Wayne Husted was the most prolific Blenko designer and is often credited as the most talented and popular of the Blenko designers. An article in the April 2004 edition of the respected Journal of Antiques and Collectibles says Husted was "both a maverick and an innovator who cemented Blenko's place in glass history."
At an average of at least 60 designs a year during his ten years with Blenko, Husted created over 600 designs. However, The Blenko Project will include only two recent groups of Husted's designs: 'The Olana Group" created for Blenko in 2001, and three creations from Husted's current work titled "The Beyond Olana Group."
Olana is the name for a group of eight designs he created for Blenko in 2001, while he was back in West Virginia for the first time in forty-one years. Husted created a plethora of pieces when he returned after so many years, but his official reason for returning was to be interviewed for Blenko's video "Blenko Retro: The Story of Three Designers," made for public television.
Trained in the Bauhaus School of Design that emphasized the study of how materials are formed, Husted has spent his career seeking new processes and molding techniques for forming glass. Perhaps the best example of his interest in exploring new processes is the highly profitable centrifugal process that he initiated at Blenko.
The 'Beyond Olana Group'....."The return to form"...Most recently, he has developed and applied for a patent on a new way to cut molten glass so it can be formed into radical new shapes. Shapes... that would be impossible to make by traditional glass making processes.
Husted's new 'Beyond Olana' concepts are being developed in collaboration with the Nourot Glass Studio in Benecia, California. It is informative that Nourot is possibly the only glass studio in the United States that melts compatible colors.. allowing Husted to continue to explore the concept of the Olana group.
Blenko creations of Husted, courtesy Bruce Specht