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|