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.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Blenko Glass - WV Birthday Vase - A Tradition of Exellence

The WVa Birthday Celebration ( June 20th is the official Bday of State of WVa)  Blenko hold the Friday - Saturday Blenko WVa Birthday Event on the Friday and Saturday prior to the 20th
of June each year.

On Friday night ( this is a new addition - about 3 years old)  Blenko is open late and has someone available to sign glass...they also sell the companion pieces to the BIRTHDAY VASE.  Last year as you may recall it was a leaf vase and 2 smaller leaf vases - not limited in number - but available for a limited time were sold.  This year 2 smaller fish will be available for purchase.  The smaller items are less expensive than the WV Birthday Vase.  

Making the Blenko - WVa Birthday Vase isn't an easy process - the vase has been produced for nearly 40 years - since 1980 - which means a good number of designs have been previously used.

The early birthday designs those of Don S.  are very simple - most are all or 90% crystal  the first ones have the wva mountains in the vase.  Later Don S made a basket of cobalt and crystal ( this one is difficult to find as the handles are fragile)  and a vase perfect for flowers ( this one is a favorite of my  Dad and many Rose exhibitioners and growers). 

The last vases have been designed by Arlon Baylis - Arlon much like Don S.  values the development and design of this vase.
     The designer is always limited to a design that can be produced by the factory.  Designing for factory - to be made in mass ( over 100) production - means the design must not only be beautiful - it must be one that can be produced by the current workers.  Blenko prides itself on having a very skilled workforce.  
     The mold maker at Blenko Glass - still carves the mold for Bayliss' designs - using cherry or oak trees often cut locally.   Blenko's mold maker is a treasure.   His skills are exceptional.

     Each new creation begins with a design -  then a mold  ( to be continued).

An ideal - an artist drawing
Visual Image - Artist

Artist drawings 

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