MILTON, W.Va. — Late last summer, a family-owned firm of artisanal glassmakers, which for more than 100 years has produced vibrant, decorative handblown glass using traditional methods, emerged from a months-long closure brought on by the pandemic with a surprising notion for getting back into business.
Blenko Glass Company would partner with a West Virginia artist on immortalizing the mythical Flatwoods Monster, Big Foot’s Appalachian cousin, that has become part of the fabric of regional folklore.
The first alleged sighting of the “green monster” occurred in the town of Flatwoods in 1952, when a group of locals reported seeing a giant floating creature with a spade-shaped head, claw-like hands and a metal “dress,” emitting a toxic mist or odor. In recent years the legend has inspired a museum, festival and tchotchkes sold at the local gas station.
Designer and illustrator Liz Pavlovic visited Blenko’s factory and flipped through old catalogues, looking for inspiration to pair with Pavlovic’s own playful renderings of this and other popular cryptids they sell on prints, stickers and magnets. Pavlovic submitted a sketch that captured the creature’s spooky aesthetic, right down to its beady eyes and the fabric-like swirls of its outfit.
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