Monday, July 18, 2011

Fenton Glass Works Shuts Down

American art glass has lost another glass works. 106 year old Fenton Glass in Williamstown, West Virginia has shut down it's art glass production July 7, 2011.  Fenton glass is the original Americana glass company, making many kinds of hobnailed and moulded works as well as the famous and collectible "milk glass."
What once was a thriving works with 700 people in 2001 is now going to be a specialty products company.
President George Fenton says: "It went up very quickly and it went down quickly, too. If it works ( switching to specialty architectural products and beads) I would guess we would probably be down to 20 people here."
The town will really feel the loss of jobs.  We wonder what kinds of work these former glass makers will turn to in West Virginia?
When our studio started up in 1973 the only cullet we could get was from Fenton's.  The first Nourot Glass Studio pieces made at the Light Opera in 72--73 were made from scrap we got from Fenton Glass.  Little troll bookends and mushrooms we tossed into the furnace in Ghirardelli along with a box of "color" (which was usually manganese.)  This fined out in our little electric tank furnace to make the first Light Opera pieces by Micheal Nourot. Pieces from this era are signed, for example: LO-3-73, "Light Opera, March 1973."

1 comment:

GAFFER GIRLS said...

heartbreaking.

thanks for sharing Ann.