The company is one of the worlds foremost producers of handmade glass, and collectors from all over the world will flock to Williamstown, West Virginia, to join in this grand celebration.Fenton Glass is known for its distinctive colors such as cranberry, Burmese and iridescent glassware; also, for unique colorful baskets, each one hand-decorated by Fenton artists.
The Fenton Art Glass Company began as a glass decorating firm in Martins Ferry, Ohio. In 1905, brothers Frank L. Fenton and John W. Fenton decided to build their own factory. The factory is located in Williamstown, West Virginia, just across the Ohio River from historic Marietta, Ohio. Today ten members of the Fenton family work at the glass factory, and family members will be available to sign Fenton purchases during the Centennial Celebration.
Thousands of visitors have taken the Fenton Factory Tour, and watched as talented artisans transform molten glass into timeless works of art. Fenton factory tours take place daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. After a brief look at the chemistry of glassmaking, visitors go the factory floor to see pressed and blown glassware being made. The tour is ranked among the top ten factory tours in the country by USA Today. Call 304-375-7772 to arrange a free factory tour.
The tools and techniques used by Fenton Glassworkers are much the same as those employed a century ago. The glassworkers are organized into shops where as many as thirty work as a team. Gatherers bring molten glass from a 2400 degree furnace to these skilled craftsmen who give shape to the still glowing gob.
Each day of the celebration guests can visit the 100th Anniversary Events Center and learn about the events taking place that day. Fenton family members will be on-site to conduct tours, sign Fenton pieces and visit with guests. Free seminars about Fenton history will be given by historian Jim Measell and Director of Design Nancy Fenton will introduce new products.
Glassmaking School is an intensive class for the extreme Fenton collector or glass connoisseur. Tom Fenton will lead this event on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday, and interested visitors will have a hands-on opportunity to make glass. Also, a Decorating Tent will be open to allow visitors to personally design a piece of Fenton Art Glass.
During the Centennial Celebration a special tour will feature the Master Craftsmen of Fenton Glass. Dave Fetty and other Fenton skilled craftsmen will create special off hand ware, and tour participants will have the opportunity to purchase special off hand ware following the tour which will be approximately 40 minutes in length.
Great food and free live entertainment on the grounds will keep visitors busy and an enormous arts and crafts fair will feature the best artists in West Virginia. On Sunday July 31st, one of the greatest Fenton Collector Auctions ever held will take place at 6 p.m. The auction is free and open to the public.
Since Fenton Art Glass is heavily traded on e-bay, QVC will broadcast live from Fenton Art Glass for three hours on Tuesday, August 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. QVC host David Venable will be joined by George Fenton and the entire Fenton family for this special event.