Turning Glass into Fine Art Since 1905
Fenton Art Glass Company is the largest manufacturer of handmade colored glass in the United States today and among the foremost glass manufacturers in the world. Known for its beautiful colors and patterns, Fenton Art Glass continues an American tradition with its skilled glassworkers and talented decorators.
Fenton Art Glass was founded in 1905 by brothers Frank L. and John W. Fenton. They began their business In Martins Ferry, Ohio, by painting decorations on glassware made by nearby manufacturers. Prompted in part by the desire to work with a broader range of colors, the brothers soon decided to produce their own glass, and opened the Fenton Art Glass factory in Williamstown, West Virginia in 1907. In fact, Fenton introduced "iridescent ware" later that same year. Now known as "Carnival" glass, it's a popular collectible item today.
Frank L. Fenton's love of color and his admiration for glass artisans like those at Tiffany and Steuben helped keep Fenton Art Glass in the forefront of the handmade art glass industry for the next few decades, but during the Depression Era and the early years of World War II, Fenton also produced practical items such as mixing bowls and perfume bottles.
By the late 1940s, a new generation of Fentons was running the company. Brothers Frank M. and Wilmer C. (Bill) Fenton would lead the Fenton factory through significant growth for the next 30 years. In 1986, George W. Fenton, Frank's son and a third-generation family member, became president of the company.
Eight Fenton family members worked together along with more than 100 employees in Williamstown, West Virginia, creating new colors, patterns and handpainted decorations that result in handmade glass artistry that is loved by collectors around the world.
Traditional glassmaking ceased in 2011. Today the company continues by creating handcrafted art glass jewelry using many of the traditional Fenton colors and techniques, such as Milk Glass, Vasa Murrhina and Carnival Glass beads.
To see the Fenton Family Tree, click here.