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Blenko West Virginia Day piece to honor Green Bank Telescope

By Baylee Parsons, The Herald-Dispatch

MILTON, W.Va. — The world’s largest, fully steerable radio telescope will be echoed in the design of Blenko Glass Company’s 2024 West Virginia Day piece.

Inspired by his own love for science fiction, James Arnett, the company’s creative director, designed the piece with the structure of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope and with fellow science fiction fans in mind.

“I think we all grew up thinking about space and science fiction and space exploration,” Arnett said. “I think there are a lot of science nerds out there that are waiting for a piece of glass that reflects their interests.”

The piece, entitled “Wavelength,” is a 15-inch charger — a wide, shallow plate — in Blenko’s shade Crystal. It features white glass powder-pressed by a diamond optic to mirror the telescope’s radial patterns.

“This year’s West Virginia Day piece embodies the spirit of innovation and curiosity that has always defined our wild and wonderful state,” David Wertz, the company’s vice president of manufacturing, said in a press release.

With this year marking West Virginia’s 161st birthday, the company will sell 161 of the limited-edition pieces during an auction on the Blenko Glass Company website, and the auction reserve price will be set at $161.

The auction begins at noon Saturday, June 15, and the auction will end at five-minute intervals throughout the day on Thursday, June 20, beginning at 9 a.m.

The “Visitors Decanter,” this year’s West Virginia Day companion piece, however, will be unlimited and available for pre-order beginning May 31. Adhering to Blenko’s “Year of New Space Age Design,” this piece is reminiscent of an alien in a flying saucer, featuring colors of Tangerine and Absinthe, the company’s new neon green shade.

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