Sept. 13, 2010---Rented a vehicle and drove across the river to Williamsburg, West Virginia. Went to Fenton Art Glass to see the process of creating beautiful things with glass. Fenton is one of the few production facilities remaining where much of the work is done by hand instead of being automated. Very specialized work is done here.
Glass is 71% sand, 15% soda ash and 9% lime. Color additives make up the other 5%. Very likely some of the piles of white material we have seen along the river being loaded on barges was lime.
Rotating the hot glass in a frame is called "blocking". Purpose is to make sure the glass is smooth.
Decorative cups were coming out of this oven.
Putting finished lamp shades in the oven for final heating.
Here the main body lamp shade is being inspected.
A view of some of the ovens. Most of the glass is heated up to 2000 degrees.
Artists painting various items.
Here the guide is explaining there is one more step to completing the lamp shade. The bottom is still solid. Proper size hole has to be cut for the base to set on a fixture.
A pallet of shades being prepared for shipment.
Sample of the beautiful work that is done here. There work is shipped and sold all over the country.