The Blenko Glass Company is located over 2.5 hours from our campsite in Milton. They’ve been in business since 1893, with operations in Milton since 1921. It’s a family owned business famous in the time-honored craft of hand blown glass.
What the public is allowed to see is a small part of their overall operations. They have a daily tour each morning at 8:00, weather permitting.That’s a little too earl for us considering the 2.5 hour drive to get there. However, they also have a self-guided tour of one section of the production area, which we took full advantage of.
We left the campsite around 9:30am and headed south towards Charleston. Before turing west onto Route 23 we found a Cracker Barrel and had to stop for lunch since finding a decent restaurant in our daily travels has been quite a task. It seems in West Virginia, your choices are Shoneys, Bob Evans, or fast food places like McDonalds, KFC, and Subway. I guess we’ve been off the beaten path during this journey since we were really excited when we saw the Cracker Barrel sign.
It was a good idea to stop since today’s weather report called for thunderstorms and one passed over us when we were inside eating. when we got back on the road, it was sunny for the rest of trip.
We arrived at Blenko’s visitor center, a small building that has a gift shop on the first floor and a one room museum upstairs. Connected to the museum is a walkway to the observation area where we watched the artists do their work. It was fascinating to see a glass ball the size of a baseball turn into a multi-colored 12 inch bowl.We were surprised to see that three or four artists work on each bowl. Each of them has one specific job, whether it’s blowing the globe into a shape, heating and reheating the glass, or finally forming it into an actual bowl. Once completed, the last worker takes the bowl by a two-prong pole and the artist “snips” the bottom to release it.
On our way out we stopped in the gift shop to take a look at their finished products.
- Gas $40.00
- Dining Out $43.81
- Souvenirs $29.68
- Miscellaneous $12.01
- Campground $42.17