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, December 30, 2015

Reader Help - Is this Blenko?

A longtime dear friend gifted these six tumblers to us. The elderly relative whose estate they came from was an admirer of fine glass and lived close to West Virginia. Having graduated from Alderson-Broaddus University nearly 50 years ago, we thought immediately of Blenko glass. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Family Estate - Can you help ID Glass?

Below are pics of items that were from my father's estate. Family lore is that  

they are Blenko pieces Some bought and some given to my grandfather Howard  

Slater when he photographed pieces for the catalogs for the company.  I've  

looked through catalogs and i think they are but as some don't have any markings  

on them, I'm not 100%. 

Can you please help identify and also value them if they are?  

Thank you so much for your guidance and assistance. 



Sunday, December 27, 2015

Reader Request - Lamp ID

I am trying to get some information about this lamp. It has been in my family since the 50’s. It looks exactly like 4 different lamps that are being auctioned right now on eBay in different colors and are attributed to Wayne Husted at Blenko. However, in my contacts with a Blenko Collecting Group on Facebook, there is definite consensus that this is not a Blenko lamp. I love the lamp for sentimental reasons and I have no interest in selling it. I’m simply trying to establish who made it so that I can pass the information along to my children.
Any information you could provide would be most welcomed.
Thank you in advance,

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from Heart of Glass!

Merry Christmas from Heart of Glass!

Over the next 3 weeks we will be featuring requests for Glass Identification.
Keep a lookout for photos you may have sent in, and/or to help others ID their Blenko!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Blenko Glass Angels

In 2007  I tried to learn the origin of the Blenko Glass Angel.  I own a dozen angels,  each one is a little different .  The angel in the photo above is the most common -  the ones like this I own were made by Les Womack - a retired Blenko Foreman and glass worker  who returned for many years at Holiday Time to create the Angels.
Long Story - Short is  Blenko workers made Angels as gifts for one another as far back as the 70s perhaps earlier but I could find documentation of and see Angels made in the 70s.
Some angels had long flowing hair -  most of the older ones were crystal.
Since the mid 2000  Blenko has offered the angel pictured In the gift shop and online shop.
Angels are useful as gifts all year long.
When my friends are having difficult times -  I either send a Ron Hinkle Pigs Fly, or a Blenko Angel .
Two years ago my entire family had Xmas dinner in a hospital room - with my Uncle Gale who suffers mangle cell lymphoma.
The Blenko Angel was featured prominently on the dresser in his hospital room.  A sign of Hope!
A sign of a ' common love'  our family has for  the Blenko Factory.
This year -as he has for 20 years my Uncle Gale joined Uncle Barry to stand in line for the BLENKO GLASS WV Birthday Vase. 
Blenko Angels - are like Pringle Potato Chips -  You can't have JUST ONE!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Blenko Glass Snowman!

This Blenko Glass Snowman - comes in four colors and Frosted.  You'll want to own and to gift all four.
Happy Shopping.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Blenko. Blenko. Blenko. Collect but Avoid Hoardering . Ramblings...

New to Blenko Glass collecting?   Check out Blenko Glass on the web,  visit BLENKO PROJECT, Blenko Glass Collectors,  Ebay and other sites
Learn as much as you can prior to buying.

Then Buy What you Love and Want To Live With!

For the last 15 months my parents have been preparing to down size.  They hope to move from their 3 story home to a small rancher the end of next year.  Its been difficult to go from Four  Xmas tree to One.
This will be their  first year without a tree devoted solely to Blenko Glass ornaments and Blenko.
Note:  Three  large boxes of Blenko ornaments, balls, and yearly labeled ornaments  were left at the Mountain Mission earlier this month.  A box of Blenko water bottles was donated to Salvation Army the week of Thanksgiving. 

I'm saying this to warn new collectors about hoarding.....no one needs 40 water bottles - even if all 40 are unique in color or design.   Giving these things up after age 70 is painful.  
Even if you are savvy and want to sell on Ebay -  as you grow older this act is also more difficult.

My parents decided to gift special pieces and donate everything else.  Its not just BLENKO if you are a collector their is never one collection.   For my Mom its China  and silver,  Dad was the Blenko person,  and WVU  items.

I recall being 21 and having my first place without room mates,  Tammy Fowler of Trophy Antiques Charleston, WVa ( Tammy has a gift shop and conducts weekly estate sales).  Tammy said to me, never buy NEW...make a list of what you want and shop estate sales with your list!
For a Blenko Collector - the vintage items are often available in estate sales,  nice thing about Estate Sale is you can see and touch the vintage item and evaluate its condition.

This is the Season of Gifting....is it OK to gift a Blenko item you buy from an estate sale?  YES but only if you are certain the receiver will enjoy this particular item.  Other wise give them a gift card to Blenko OR a Blenko item from the Gift Shop that may be exchanged for an item they want.

Happy Shopping! 
Blenko Glass Ornament Collection - 3 each year -  This one is from 2013.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Desperately Seeking......This Blenko Glass Item.

Blenko Glass Collector Abby Ginsburg is seeking this item.   The Blenko Devil is what my family calls this item.  It was designed by Hank Adams is a limited edition and was used as a fund raiser for a Blenko Museum housed at the time in a strip mall out west. 
We are not certain of the number sold - the original price ranged from 350 to 500.
If you own this item and it needs a new home.  Contact Abby via this site or post your contact info for her.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Glass ID

Is this a blenko piece? It stands 5 inches tall, looks to be black or a very dark green glass. It also has a pattern of what looks like glass dots. I don't know how well that showed in the picture. I was told it was Blenko sawtooth, but can't find any information. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Blenko Glass ' Newest Collector / add photo***

Photo of South Carolina Collector Skip Copley and his two day old Grand daughter .  Her first gift was Blenko Glass of course.
We bet she'll be visiting the factory with her G-Dad before her first Birthday.

Welcome to the world of Blenko Collecting Ava Marie.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Shopping Can be OVERWHELMING!

Some folks love Christmas Shopping.  For me and many others,  it is overwhelming.

One way to alleviate some of the stress is to do your shopping in one place.  Buying LOCAL is always my first choice.  Handcrafted is also on my short list.

At Blenko Glass   www.blenkoglass.com  Blenko Glass Company  you will find many one of a kind items,  an online store,  a brick and motor store in Milton with a clearance table ( for those of us who always want a mark down).

Blenko is LOCAL, Family owned,  small manufactory that continues to make quality, high quality glass....one piece at a time.

Blenko Glass could be your one stop for all Xmas Gifts.

 A Daisy Bowl - filled with your favorite treat - could be hostess gift.
Blenko has many small ' stocking stuffer' items! 
Visit Blenko -  let me know if it was a successful visit!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

What's New at Blenko?

Blenko Glass X-Mas Tree 

This item is not new to the Blenko Glass line.  It is an item you may purchase on line or at the Blenko Gift Shop in Milton.
Each year Blenko makes new items for the Holidays.
You'll want to visit the Gift Shop weekly during the holiday season.

Blenko Glass always handcrafted by West Virginians in West Virginia.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Blenko Glass Should be Your FIRST Stop for Xmas Shopping!

Fire and Ice

When you shop Blenko Glass www.blenkoglass.com  on line or at the Blenko Glass gift shop you'll find a  perfect gift for everyone on your list.   I recently bought a night light for my friends new baby.
At Blenko there is something everyone will want.
Bring your 'wish list'  to the Blenko Glass Gift Shop!

Friday, December 04, 2015

Blenko Glass Visitors Center

Blenko Glass Gift Shop located in Milton - its a factory shop.  The clearance table is filled with glass that could be Xmas gifts or added to your gift closet.

Have a 'special person'  you need to gift.  The Blenko Glass " Golden Memories Angel'  limited edito is now available.
The Mountain Spurce and Northern Lights both limited edition items are also available for purchase.

Anytime you gift blenko - its a unique gift.  To gift a limited edition is a superior gift.   Limited edition can be 2 to 100 -  the current limited editions are "Golden Angels ' 50.   Northern Lights 50,
and Mountain Spruce is limited to 40.
All three items are beautiful,  and new for Xmas 2015.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blenko Holiday Sale and Open House this weekend!

Blenko Holiday Sale and Open House

At 8:00am our doors will open and you can purchase our 2015 Holiday Ltd Edition items. This year we have four pieces, including a new angel in spectacular colors, a vase and pitcher in a beautiful fade and a brand new fade option we are doing this year in an elegant optic vase. NO PHONE OR ADVANCE ORDERS
Our angel this year is called "Golden Memories". She is created with colors that give her a golden glow. Beautiful in all settings, but especially lovely when the light shines through. Each piece is signed by retired master craftsman Les Womack.
5 1/2" high approx. Ltd to 50 numbered pieces in the gift shop.
$57.00 each
Our Vase and Pitcher are called "Mountain Spruce". These two pieces were designed by our elegant craftsmen and combine the colors of cobalt and clover to make this beautiful, woodsy fade. A perfect addition to your holiday decor. The pieces may be purchased separately or if purchased together, you will receive a 5% discount. No number requests please.
Vase 8" high Ltd. to 40 numbered pieces in the gift shop $37.00
Pitcher 8" high Ltd. to 40 numbered pieces in the gift shop $42.00
If purchased together $75.00 for the set (5% discount)

There will be signing events with Walter Blenko, Jr in the gift shop:
Friday, Nov 27 8am-11:30, 1:30-4pm
Saturday, Nov 28 9:30-11:30, 1:00-3:30

Thursday, November 19, 2015

PUMPKINS - From Sept to After Turkey Day!

At our homes the PUMPKINS come out in mid September...as the leaves begin to turn.  We put them away only as we begin to decorate for Christmas! 

This year I purchased four fresh pumpkins for a carving party.  The cost was nearly $40.
This made me realize how inexpensive it is to own BLENKO GLASS  Pumpkins.   Each year we bring out our collection of pumpkins - orange - yellow - combinations of orange and yellow and a gold pumpkin ( unique almost like a frosted gold lame ) I have pumpkins dating back to grade schools years. 
This year consider purchasing a Blenko Glass Pumpkin ( under $65)  large or small they now come in a variety of colors.  Patchwork,  Vintage,  Autumn.

Blenko Glass Company   blenkoglass  on line catalog to order your pumpkins.

Monday, November 16, 2015

West Virginia Gourds

What is more appropriate for Fall than a Gourd - a made in West Virginia, handcrafted Gourd.
Gourd  - Available for on line purchase at BLENKOGLASS.COM 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Barrie Kaufman and Blenko

Barrie Kaufman is an award winning international artist from West Virginia working in print media, painting and glass. She has been creating art for thirty-five years using woodblock, etching, silk aquatint and carborundum to make personal statements about the environment and social consciousness. In 2013 she created models for a five-foot high cast glass sculpture created in the Czech Republic focusing on the animals and the effect of global warming. Her current work features blown and etched glass.
Barrie Kaufman

As a child,  I remember my Mom purchasing copies of woodblock prints by Barrie Kaufman,  I knew of her as the wife of Senator then Judge Todd Kaufman - who was my Dad's friend.
She somehow made it all work,  Mom, Wife, Artist.  Excelling in all.

Sometime ago we went to an exhibit that included her new venture into glass  and like the obsessive person I am - I wondered WHY LOCAL GLASS  ie  Blenkowww.blenkoglass.com or Hinklewww.ronhinkleglass.com or Appalachian  Glass. 

Barrie Kaufman is doing a large scale project - using the images of WATER DROPS  designed by Kaufman and created by Kaufman and Randy Rider.

To read more about this - visit Barrie Kaufman's website - Also the Charleston Newspaper did a story with photos. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blenko Glass Lamps


I have two questions.  #1) Does Blenko continue to make lamps - also how much do they cost?
#2) I am sending you a photo of a set of lamps I want to purchase,  the are $3K+  but lovely, however, if Blenko is still making them does this decrease the value?
Thank you for your response.
Raj Kumar MD
Chicago, Ill

Dr Kumar,
    Blenko  continues to make glass lamps.  Charlie Harshbarger would be the contact person
at Blenko Glass.   As to the cost of lamps - they vary with the size, color and shape.  If you are seriously interested I would suggest phoning or driving to Blenko Glass.
    My parents collect Hinkle Lamps - made in WVa.  to view these google Hinkle Glass.
   I do not know if Blenko is currently making the lamps ( in your photo)  I am posting the photo so perhaps someone else will have an answer for you.
   We don't work for Blenko.  We like you appreciate the handcrafted glass and enjoy Blenko very much. May I invite you to visit WVa and Blenko Glass.  Our State Tourism Bureau can provide you with a list of 'all things glass' in WVa and the Tamarack Center located in Beckley WVa  is a show house for WVa Handcrafted items.  Many Blenko items are for sale at Tamarack. 
    Thank you for shopping Blenko.   Again, contact the factory.  Everyone associated with Blenko Glass is customer friendly.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Two West Virginia Birthday Collections available for purchase.

We just received notice that two ( partial) WV Birthday Vase Collections will be placed on EBAY and also given to a Charleston antique dealer for sale both prior to 1/1/2016.

When we have additional info we will post along with a link.

Many of the original WV Birthday Collectors are the age of my parents early 70s  - this collection started in 1980.
We would expect to see a few more WV Birthday Collections becoming available in the next 4-5 years.
The collection is very large - and not all families have space to properly display such a collection.

IF You own this collection and must part with it - may I suggest you consider donating the collection.
We prefer the WV Glass Museum in Weston,  The WVa Cultural Center,  or Blenko Glass  ( Blenko doesn't have the entire collection on display) it would be very fitting to see this large long term collection on permanent display at Blenko Glass.
Should you need assistance with contacting the appropriate people for donation, please send us an email and we'll assist you with this gift.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blenko Holiday Madness Sale Starts Today



Sale runs Nov 11 - Dec 5

Sunday, November 08, 2015

STAR WARS - A Blenko Connection?

In the late 70s  Star Wars was a craze,   everyone - men women and children loved this film.
At Blenko Glass -  Shorty Finley ( who along with Jessie Carpenter) were considered the best
finisher / blower / and creative characters.   
    Shorty Finley and Jessie Carpenter both were part of the 70s Factory Glass movement.  Both accompanied Don Shepperd  ( the Blenko Designer) to give lectures and demos at Universities. 
    During this time Shorty Finley created several STAR WAR pieces - he designed a Chess Set 
with Star War Characters, and he made 5 free standing Star Wars characters out of glass.
    We are adding photos of the STAR WAR couple ( which is for sale on line at $1200, )  and a single Star War character ( also on sale for $500 on line) and a photo of an individual chess piece ( not for sale).  
    The factory workers at Blenko like much of America was enamored with STAR WARS.
We are delighted to learn these pieces survived the 40 years since production.  

For those of you who are not STAR WARS fans  the following paragraph is from WIKI 
Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by George Lucas. It depicts the adventures of various characters "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away", following the main story of Anakin Skywalker and his son Luke.
The first film in the series, Star Wars (later subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope), was released on May 25, 1977 by 20th Century Fox and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. It was followed by the similarly-successful sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983); these three films constitute the original Star Wars trilogy. A prequel trilogy was later released between 1999 and 2005, which received a more mixed reaction from critics and fans compared to the original trilogy. All six films were nominated for or won Academy Awards, and were commercial successes, with a combined box office revenue of $4.38 billion, making Star Wars the fifth-highest-grossing film series. The series has spawned an extensive media franchise—the Expanded Universe—including books, television series, computer and video games, and comic books, resulting in significant development of the series's fictional universe. Star Wars also holds a Guinness World Records title for the "Most successful film merchandising franchise." In 2012, the total value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at USD $30.7 billion (£19.51 billion), including box-office receipts as well as profits from their video games and DVD sales.
In 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and announced three new Star Wars films, with the first film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, planned for release on December 18, 2015.20th Century Fox retains the physical distribution rights to the first two Star Wars trilogies, owning permanent rights for the original 1977 film and holding the rights to Episodes IIII, V and VI until May 2020. The Walt Disney Studios owns digital distribution rights to all the Star Wars films, excluding A New Hope.
Shorty Finley - much like Randy Rider ( current Blenko Employee)  always stood out - the work ethic, the devotion to Blenko...the skill.  It was visible.

Shorty Finley and the Star Wars  - 1980

Friday, November 06, 2015

Lahti Pottery Show Nov 14 and 15

You are invited to the annual
Holiday Showing
Keith Lahti
November 14 & 15   10 AM to 6 PM
Also Ceramic Jewelry by Cree Lahti, Stone Sculpture by Kevin Stizinger and Wall Art by Mateus Stitzinger
Directions: I-79 to Big Otter, Exit 40 (Rt. 16). North on Rt. 16 to Nebo (about 3 miles), Right on Nebo-Walker Rd. and go 8/10 of a mile. Bear left up hill on Walker Road. 
Go to top of hill & down the other side,
Driveway is on left at bottom of hill, # 1137
Phone (304) 286-2635,
(call if you need another time)
Make a weekend excursion and plan to visit McColley Studio in nearby Chloe to see the work of  Connie McColley (jewelry),  Margie Mills (fiber), Karen Shreve (lotions and soap) and Kathy Russell (truffles). Info at 304 655-7429

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Blenko Alzheimer's Pumpkin

You can buy yours here: http://shop.blenko.com/Alzheimers-Awareness-Pumpkin-Purple-9355S.htm

Sunday, November 01, 2015

November 1st is National Brush Day!

Healthy Lives are implementing a national oral health campaign on Nov. 1, the day after Halloween, to remind parents and kids about the importance of regular oral hygiene and brushing for two minutes, twice a day.
According to the Ad Council, more than two-thirds of parents say they are concerned about their children's teeth. With more than 80 percent of parents saying their kids will participate in a Halloween celebration this year, and with cavities being a top concern, the Kids' Healthy Mouths campaign is celebrating "National Brush Day" on Nov. 1.
National Brush Day promotes improving the nation’s children’s oral health by supplying parents with simple information on when to start various levels of oral hygiene with their kids.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Blenko At Its Best! Blast from the past.

This doesn't belong to us -  although we do covet this vase.
Blenko At Its Best!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Miniature Blenko

Does Blenko make the animals or miniature items I see in the older catalogs.
Thomas W.

The 2015 Blenko Glass catalog is on line.   We don't see animals listed.  Often times we have found unique items ( not in the catalog)  at the Blenko Glass Visitor Center in Milton.
My suggestion is to visit the store and ask,  or phone Blenko Glass and ask if the gift shop has
the item you are searching.
Last we were in Milton,  the Gift Shop had a large selection of paper weights.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Blenko Glass Company - Milton, W.Va.

Photograph above is of the Blenko Glass WVa Birthday Vase (2015) center.
If you need this vase to complete your WV Birthday Collection.  Our reader
maggie.hyderbad@gmail.com  has thiese three vases for sale.
She is asking $250 for the center and $125 each for the other two.

If you need Birthday Vases to complete your collection - email theblenkoproject@aol.com and we'll notify you when collections are available for purchase.

Thank you for your continued interest in Blenko Glass and WVa Glass.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Blenko Project   continues to photograph vintage Blenko Glass and to catalog pieces not found in the Blenko Glass Catalogs. 
Note:  Catalogs are available for purchase on line ( often on EBay) and catalogs are post on The Blenko Project website.
BLENKO GLASS  made in West Virginia by West Virginia  glass artist. 
We also have copies of all catalogs and can send to you photocopies of any page you may need.
The charge for this is 2 cent per copy plus postage.
Note.  There is a wait time of 1-2 weeks - we are an all volunteer group.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pumpkins....and the Color ORANGE! This is the season.

 This mug and plate are from FIESTA -  A West Virginia based company.
Blenko Glass   www.blenkoglass.com   For the Very Best Pumpkins!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

What's Happen to ?

What happen to Osburn Glass?
Did he return to Blenko?  Is he in good health?
We were in Milton for first time in many years,  just heard Red Powers passed.
If you know anything about Osburn please share.
Arlene R.

   We also enjoyed Dave Osburn's Glass  ( see photo of limited edition clown). 
I'm sorry to say I don't know anything about Dave - the Glass Shop closed several years ago.
    If anyone has answers for Arlene please respond by writing to theblenkoproject@aol.com
and we'll either forward or publish.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Recently Blog Reader D. Kumar, sent a photo of a signed piece of glass he bought at auction in Clendenin.
He couldn't read the signature but thought it might be Blenko or Pilgrim.
It's Blenko.   See the above photo.

If you have questions about your glass and you can't find the glass in the online blenko glass catalogs ( www.blenkoproject.org)  send us an email with good quality photos and we'll try to
identify the item. 
Note:  all volunteers so we are not an over night response.