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, June 29, 2014

Shepherd Blue topped Mountain jug and cylinder vase

HI Doc,

I am still trying to find several more of the Shepherd designed Blue Topped Mountain glass jugs but for now I am enjoying these two pieces along with the decanter I have sent in photos of before. On the left is the smaller jug, a Blenko #7740S, beside it's larger vase a Blenko #7738. I am hoping to find the larger jug and small version of the vase one day.


Bruce Specht

Friday, June 27, 2014

Husted Jade Decanters

Hi Doc,

Another shot of a pair of Husted designed Jade decanters. The decanter on the left was picked up from a shop in Kansas City several years ago. It actually sat in a display case for over a year as I waited on the price to come down some. The other decanter was snagged up for a flea market price in an antique mall here in the area. Jade is still one of my favorite colors. On the left is the Blenko #5815-S with a Blenko #587-M.

Hope you and the readers enjoy,


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Husted pitchers


Another pare of Husted designed pitchers that have found their way into the collection. On the left is a Blenko #543 in Tangerine crackle and on the right a Blenko #567 in Turquoise crackle. Super vibrant colors and crackle really make these two of my favorites. Hope you enjoy as well.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blenko Family to Donate the 2014 WV Birthday Vase to WVU's Collection


West Virginia's 151st birthday celebrated at WVU with annual gift from Blenko family

June 20th, 2014


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Blenko Glass Company has continued its tradition of providing the West Virginia University art collection with the latest piece of limited edition glass from the West Virginia Birthday Blenko Glass Collection.
The donation to the University’s art collection has become an annual occurrence on the birthday of West Virginia, June 20. This contribution from Blenko Glass Company, located in Milton, W. Va., reflects that family-owned businesses are valued and aid in keeping tradition of the Mountain State alive.
The West Virginia Birthday Blenko Glass Collection, which began in 1980, celebrates the state’s birthday by creating and selling the exact number of pieces as the state’s age.
This year, Blenko Glass has produced 151 original pieces to celebrate West Virginia’s 151st birthday. According to the Blenko Project website, www.blenkoproject.org, WVU houses just one of the 10 known complete sets.
This year’s design is unique in that each of the pieces will be a bit different and is called “Sunrise over Appalachia.”
WVU was given a majority of this collection through the generosity of Hillary Homburg, a WVU dental school alumna and 2002 WVU Foundation Scholar.
Homburg’s generosity stemmed from her pride and love for the University and the state.
“As a student, I felt that there were so many dynamic, encouraging people that want you to be successful,” Homburg said. “I learned from my professors and the Foundation the joy of giving.”
As a fourth generation legacy student, Homburg felt the Blenko West Virginia Birthday vases would be best represented with pride by the University because of its own unique and rich history within the state. In 2007, Homburg decided to donate her personal collection from 1980 to 2007 to WVU.
“At the time, my Blenko West Virginia Birthday vases were my most valuable asset,” Homburg said. “I wanted to give something back to the University, and it also would allow the vases to be seen and admired by the many visitors to campus.”
The Blenko family has continued the tradition and donated the latest collectable vases in the series to the University’s art collection each year.
Currently as a WVU School of Dentistry adjunct faculty member, Homburg also is a writer for The (Huntington) Herald-Dispatch newspaper. Her column is called “Heart of Glass,” http://herald-dispatchblogs04.blogspot.com/, where she blogs about the timeless treasures of Blenko and West Virginia Glass.
The latest Blenko Glass collectible was given to WVU’s art collection in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign is being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University and runs through December 2015.
CONTACT: Bill Nevin, WVU Foundation
304-284-4056; wnevin@wvuf.org
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.
- See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2014/06/20/west-virginia-s-151st-birthday-celebrated-at-wvu-with-annual-gift-from-blenko-family#sthash.G5jO8SGW.dpuf

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Happy after Hours" is also available online.

From Blenko's facebook page.

For our customers who can't make it to see us in person we will have the "Happy after Hours" vase available to order online Monday, June 23 at 9:00am EST. Each vase will have WV Day and Blenko 2014 etched on the bottom. The price will be $54.00 each plus S/H. Be sure to get your order in early because they will only be available to order for a limited time. Shop.blenko.com

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blenko's WV birthday event. update-1

From blenko's facebook page:

We have our first person in line for the West Virginia Day Piece. Our customer drove in from Paris, KY last night. We are busy getting ready for the West Virginia Day event which will start Friday evening at 7pm with our "Happy After Hours" sale. We will have the beautiful "Sunsplash" and "Rainsplash" special edition pieces for sale at $54.00 each. Walter Blenko, Jr. and Arlon Bayliss will be on hand to sign your purchases, all purchases will receive a 15% discount and refreshments will be available (while supplies last). The WV Day piece will go on sale at 8am Saturday morning. Once again Walter Blenko, Jr will be on hand to sign additional purchases and WV Birthday cake and refreshments will be available. We hope you can join us.

Blenko happy after hour sale: Friday June 20.

From Blenko: 

For the Birthday Celebration this year we will also have our Happy After Hours Sale on Friday June 20th. All purchases made during this sale will be 15% off regular prices and we will have these two limited edition pieces for sale! These two pieces will also be available for those customers who cannot make the sale in person through our online store on Monday June 23-June 30. We hope you like them!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

2014 WV birthday event this weekend.

Please dont forget to mark your calendars for the WVa birthday event this weekend at milton, WV. Details below

Here is the 2014 WV Birthday piece which will be limited to 151 pieces. It is a fade of light topaz to turquoise with a slightly ruffled edge. This year the piece will be $130+tax, limited to one per person on a first come first serve basis. Available June 21st at 8am at the Blenko Gift Shop in Milton, WV. No phone orders.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Colored glass - V

Hello Hillary,

I started working with colored glass. Here are pictures of colored vase and paper weight I made.

Hope you like them

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Shepherd Bamboo pitcher and vase

Hi Hillary,
Just enjoying a rare rainy day here in North Texas and thought I would send along a few pictures from the past week. In this photo is my only Shepherd designed Bamboo pieces. Debbie and I stumbled upon the Wheat vase many years ago in a small shop in the South Dakota. The Turquoise pitcher came in this week from a mislist on Ebay. The design numbers are Blenko #7819 pitcher in Turquoise and Blenko #7727S vase in Wheat. I had never really been impressed with this design until getting the Turquoise pitcher. I may have to reconsider and add a few more if I am lucky enough.

Hope you enjoy,

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Glass mistake - V

Hello Hillary,

Here are pictures of glass  I made recently. I will send more pictures later. I was trying to make vase with irregular top, but messed it up big time, and ended with this.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Paperweights made by V

Hello Hillary,

I started glass making classes, and made a few pieces. here are pictures of paper weights and snowmen I made. Am not at vases and am working with color, will send those pictures soon.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Glassmaking - V

Hello Hillary,
Here are pictures of me making glass. I go for glass making with a friend of mine. She is the person in pink shirt. The other person is instructor. He is really good. He teaches us and puts up with us just because he loves glass, and he knows we love it as much.
There is no incentive other than love of glass to teach this.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Sky Blue Seed glass Pre-designer vases

Hi Hillary,

Some more pieces from my Predesigner collection. The Pinched vase Shelley found last weekend when we made a trip to Oklahoma City to catch up on some antiquing. Saw several nice pieces that I had to leave behind due to the sellers asking a little too much. Maybe some of your readers will have better luck. All these are in one of my favorite colors, Sky Blue Seed Glass. From the left is a Blenko #39 pinched vase,      Blenko #474 Spiral Wrapped vase, and a Blenko #3512.

Hope you enjoy,

Bruce Specht

Friday, June 06, 2014

Predesigner vases

Hi Doc,

A couple of predesigner vases that have found their way into the collection. On the left is a Blenko #619L Oval vase in Turquoise( 9") with  a Blenko #520S Winged Round vase in Ruby (7").

Hope you enjoy,

Bruce Specht

Thursday, June 05, 2014

ESTATE AUCTION Saturday June 7th


The well respected Nester Family Estate from Spencer, WV along with the Koontz Living Estate of Mink Shoals, WV

       Saturday June 7th, 2014   @   10:00am

      Mountaineer Auction Gallery  50 Spencer Road  Clendenin, WV
Directions:  20miles North of Charleston WV on I-79 North

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Myers pitchers

HI Hillary,
Just wanted to forward along some photos from the past several weeks. Shelley and I had the good fortune to make a short day trip to Chickasha Oklahoma and found a nice piece for the collection in a small flea market. The other piece came as a mislist. The pitcher on the left from Oklahoma is a Myers designed Blenko #7014 optic pitcher with reeded handle and the pitcher on the right is a Nickerson designed Blenko #7315 in Turquoise. I am still enjoying Kayla's camera and will have to hurry to get in everything I can before she and her camera head off to Canyon Texas in the Fall.


Bruce Specht

Monday, June 02, 2014

Blenko mislists on Ebay September 2012~ Response from Bruce

Hillary, Viveck, and the Hearts of Glass Blog Readers,

Several months ago a photo was posted of a grouping of pieces from my collection with the notation that these were "Mis-listed items " purchased from Ebay. The comments that followed were very pointed and negative and at the time I refrained from responding. I would like to respond now that I have had time to reflect and give what I believe is a thoughtful answer. 

First off I have to state the obvious that I do not control who or when items are listed on Ebay. I do not make the decision as to what category or heading will appear on any of the items I may find mis-listed. I have not advised the seller as to an asking price or given an appraisal of what the piece might be worth on the open market. This holds true for anyone seeking to sell a piece of glass or any item whether that be in the market place that is electronic, such as Ebay, or your typical neighborhood antique store or garage/estate sale.  What that seller prices his or her items for sell is solely dependent on the seller. The seller determines the minimum price that they will accept for any given item. How they list or describe the items for sale is their decision also. Where I have excelled is anticipating those categories that hold the best chance of netting possible Blenko pieces. I can find dozens of items that may be mis-listed and the seller has no idea that they have put a starting bid that is extremely over-priced. 

I do not contact sellers and try to have them end listings early by offering them a false and known "lowball" offer. This is in contrast to several people that do so to resale pieces that they find mis-listed. This unfortunately includes some dealers that are believed to be highly respected businessmen. I do not contact sellers and advise them on what a current or reasonable starting bid might be either.  

I do however spend an average of two plus hours a day studying resources available to everyone on the internet and searching through Ebay listings in search of such "finds". What some people refer to as "Glass Karma" is actually the reward of focused and disciplined effort. There is still a small matter of luck to finding items that may only appear for a brief moment of time and are purchased as "Buy it Now". 

I do enjoy the search and the reward of finding pieces to add to my collection. What is even more rewarding is sharing that "Karma" with other dedicated collectors so that they can enjoy the search and reward of successfully hunting for their own "finds".  I have noted that over the years that I am increasingly being bid against on Ebay  for mis-listed items and that is evidence that more buyers are educating themselves. This is extremely important as the number of dealers on Ebay increases that have taken to mislabeling items as Blenko when they are not. All Blenko collectors should arm themselves with the most accurate information that they can find. Believe me when I say I have learned the hard way that knowledge is power, or in this case a sure preventative for getting ripped off.

I will continue to share what I find in quality photos that may help the next collector. 

I have included a photo of just one months "mis-lists as an example of what is possible with a focused and disciplined search.

Do I get it right every time? No, but I do get a lot of enjoyment from the challenge.

Good hunting to all my fellow Blenko Collectors,

Bruce Specht