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QVC broadcasts live from Fenton Art Glass

 

August 3, 2005

 

By JOLENE CRAIG

Parkersburg News, Parkersburg, WV

WILLIAMSTOWN - The Fenton Centennial Celebration began its final day with a QVC live broadcast from the factory Tuesday.

"This QVC broadcast brings the centennial celebration in to 100 million homes and is a perfect end to the festivities," said Scott Fenton, Fenton Art Glass national sales manager.
The five-day celebration began July 29 with a tree-planting ceremony and welcomed people from around the world.

"I know of at least 12 countries and all 50 states being represented here, at the Fenton Art Glass Centennial Celebration," said Tony Demasi, a marketing consultant for the company.

Lynn Fenton Erb, assistant to president George Fenton, said the company did not have attendance figures, but believed more than 1,000 people turned out.

"We have absolutely no way of counting how many people were here," she said. "I do know there were people from every state, one person from India and one more from Australia. It was amazing how positive the feedback we got was."

Friends Pam Ellington of Wilmington, Ohio, and Sharon Swab of West Carrollton, Ohio, have been collecting Fenton pieces for more than a decade. They said attending the QVC broadcast was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"We watch QVC all of the time for the Fenton pieces and have purchased more items than I can count from the shows," Ellington said. "I love Fenton and I really like (QVC host) David Venable."

Fenton Erb said all items featured in the QVC sale sold out and the broadcast was not the end of the day.

"We still had buses and individual cars pulling into the lot well into the afternoon," she said.

Doug McIntosh, a member of the Fenton Glass Collector Club, came to the event from his home in Atlanta.

"This is my seventh trip to the factory and it is fabulous," McIntosh said. "With QVC here more people around the country will be able to appreciate Fenton Art Glass and what it means to so many people."

Visitors participated in activities from glass making classes to family signing all weekend.

"This weekend has been just amazing for the factory and for sales," Fenton said. "We have had record-breaking, history-shattering factory outlet sales."

A single mosaic candlestick was sold for $15,000 during the Centennial Collector Auction at Marietta College, Demasi said.

"The candlestick at the auction was an incredible sale," Fenton Erb said. "Somebody really wanted that candlestick."

Fenton Art Glass is the largest manufacturer of handmade colored art glass in the United States and has 450 employees. Its products are available for sale in more than 4,500 retail shops across the nation.

Fenton has crafted a special collectible for the event. The Centennial Celebration Exclusive is a Mandarin Red Sherbet glass. Company founder Frank L. Fenton designed the mould during the 1930s. The piece is available only on the grounds at Fenton during the Centennial Celebration.

"This celebration was great for Fenton Art Glass," Fenton Erb said. "It seemed like every day was busier than the day before.

"People seemed to really enjoy themselves and the products and it was great to see that many people support the centennial."

 

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Visitors to Fenton Art Glass will find a spacious Gift Shop and a pleasant museum. Free factory tours (M-F 8:15am to 4:00pm) take small groups of guests right out to the factory floor to see glassmaking "up close and personal." Friendly, knowledgeable tour guides explain all aspects of the operation. The Fenton tour has been ranked among the "top 10" factory tours nationwide by USA Today. In addition we have been named Rand McNally Best of the Road for 2006. For a factory tour schedule, click here. For a map, click here.

 

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