Glass collectors entering period of adjustments

Date: 15 July 2011
Source: http://www.mariettatimes.com
Needless to say, Fenton Art Glass collectors outside the Mid-Ohio Valley were as concerned as their local counterparts after the announcement last week that the century-old company would cease production of its traditional glassware.

Debbie Coe with the 300-member Pacific Northwest Fenton Association in Oregon noted there's been no mention of closing the business.

"The words we're seeing are 'changing' and 'shifting,' not 'closing,'" Coe said Monday. "They're not producing traditional glass, but they can't continue to make beads and jewelry if they're not continuing to make some kind of glass."

She said members of her association will have some questions about the company's plans when Fenton Art purchasing manager Mike Fenton travels out west for a presentation to the group later this month.

"Our group is pretty outspoken, and I'm sure Mike will be bombarded with questions," Coe said. "So far we're not seeing any clear line on how this shift will be done by the company. But I don't see them shutting completely down. Time will tell."

Jim Wroda, owner of Jim Wroda Auction in Greenville, Ohio, near Dayton, holds eight to 10 Fenton Art glassware auctions a year.

"We just had a Fenton auction Saturday, and the crowd seemed a little better than usual," Wroda said. "But we also had a really good collection to sell."

Wroda said the announcement that Fenton Art is winding down production of its traditional glass line has likely enhanced sales of Fenton products in the short term.

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