In addition to creating original modern art available on this website, I collect antique Blenko glass from the 1958 to 1961 period. It is Mid Century Modern art at it's finest. If you have some knowledge of Blenko you know that that time period is when Blenko sandblasted the glass pieces they produced. It is only between 1958 and 1961 that the pieces feature that special mark on the bottom of the glass (ok ok, yes I know they started sandblasting again in the 2000's but I'm talkin' vintage Blenko glass here). Blenko is made in the USA and that is yet another reason Blenko is so darn awesome.
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Antique Blenko Glass?
I use the word "antique" but this only refers to the fact that the coolest Blenko was made in the 50s and 60s (Mid century modern art!!), and technically, are antiques (more than 30 years old). Antique Blenko glass is far from being old or old-fashioned!!
Wayne Husted, Super Designer
I fell in love with antique Blenko glass many years ago, but my obsession went into frenzy mode in the past year. My collection has grown to over
100 150 pieces. I love Wayne Husted's designs, they are the pinnacle of Mid Century Modern art and design. Most of the pieces in my Blenko collection are Husted designs. He was with the Blenko Glass Company between the years 1952 and 1963. His designs were amazingly creative and imaginative. I see a strong ancient Egyptian influence in many of his pieces (5929, 5922, 6228, 6213, 6229 to name a few) I don't think there has been any other glass designer - whose work was intended for mass appeal - quite as elaborate and outrageous as he was.
My favorite colors are charcoal (especially with clear stoppers), jonquill, and the purples: mulberry, amethyst, and lilac. Antique Blenko glass colors can be a bit confusing, as some look remarkably similar to other colors, but learning to identify their colors can be of particular importance in clearly identifying a Blenko piece. The look and feel is unmistakably Mid Century Modern Art!
The reason identifying Antique Blenko glass is so important is because there are many "fakes" out there. Several other glass companies made pieces that look very similar to Blenko pieces, so if you want to be a Blenko purist, as I do, you must educate yourself and know what you are looking at, and what you are contemplating purchasing. Some of the "other companies" include Rainbow, Bischoff, Pilgrim, and others.
The All Important Pontil
There is a wrong assumption that if a piece of glass has a pontil (a spot on the bottom of the piece where the blow tube was attached during the creation of the glass piece) it MUST be a Blenko piece. Wrong. Most antique Blenko glass (and current Blenko production pieces) does have a pontil, but then so does other companies glass pieces.
Identifying Antique Blenko Glass
The best way to identify a Blenko 100% for sure is if it is sandblasted on the bottom, in the case of pieces from 1958 - 1961. For other years, a silver foil sticker will identify that it is from 1930s to 1982. However, I have heard that there were rolls of silver stickers floating around, so theoretically it is possible for someone to put a Blenko sticker on a non-Blenko piece (infuriating!). From about 2000 on, Blenko started sandblasting again, so at least there is assurance on pieces produced during those years.
Back to 1958 - 1961
So... from my interest in Mid Century Modern Art and design grew an avid interest in primarily antique Blenko glass produced from 1958 to 1961 with the sandblast mark. The pieces are amazing and beautiful. I will share pictures of my vast collection in these pages! Oh, also, I create lovely reproductions of the Blenko Glass Catalog Covers from those years!
Antique Blenko Glass Art Prints
Over 150 Pieces And Counting!
I will be showcasing my vast Blenko Collection on this page, adding photos as I take them. Here is my "Owl (5830S) & the Pussycat (5510S)" vase and decanter. Both were designed by Wayne Husted and are gorgeous together.
And below, a few more pieces from my Blenko glass collection. Notably, a 5815M "genie decanter" in Charcoal, and a 564 "hourglass" decanter.
The Charcoal decanter is truly an amazing piece, and this photo does not do it justice. When you see it in person it has a definite "WOW" factor! Beautiful. The Charcoal with Crystal stopper is one of my favorite Blenko color combinations.
Do You Have A Cool Blenko Collection?
I am looking to spotlight other people's Blenko Collections too on these pages. If you have a cool Blenko Collection and would like to share it with others, please contact me to arrange to send some photos of your Blenko Collection. The best ones will get posted here!
I also welcome communication with other Blenko Collectors and anyone into Mid Century Modern Art. I have met several wonderful people in the Phoenix/Tucson area from my purchases on eBay and I must say they are very friendly warm people.
Pachucos Cadavers are a wonderful Blenko Glass dealer in New York. The amethyst 920 decanter shown on my fireplace was purchased from them. Great people, excellent inventory, and highly recommended!
A shot of my living room, featuring some of my Mid Century Modern Art giclee canvas prints:
Catch a peek into the Blenko Lounge, and my living room fireplace:
The Blenko Lounge:
I am working on converting my Arizona Room to a full-fledged Blenko Lounge. I found these amazing modular shelves at Ikea and they are perfect for Blenko pieces. I am still adding pieces to these shelves!
The shelves still have some room for expansion, so I can easily add more pieces and with plenty of room to display them. But I wonder... how long will it take before these shelves are crowded?
Take a full tour of my Mid Century Modern inspired home here.