Saturday, April 26, 2008

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.

Stephanie, Webmaster


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for the update! I own a Fenton lamp, and have really enjoyed it. I have in mind to add a couple more to my collection...

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, Great news about Fenton! Its a very good old company from my home hills -- actually its over on the river. I've admired their work in the past, but when I went in and checked their site, it just blew me away. What a lovely new expanded product line. Looks like a place to do some Christmas shopping. TOM... said...

As I understand it most of their products will be outsourced to China by the end of 2010. It's sad to see such a recognized name moving most of it's production outside the USA!

Anonymous said...

Fenton Art Glass is going strong at

True, there is a division for Fenton International which features handcrafted artistic gift items from around the world. It is different glass at different price points. The rumors about all the glass going to China is false and never was considered.

The MAJORITY of the glass product line is Fenton USA and is still handcrafted the old fashioned way in Williamstown, WV with factory tours daily.

Stop in and see for yourself!

Anonymous said...

Fenton Art Glass is very much STILL in business in Williamstown, West Virginia. Come visit and take a FREE factory tour!

Yes, there is an International division, but 90% of the glassware is STILL made in Williamstown - not overseas, despite rumors. Beautiful lamps, vases, figurines, bowls, and much more! Great gift ideas for young and old alike.

Be sure to check out the new web site design at

Anonymous said...

What Fenton Glass is and was made in China? How can you tell the difference?

Janice Kuhl said...

I have lots of Fenton and treasure it,especially since I am from West
Virginia. I am crushed to hear it will be made in China.
I will be afraid to buy any now in case I get fooled into buying a Chinese piece. What a crushing disappointment.