Blenko Glass Factory In Milton, West Virginia

Oct
19



Hand-blown glass is like molasses, home-canned tomatoes, and cornbread–you can’t walk into a home in West Virginia and not spot some….or a LOT. West Virginia, with its abundant natural resources, has a long history of glassmaking, although only a handful of the over 500 glass houses that once existed here still survive. Blenko is one of them. It’s a short (or long, depending on your location) daytrip to the small town of Milton between Charleston and Huntington off I-64.


*If you visit on a weekend, you can also enjoy the gigantic flea markets for which Milton is well known.




Before you go, print out a coupon here for $5 off any purchase over $25 (good through Dec. 31, 2007) at the Blenko Glass Factory gift shop.


There’s a factory observation deck where you can watch glass creation in action. The teamwork involved in crafting glass is amazing. Each person has a specific duty and they perform like clockwork. They have quaint names for each of the six jobs–the blower, the finisher, the carry-in boy, the gatherer, the bit gatherer, and the stick-up boy. (The finisher sounds a little ominous, LOL. I think they have those in the mafia, too…..) Here, you see the blower at work.


For a full list of glass houses still in business in West Virginia, check here, and if you’re planning at trip to the Fenton Art Glass factory, go soon! They’re closing. I know I will. Clearance sales!!!
Where glass goes to die….

Outside the factory, there are piles and piles of colorful pieces of broken glass. I found a woman carting off a boxful of it. I think she said at first they were going to charge her ten bucks for the box, but then they gave it to her for free. She didn’t know what she was going to do with it, but she was very excited!

Comments Leave a Comment
Share: |    Subscribe to my feed Subscribe
Posted by Suzanne McMinn on October 19, 2007  

More posts you might enjoy:






Sign up for the Chickens in the Road Newsletter




Comments

32 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 10-19
    9:01
    am

    Amazing, the beautiful works of art that can be created. It’s quite a talent!

    Broken glass bits? Hmm, I suppose you could use them to create a mirror or photo frame–I’ve seen that done on designer decorating shows, using other things. Or make an in-laid table top. Can you do that with glass? Ceramic bits, yes. Why not glass?

    Have a great weekend, everyone.

    -Kim

  2. 10-19
    9:06
    am

    Wow! Cool!

    I think I have one of the pieces – top picture on the right – unless that’s a common design and color. It was a gift from my cousin.

    What fun! All these posts and pictures of yours are making me want to move to West Virginia, Suzanne, and I don’t think my husband would go along with that. LOL.

  3. 10-19
    9:07
    am

    They make beautiful pieces don’t they? I love to to to Milton’s Flea Market. My favorite place is called Treasure’s Galore, which is a huge book swap store, plus they have other things too. I love it. Linda the owner, plus the other girls that work there are super nice. It’s one of those places that even if your super shy like I am, you can go there and talk to the girls or other people looking for books and things and talk like you’ve been friends all your lives. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

    Leanne :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy:
    (yea, it’s finally raining)

  4. 10-19
    11:00
    am

    I’d give the bits and pieces to my mother, who uses wine bottles in the retaining walls in her garden.

  5. 10-19
    11:13
    am

    I’d use them to make a back splash in my kitchen. Or to frame a mirror.

    Looks like you had fun.

  6. 10-19
    12:02
    pm

    What beautiful glass. I think it would be lovely to create a glass coffee table/end table top. Like a mosaic.

  7. 10-19
    12:12
    pm

    If the pieces are small enough and you have a forge you could make eyes out of them on animal heads. That is if you know your heat. It’s tricky but I’ve seen it done. But I really don’t have a use for broken colored glass. Now the clear glass star paperweight is beautiful, I really like that.

  8. 10-19
    12:13
    pm

    Gorgeous, Suzanne! Makes me wish I had one or two or several items.

  9. 10-19
    1:04
    pm

    It looks beautiful. I would use it in a clear vase with a floral arrangement instead of those little marble like pieces of glass that covers up the oasis. I wonder if there’s a way to dull the edges to make it like sea glass.

  10. 10-19
    1:21
    pm

    Oh wow, their hand-blown glass is just beautiful! :butterfly:

    I would use the bits of glass for a mosaic of some sort or you could just take a vase or bottle and fill it with the glass. In a windowsill, that would be lovely with light filtering through.

  11. 10-19
    1:22
    pm

    I would put pieces of different colored glass in a clear lamp base, which changes the lamp from an ordinary item to a lovely decorative object that highlights the room and the furniture.

  12. 10-19
    2:06
    pm

    I love to get various glass jars and fill them with such things as colored rubber bands, even bread ties – you’d be amazed at how pretty it can look in the kitchen. I would do that with the glass pieces. And if there are any that are buffed and not sharp you could add some to a fish tank. :purr:

  13. 10-19
    2:31
    pm

    What beautiful pieces. I would love to own a few pieces for my home. As for the broken glass, I have to agree with several others, put them into clear vases and place where the sun would turn it into a beautiful piece of art. How lucky that you live close to some place like that. The paperweight is really beautiful. Sorry to use the B word so much, but nothing else quite fits. :lol: Have a great day and :hug: to all.

  14. 10-19
    3:52
    pm

    I would create a soap dish for a guest room or a guest bathroom . Put various colored shapes of soaps in the pretty soap dish made from colorful glass pieces.

  15. 10-19
    4:07
    pm

    I think I saw a program on tv once where they made a wind harp (I think that’s what it was called) from glass pieces.

  16. 10-19
    4:13
    pm

    It would be wonderful to make a dream catcher as that would be striking in the sunlight especially in a kitchen window.

  17. 10-19
    4:21
    pm

    This pieces are so pretty and a side table would be so original!!

  18. 10-19
    4:36
    pm

    I would use the pieces of glass to make a mosaic in the bottom of my bird bath. Used with grout the pieces would be like tilework.

  19. 10-19
    6:57
    pm

    Dangit! I get here late and every idea I could think of is used! *g* I second the idea for a filled vase or lamp base, and the idea of a mosaic table as well. The closest glass blowing near us (that I can remember) is Asheville, NC. But, I may have to work on the hubs to visit W.Virginia soon! *G*

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  20. 10-19
    7:25
    pm

    The glass creations are beautiful. Thank you for the information and photos.

    Wishing everyone a happy and safe week-end

  21. 10-19
    8:12
    pm

    Oh, I wish I could go to the FEnton factory with you, I love their glassware!

    I think you should set up a glass display shelf and display the glass pieces on it, being on glass they can be viewed from many angles.

  22. 10-19
    10:42
    pm

    No new original ideas but I know many years ago I might have considered putting ground-up glass in the ex’s food….. :fryingpan: slap my face.

  23. 10-20
    12:59
    am

    The star is beautiful. I’d use the pieces for xmas ornaments

  24. 10-20
    9:49
    am

    If they are colored pieces of glass bits, I would create some type of paperweight and have it displayed on a bookshelf, mantel or curio cabinet.

  25. 10-20
    1:36
    pm

    I’m dumbfounded to learn Fenton Art Glass closing! :shocked:

  26. 10-20
    8:04
    pm

    I’d use it for a mosaic coffee table top. So pretty! And I’d probably put some pieces in a glass bowl by the window to catch the light.

    Wow, I so want to go and see these glass places. Way cool.

  27. 10-20
    10:49
    pm

    Love the colored vases, wow!!!
    My first thoughts, before reading any responses, were to use the glass pieces around a mirror frame or picture frame. Also, you could use them on a small table top as long as you could grout to hide the sharp edges.
    Now I will say I’d make a stepping stone or two or three from cement or plaster(you can buy the mix in a bag and just have to add water) and before it hardens place pieces of the glass and embed them in the cement so the edges are surrounded by cement. Leave them here and there in your flower/vegetable garden or have on the front step. Very pretty.

  28. 10-21
    1:48
    am

    I found the pictures and instructions for a wind harp. If you decide to make it I can translate the instructions for you.
    http://kirppis.yle.fi/node/259

  29. 4-25
    1:33
    pm

    We have a Libby glass factory – the other side of Shreveport, in LA. I went around last Thanksgiving with a friend, and we purchased the prettiest Christmas glasses. They had small gold rims, and Holley on them and looked like the ones that sell in the larger department stores, for around 10-15 a glass…we paid a dollar each, or less. I love bargain shopping. I also got a large water pitcher for our dining room table. It’s so fun to go to.
    One sister in law (“outlaw”) lives in Fairfax, VA and goes all over, to that “neck of the woods” …I’ll have to ask her about it. She mentions places she takes visitors to, to shop out that way.

  30. 4-25
    1:37
    pm

    P.S. – you could fill little dishes of it and place it on the bathroom sink. My friend did this with the tiny colorful fish/starfish/tiny whales that came in little bags at Albertson’s. Just a thought – I am totally NOT creative. LOL My older sister got all that. Also, my husband is the decorator at our home – he has an eye for things.

  31. 11-6
    11:10
    am

    That colored glass would make real pretty vases u can glue them on & they off set the flowers & so forth that u put in the vase I have seen earrings also made out of glass also make colored glass makes xmas decorations to put on a tree when the lites hit it they just glow

  32. 8-23
    10:02
    pm

    If you heat the glass pieces in a kiln, it will round off the edges when it cools. They can be used then for all the good ideas here..

Leave a Reply

Registration is required to leave a comment on this site. You may register here. (You can use this same username on the forum as well.) Already registered? Login here.

Discussion is encouraged, and differing opinions are welcome. However, please don't say anything your grandmother would be ashamed to read. If you see an objectionable comment, you may flag it for moderation. If you write an objectionable comment, be aware that it may be flagged--and deleted. I'm glad you're here. Welcome to our community!

Daily Farm










If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!



Sign up for the
Chickens in the Road Newsletter







The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






Today on Chickens in the Road


Join the Community in the Forum

Search This Blog



Calendar

August 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031


Out My Window

Walton, WV
74°
87°
Wed
82°
Thu
79°
Fri
Weather from OpenWeatherMap


I Love Your Comments

I Have a Cow


And she's ornery. Read my barnyard stories!





Entire Contents © Copyright 2004-2019 Chickens in the Road, Inc.
Text and photographs may not be published, broadcast, redistributed or aggregated without express permission. Thank you.

Privacy Policy, Disclosure, Disclaimer, and Terms of Use

Contact