Red Hot Design

Cooper Hewitt Honors Former IDSA Board Chair’s Creation

Mar 10 2015 - 1:58pm

A striking design by Betty Baugh, FIDSA, has found a permanent home in a Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum collection in New York City. Decanter and Stopper was manufactured by Blenko Glass Company in 1956.

It’s described by Cooper Hewitt as having “a flattened, undulating body, incorporating multi-fired tangerine color above a lemon yellow, with uneven, applied clear glass shoulders and neck, below a red stopper.” Cooper Hewitt says Blenko represents the combination of technological advances in glassmaking with original designs noted for their focus on color, a key element of the glassware’s impact.

The museum says at the time, red was generally unstable in glass, but Blenko came up with a patented formula allowing the glass to be double fired without the loss of color. “Blenko’s production represents a major story of the American handmade glass industry…. The tangerine and double color pieces became some of Blenko’s best sellers.”

Baugh is credited with ‘the concept, design and execution of the decanter.” She tells IDSA that products in this Blenko collection were created by using wood crown molding to form the front and back portions of the decanter and each Blenko design was handblown using wood molds to add to the handblown surface appeal of the brilliant colored glass.

Baugh served on the IDSA Board of Directors for 10 years, culminating with her election as Board Chair. In addition to founding her own firm, she taught industrial design at the College for Creative Arts and at the Academy of Arts.