Fenton Art Glass, located in Williamstown, West Virginia, is one of the best known handmade glass manufacturers today, and claims to be the largest handmade color glass manufacturer in America. Founded in 1905, the company celebrated its centennial in 2005.
The company was founded by brothers Frank L. Fenton and George W. Fenton. The company primarily makes decorative "art glass" with an emphasis on new and interesting colors. One of the best known color creation was carnival glass, an irridescent coloring.
A large amount of Fenton (as the various glassware is often referred) is blown, meaning that a hot glob of glass was stuck on the end of a pipe, and then the artist blew into the pipe, causing the glass to expand like bubble gum. Then, as the glass begins to cool, the artist shapes the glass to make it into a vase, bowl, lamp shade, or other relatively spherical item. Many items features a wave pattern on the top rim, where the glass was cut from the pipe and then decoratively shaped. This method produces variety in the items, which is part of what makes them so very special. Many pieces of Fenton then have hand-painted decorations added by various painters.
Recently, Fenton has been sold on the shop-at-home channel QVC. In the summer of 2005, a live telecast of a QVC sale of Fenton was broadcast from the Williamstown shop location.