Fenton Art Glass Back From the Brink
There was wailing among glass collectors when Fenton Art Glass announced last fall that it would soon be forced to close because of economic hard times. Far from the glory days of West Virginia glassmaking, there are now only a handful of companies keeping the tradition alive. As the word spread, apparently many fans of Fenton glass began placing orders, so much so that the company reconsidered its options and has managed to stay open for business after all.
There is a “good news, bad news” aspect to the story, however. According to an April 7 article in the Charleston Daily Mail, the company will make some changes in how it does business, including development of a new division (Fenton International) that will sell glass products made in China. Still, the West Virginia factory will continue to turn out beautiful art glass, hopefully for many years to come. It will be up to consumers to determine whether this story is one of a fabled company surviving by importing product, or surviving because of a loyal customer base that appreciates the beauty of Fenton art glass.
Although I always associated Fenton with those candy dishes that grandmothers have on their coffee tables, in fact the company has a rather astonishing range of designs and glass styles. Enjoy the renewed option to own something beautiful, made in West Virginia.