The company has faced financial challenges since its restructuring in 2007, and recent developments combined to force the shutdown of its traditional glassmaking business.
"The market for our pressed and blown glassware has diminished," company President George Fenton said. "We cannot sustain the overhead costs. Our employees have worked hard and efficiently, so this is a very sad day for us. Shortly, we will begin the process of shutting down our main furnace. Remaining employees will be finishing existing glassware from the company's inventory that will be available through the Fenton Gift Shop as well as the company's web site and Fenton dealers across the country."
As a part of winding down the traditional business, Fenton Art Glass is exploring the sales of one or more product lines.
"We know that our many customers and friends will have questions," Fenton said. "Our web site www.fentonartglass.com will be updated regularly beginning the week of July 11."
Inquiries regarding sales of equipment and other assets should be directed to Fenton Art Glass at email@example.com
Management at the Fenton Gift Shop is evaluating the impact of the termination of traditional glassmaking at Fenton Art Glass. "The Fenton Gift Shop is in discussions with Fenton Art Glass, the glass manufacturing company, to provide customers with a wide range of samples and special decorations as well as final quantities of limited edition pieces," said Randall Fenton, President of the Fenton Gift Shop. "The annual Tent Sale in Williamstown starts July 8, and the Fenton Gift Shop and the outlet store in Flatwoods, West Virginia, remain open."
Founded as a decorating company in Martins Ferry, Ohio, in May 1905 by brothers Frank L. Fenton and John W. Fenton, the Fenton Art Glass Co. constructed its factory in Williamstown during the fall of 1906. The first glass pieces were made there on January 2, 1907. During its 106-year history, Fenton introduced the first iridescent ware (now known as "Carnival glass") as well as classic patterns such as Hobnail and a wide variety of handmade colored art glass as limited editions.