|Blenko Water Bottle|
This is information from the West Virginia Glass Outlet in Martinsburg, West Virginia: "Because Blenko glass is made in small batches and its process is performed by hand, it is common to observe small air bubbles, lines or individual marks left by the craftsman. These are not flaws--but rather the distinctive nature of the hand made process--which identify and magnify the uniqueness of each piece of glass."
The natural resources for making glass were and still are present along the Ohio River area and in the mountainous West Virginia. Some such resources are silica sands, sodium carbonate, lime, and various oxides e.g. lead. How about gold or uranium? Raw materials for firing the kilns were and still are readily available: hardwood trees and natural gas in particular. The Ohio River was most often used for transportation.
Nowadays, there is a keen competition from imports that provide beautiful, colorful, and practical glass ware at affordable prices. Consumers are also more mobile and don't want to be burden with expensive breakable collections of glass.
I am going to save my pieces of Blenko and Fenton Glass and eventually hand it down to my granddaughter. It is part of her heritage and history, something that she should be proud of in her old age when she tells her children about the glass. In the meantime, I will enjoy the beauty of mouth blown and hand finished exquisite pieces of glass.
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Have a long and wonderful weekend.