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Author examines popularity of Fenton Glass in series of books


July 29, 2005



The Marietta Times, Marietta, OH

Fenton glass products are some of the most popular items with collectors of antique glass because of the individuality of each piece and the stability of the Fenton company ,said John Walk, of Mulberry Grove, Ill., author of nine books on Fenton glassware.

Walk says that Fenton has become so popular with glassware collectors across the country because the company continues to produce good quality glass at a reasonable price and remains a part of the community where residents can go watch their glass, as it’s made.

“One thing is its still a living, breathing company,” Walk said. “And it’s probably the most affordable glass that is of a good quality.”

Walk offered a book signing session at Tin Rabbit Antiques Thursday afternoon as part of the centennial anniversary of Fenton Art Glass this weekend. Many glass collectors are in the area this weekend for the anniversary and the Antique Flea Market and Glass show at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

Walk’s books offer photo illustrations of Fenton products as well as price guides to help consumers find good deals.

After spending 25 years as an antique dealer Walk was first introduced to Fenton by a longtime friend who showed him one piece of the glassware, prompting Walk to begin researching Fenton. Walk’s research led him to release his first book in 1998.

“After a little while I got to the point where I was doing more research than selling so I decided to compile it into a book,” Walk said.

When he compiled the first book,

‘The Book of Fenton Glass: 1940-1970,” Walk hoped to have a photograph of every piece of Fenton glassware ever made as well as a price that customers could find the piece for.

After five editions Walk says he still has not met this goal so he keeps producing more books with revisions and updated information with the most recent release being “Fenton A-Z.”

Walk admires the stability of the Fenton Company as well as the variety in the glassware, so, in addition to his research he is also a collector of the glassware and proudly owns a collection of more than 1,500 pieces of Fenton.

“I always find it a little more appealing because of the variety of the shapes,” Walk said.

Walk’s book signing drew several dozen residents and Fenton collectors to the Tin Rabbit, including Janice Miller, 60, of 106 Marshall Drive, Marietta.

Miller owns all nine of Walk’s books and says that she collects Fenton because it is always in style and enjoyable to collect.

Miller has traveled as far as Cincinnati and Canton looking for rare Fenton glassware.

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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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