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is an extraordinarily complex process, and the casual visitor on a
Fenton tour really sees just a fraction of the total workforce.
Every piece of glass is touched, directly or indirectly, by dozens
of pairs of hands. Each individual is
truly a craftsman at his trade from sculpting the clay models, and
chiseling the fine patterns into the moulds to working with the
molten glass in the Hot Metal Shop.
Glassmaking is a team activity
with many glassworkers working with one another for years or even decades.
Some craftsmen have also followed in the footsteps of their fathers and
grandfathers as Fenton glassmakers. A unique blend of science and art (with
some trial and error added), combined with years of experience produces the
extraordinary pieces of glassware these individuals are known for. At left
is Mike Sine, Sr., who retired in 2003 after 11 years at Fenton and 41
years in glassmaking.
Three generations of Ron's family
have been glassworkers at Fenton. His grandfather, Ralph Dick, was a
gatherer, and his father, Robert, was a presser and later a supervisor. With
41 years of experience as a presser at Fenton, Ron Dick has recently added
the distinction of being a skilled trainer. "I like the challenge of helping
our glassworkers develop and learn new skills."
For more information about Ron Click Here
Wayne's position as Fenton's chemist and supervisor of the Mixing and
Furnace Departments involves both production process and research and
development. He relies strongly on his experience, attention to detail, and
problem-solving skills for the production problems. However, he feels that
the research and development portion presents more of a challenge. Whether
it involves generating a new color or reviving an historic one, Wayne's
enthusiasm and dedication result in colorful Fenton successes.
For more information about Wayne
In 1951 16-year old Sonny
Burdette joined the Fenton work force as an apprentice glassmaker, following
in his grandmother's footsteps who was working as a caser in the blow shop
at the time. As a presser for the past 35 years, he is often given the
toughest new pressing jobs to work out the "bugs". His quiet, calm
manner makes him a great problem solver and an easy person to work with.
For more information about Sonny Click Here
Mike Sine, Jr.
Glassblower, Mike Sine, Jr. who
learned his trade at The Beaumont Company (Morgantown, West Virginia), has
been employed at Fenton for 144 years.
For more information about Mike
Our highly-skilled mouldmakers
are "sculptors in reverse," and longtime mouldmaker, Al VanDyke is a master
at his trade. Al completed his apprenticeship in 1971. He has been
responsible for many moulds, including Lily of the Valley and Strawberry
pattern pieces. The "bridesmaid" doll figurine (5228) is one of his
For more information about Alan Click Here
Since joining Fenton in 1996,
Frank has held a variety of jobs. He began by carrying-in and soon moved up
to the positions of handle gatherer. A hard worker and, according to his
co-workers, "a quick study". Frank's skilled jobs now include gathering,
blocking, finishing, and attaching handles to baskets.
For more information about Frank