maybe you can post and I will finally get the confirmation
    on the store this special run was produced for. Both pieces are signed by


    Blenko Catalog 2013 - 2014

    Blenko Glass 2013 -14 catalog is available at the Blenko Glass Visitor Center.  A small fee of less than $5 .  If you are a collector of Blenko Catalogs, or Blenko Glass,  you'll want to add this catalog to your collection.
    Dr. V  will be adding the 2013-14 to the Blenko Project library of Blenko Glass Catalogs.  www.blenkoproject.org  The archive of catalogs is available at no cost to Blenko Collectors and others doing glass research.

    Natural Beauty In W.Va.

    Not Blenko!   This photo was sent by our blog friend Ted Edens.  Ted is a photographer, a designer, an architect.   As a person who loves beauty he also admires hand crafted glass.  
    Natural Beauty in W. Va.

    Where river over runs cragged rocks.
    www.abodia.com     click Valley Falls at bottom left or click here
    Wonderful wild natural area, near Glen Ferris up the Kanawha River

    Saturday, September 07, 2013

    Upcoming Events At Blenko Glass

    Below is the email we received in response to your request for an early announcement of events.
    The next event is November 29th Black Friday
    Sunday November 30th - Blenko will offer glass classes  ( we'll let you know when we have class info).
    March 15- 29th is the Annual Warehouse Sale *  This one you should not miss.
    June 21st  WV Birthday Event.
    Annual Festival of Glass - August 1 and 2.
    Blenko Charisma - 
    Hello /Hillary,
    We will have our annual Black Friday sale on November 29th followed by limited classes open to the public on Saturday the 30th. We are hoping to have that complete list of classes in the next month. March 15th-29th will be our Annual Warehouse Sale. June 21st will be when we celebrate WV Day and our Annual Festival of Glass will be August 1st and 2nd.
    Please let me know if I can help with anything else.
    Thank you,

    Thursday, September 05, 2013

    Tx Estate Sale Find - Husted stoppered vases

    Picked up this small Husted designed Turquoise jug at an estate sale I had the
    good fortune to preview back in May. Makes a nice contrast to it's large Crystal
    brother. Blenko #626S and Blenko #626L.
     - Bruce P

    Tuesday, September 03, 2013

    MIT's most popular class isn't what you think

    From Blog Friend Toni P

    MIT's most popular class isn't what you think
    Deep underneath MIT there lies a subterranean laboratory, one which lay moldering and forgotten for years. These days, however, it is a place of wondrous sights and sounds — and one that plays host to MIT's most over-subscribed class.

    The lab in question is known as the MIT Glass Lab. And the course in question is glass blowing. Students from all across the institute, regardless of their field of study, are able to sign up for the course. And though there is no credit offered for taking glass blowing at MIT, the introductory class is so popular that students must participate in a lottery to take the course.

    Over the years, students from every focus on offer at MIT have taken glass blowing, each of them bringing a bit of their own field into the lab with them. A couple of years ago, for example, a music major who was taking part in the glass-blowing class wondered what might happen if a glass band were to be formed, utilizing creations made in the glass lab. This year, with all manner of glass implements in hand, that band materialized. To see and hear some of their creations, as well as plenty of other works made in the MIT glass lab, check out the


    Monday, September 02, 2013

    More Ebay Mislists

    Hi Hillary,

    Well you know how much I love finding mislists on Ebay. I had a good month in
    June picking up these three fine examples of Blenko. From the left you have a
    Husted design Blenko #6030S in the "61 Charcoal Crackle, Myers designed Blenko
    #6726 in Lemon with a reeded handle, and Myers designed Blenko #6619 in Olive
    Green Crackle. These helped to fill several gaps in the collection.

    Hope you enjoy,

    Sunday, September 01, 2013

    September - National Blood Cancer Awareness - Lymphoma

    Every seven minutes someone is diagnosed with lymphoma, the most common type of blood cancer. The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is committed to raising awareness of this disease and providing hope to all those affected by a lymphoma diagnosis.

    This September as part of a National Blood Cancer Awareness Month campaign, the Lymphoma Research Foundation will host a variety of national and local events intended to educate the public about the blood cancers and to help raise funds for lymphoma research

    .  ForYou can help raise awareness about lymphoma during Blood Cancer Awareness Month by sharing your lymphoma story or posting encouraging words on LRF’s Facebook page. You can also upload a custom Light it Red for Lymphoma cover photo to your Facebook page and share the Foundation’s daily facts about lymphoma with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
     the third consecutive year, buildings  and iconic landmarks around the world will LIGHT IT RED FOR LYMPHOMA.

    LRF National Headquarters
    115 Broadway, Suite 1301 | New York, NY 10006
    212-349-2910 | LRF@lymphoma.org


    This post is not Blenko related.   However, it is Blenko Project  related.  In the last seven years,  we have experienced the loss of six Blenko Project supporters to cancer.   Another 7 currently are fighting some form of cancer.

    Its time - no its past time for a CURE!

    Please support the American Cancer Society .   This year walk or run for the Cure.
    Lymphoma Research Foundation  provides current info on blood cancer treatments.