home

about us

Browse Our Catalogs I Shop Online I Quick Order I Gift Finder I Gift Registry I Customer Service I Order Catalog

 
Latest News
 

NEXT QVC SHOW

 

 

Please check our Events Listing for upcoming

QVC No. 4

For more information on Fenton and QVC,
click here

 

 

Sculptor turns plaster and clay into art for century-old business

June 11, 2005

 

by DEBBIE SCHWARZ SIMPSON

The Register-Herald Newspaper, Beckly, WV


WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - As the sculptor at the Fenton Art Glass Co., Suzi Whitaker is on the ground level of the century old business based in Williamstown.

"I create the shapes," maintains Whitaker, a native of Wellsburg. "It all starts here," she adds.

"I come up with the mold," Whitaker explains.

Whitaker is adept at sculpting with both plaster and clay.

"I love to work with the clay," she notes. "With the plaster, I'm carving with a knife and other sharp tools. With clay I can change the mould with a brush of the finger," she says.

"Clay is the basis for Fenton's new moulds," continues Whitaker.

Whitaker gives a quick answer when queried about her favorite mould for Fenton.

"It was a mold that was lost in the 1940s," she says of "Dancing Ladies."

"I followed the design as closely as possible from old pieces of glass that were in the museum," said Whitaker, in discussing her adaptation of Frank L. Fenton's original motif for a new covered urn.

The mould was done in three phases, Whitaker said.

"I used plaster for the lid and base and did the ladies in clay," she explained.

The finished product is done in Favrene, an innovative Fenton color unveiled three decades ago. Dancing Ladies boasts the signatures of 10 members of the Fenton family.

Whitaker, a relative newcomer, to the Fenton family, joined the art glass company in 2003.

According to the sculptor, she was drawn to the family-owned business via a segment she saw on QVC which featured the Fenton Art Glass Co.

"I saw a (Fenton) sculptor. I liked the way the artist and his pieces were portrayed," said Whitaker.

Whitaker's flair as an artist came at an early age.

"I began doing oil paintings in grade school," she recalls.

After studying fine arts at West Virginia University, Whitaker went on to the Art Institute in Pittsburgh. She graduated from the prestigious art school in 1982. Whitaker's professional career took numerous paths before she joined Fenton.

Putting her expertise in graphics and design to good use, Whitaker has done freelance work for several advertising agencies and book publishing companies as well as for major department stores.

Prior to coming to Fenton, she was a designer and head sculptor for a giftware manufacturer in Pittsburgh. She and her husband, Bill, a mining engineer, reside in Glendale.

Fenton History

Meet Our Family

For Collectors

History Books

Fenton Factory Tours

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.

 

   Copyright Date Fenton Art Glass Co. All Rights Reserved                 Site Designed by CFM                   Bookmark This Site  Click Here