Quick question - Is Blenko doing tours now? If so are they self guided?
I came last year and brought the children - but expected a guide.
Pat, Thank you for visiting Blenko. Most everyone in West Virginia considers Blenko Glass to be one of the finest places to take out of town guest.
I am going to cut and paste info - re: Blenko Tours. However, I would suggest you phone 304 743 9081 and speak to 'Christy' she has been with Blenko for a couple decades and is usually a always correct source of info.
Good Luck! Please return often.
Blenko Glass Company, Inc.
Fairgrounds Road, Milton, WV 25541
Join the thousands who visit the Blenko Glass Company and its Visitor Center. In a most interesting manner you will gain a general understanding of the making of handblown glassware. You will be entranced with the first floor's factory outlet area and its many examples of the craftsman's art. On the second floor you will see the Designer's corner, where nine leading American stained glass studios have each contributed for display, a beautiful exhibit of their artistry as practiced today.
Also, a museum containing a Country Music Award trophy, Presidential Gifts, U.S. Capitol lighting globes, and original Williamsburg® stemware. From a special observation deck you can look into a large area inside the plant and watch molten glass take its final form.
Blenko has always had a magnet-like attraction for people. Singly, in small groups, or by the bus load, visitors have come even from the far places of the world to watch while skilled craftsmen make beautiful, translucent glassware.
Now from a special observation deck, visitors can observe the various steps in handcrafting glass; the furnace where silica sand, combined with other materials, is fused under intense heat; the gatherer who takes from this mass a small amount or "gob" of glass which he delivers to a blower, who blows the gob into a form, or shape, using tools similar to those of centuries ago. When the blower has re-heated the piece he has shaped, it is passed on to a finisher who does whatever is necessary for completion - adding handles, rings, etc.
Next, each piece is placed into an annealing lehr or oven, wherein, over a period of many hours gradual cooling to room temperature takes place. The skill of Blenko's expert craftsman is acquired only after many years of experience. As a result of excellence Blenko ware has been shown in museums and cultural exhibitions throughout the world, and has received numerous awards. Leading gift shops and department stores in America, as well as abroad, have sold Blenko for many years. It is in demand everywhere.
Please come and have a rewarding visit in our factory outlet store, or experience the practice of one of the most ancient of man's arts, producing contemporary designs in glassware, while you watch. All those who make up the Blenko Glass Company extend to you a cordial invitation to come (or come again as the case may be) and enjoy all there is for one to see, and learn about, in the Blenko Visitor Center, Milton, West Virginia.
Monday thru Friday 8a - 12p & 12:30p - 3:30p
* Note: phone 304 743 8091 to confirm the tour is available prior to visit.