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March 30, 2007
Celebrating the Basket Handler
The skilled basket handler has a scant twenty-five seconds within which he must accomplish his tasks: attach a glowing ribbon of molten glass to one side of the basket; deftly twist the rapidly cooling glass; stick if to the other side; impress the base of each side the handle with his handler's mark; and, finally, fashion the handle into a graceful arch.
In the 1950s, company President Frank M. Fenton and his brother Bill Fenton, who was Vice-President, decided that each Fenton basket handler ought to have a distinctive mark so that collectors could identify the artisan who had created their basket.
These marks, impressed at the base of each side of the handle, also help ensure a good bond between the handle and the basket. Each handler's mark is essentially circular in shape, but the designs within that circle are quite varied. Butch Wright's mark looks like a target with a bull's-eye.
Working closely with each basket handler during production at Fenton is a glassworker called a "handle gatherer." This worker uses a four- or five-foot long steel rod called a punty to gather just the right amount of glass for a handle. Naturally, he needs to know whether the basket is a large one...or one of our mini-baskets...or just in between!
The handling operation takes less than half a minute, but it never fails to amaze the many visitors to Fenton who enjoy the "up close and personal" tours which take them in small groups to the Hot Metal area of our plant. There's nothing quite like seeing the team (called a shop) of more than two dozen glassworkers working together to make a fancy Cranberry basket!
Exclusively from QVC.com!
Item Number C16195
Crafted from fern green glass and handpainted in a green floral motif, this baby bunny figurine is the color of the clovers he loves to eat! Crafted with pride by the skilled glass masters of Fenton. Measures approximately 3-1/4" h. Handsigned by the artist who painted it.
• To buy today, go to QVC.com and search for the item number.
Fenton Gift Shop Spring "Eggs"clusives...
To shop online for Fenton Gift Shop Exclusives, click here
New! 2007 Catalog
Browse and Buy When you see an item you like, simply click on it. You will be taken to the item's detail page where you will be able to learn more about it and add it to your shopping cart.
Meadow Berry on Madras Pink
Robin Spindler's intricate handpainted design uses layers of sheer color and a special sponge treatment to create just the right burnished effect.
5 1/4'' Paneled Pitcher
6'' Candy Box
4'' Grooming Cat
10-1/2'' Paneled Basket
7-1/2'' Square Vase
In the Fenton Sample Room this Week
1973 Orange Carnival Glass Leaf and Orange Tree Bowl
Bid Now (eBay)
Here's a blast from the past. This Orange Carnival glass Leaf and Orange Tree bowl (5" d.) was in the Fenton line for just one year (1973). The color is very nice, and there is even an original Fenton label inside!
Late 1960s or Early 1970s Milk Glass Rose Pattern Candleholder
Bid Now (eBay)
This Milk Glass Rose pattern candleholder (3-1/2" tall) was made in the late 1960s or early 1970s, so it does not have the Fenton logo. However, it has been beautifully decorated with light blue handpainting to accent the roses and leaves. We wish we knew who decorated it, but, alas, it's unsigned. And, we wish we had two, but we found only this one in Frank's Closet.
Shop for Fenton on eBay!
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For a closer look at Fenton Glass, visit an authorized Fenton dealer today. Fenton Art Glass is sold through gift and collectible retailers across the country. Fenton retailers work closely with their collectors, placing special orders for items not in current stock. To find a dealer near you, Click Here!
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