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Blenko crafts 2014 W.Va. birthday piece

Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe Blenko workers began production of the annual West Virginia Day piece on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at Blenko Glass in Milton.
Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe
Blenko workers began production of the annual West Virginia Day piece on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at Blenko Glass in Milton.

MILTON, W.Va. — West Virginia was forged under fire nearly 151 years ago, and glass workers in one of the state’s last bastions of artisan craftsmanship mark its birthday forging in a fire of their own.

Work on the 2014 West Virginia Birthday piece, Sunrise over Appalachia, began earlier this month, and the piece is expected to be available for purchase at 8 a.m. June 21 at the Blenko Gift Shop in Milton. The piece, a fade of light topaz to turquoise with a slightly ruffled edge, will be $130.

Arlon Bayliss, Blenko designer, said this year’s piece was designed to capture the moment liquid glass freezes in time.

“I’m aware there are collectors that wait for this opportunity all year, and so my role is to make the piece different from anything else,” Bayliss said. “But, I also want to make it something that is distinctly Blenko, so it can be a challenge.”

This will be Bayliss’ eighth West Virginia Birthday piece…

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