Handmade Crafts » West Virginia History http://www.mountainmade.com/blog The blog of West Virginia handmade art and handmade crafts. Wed, 11 Jul 2012 14:48:29 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.5 en hourly 1 For our Veterans Enjoyment http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/for-our-veterans-enjoyment http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/for-our-veterans-enjoyment#comments Wed, 10 Nov 2010 15:45:07 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1052 As we pause to recognize our Veterans, MountainMade has selected a few items for their enjoyment.

Scenic Driving West Virginia will help plan a drive around our beautiful state. Visit year-round outdoor-recreational areas, take a white-water raft trip, tour the Hatfield McCoy Trails or visit Civil War Battlefields. All along your route, are sites sure to entertain and educate.

For fun, a chuckle, tall tales or a recipe, find your favorite easy chair or hammock and open Moonshine. Moonshine is a richly illustrated, entertaining history celebrating this “potent potable in all its glory.”

If you are seeking a bit of relaxation, MountainMade features bath and beauty products. Mountain Scent

Products to please and entertain your Veteran

Products to please and entertain your Veteran

has an Almost Heaven massage oil for those tired, aching muscles from years of serving our country.

Congratulations Veterans!

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MountainMade allows West Virginia’s Artists to Reach Outside of Rugged Landscape http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-allows-west-virginias-artists-to-reach-outside-of-rugged-landscape http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-allows-west-virginias-artists-to-reach-outside-of-rugged-landscape#comments Mon, 16 Aug 2010 19:28:07 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=953 West Virginia is a hidden treasure located within 2.5 hours of several major metropolitan areas.  Geographically, the Appalachian Mountains cut the state off from the East Coast.  Until the development of the interstate highway system, the roads crossing its rugged terrain discouraged visitors.  While the isolation of the mountains has helped to preserve our state’s largely unspoiled natural beauty, heritage and culture, it has also made it difficult for our talented artists and craftspeople to gain access to the best markets in which to sell their work.

Former Park Ranger and accomplished photographer, Gary Hartley, has taken many photos that captuer the stark beauty and depict the natural isolation that the state's rugged landscape creates.

Former Park Ranger and accomplished photographer, Gary Hartley, has taken many photos that captuer the stark beauty and depict the natural isolation that the state's rugged landscape creates.

With the development of the internet, some of the isolation has been lost.  Businesses have relocated here and more and more people work remotely.  West Virginia artists and craftspeople have been able to overcome some of the challenges of isolation and gain more exposure for their work by promoting their creations on the internet.

MountainMade was first envisioned as an eCommerce website with its fulfillment center in Thomas, WV. After the tragedy of September 11, people took to road trips and MountainMade’s retail location in Thomas took off and the website continued to evolve.  With the advances in website abilities, MountainMade realized the necessity of a completely new, exciting website and launched our new website last October.  Through MountainMade’s website, artisans are reaching new American and foreign customers.

For those of us who enjoy the benefits of being “isolated” from the metropolitan areas, the Mountain State is a great place to call home. The internet sales are helping our artisans remain here, doing what they love in a landscape that is not only inspiration for their lives, but for their art.

It's no wonder artists make the choice to stay in West Virginia. Being able to reach art connoisseurs the world over has made that decision more economically viable.

It's no wonder artists make the choice to stay in West Virginia. Being able to reach art connoisseurs the world over has made that decision more economically viable.

If you want to learn about the unique factors that contributed to West Virginia’s and the greater Appalachian Region’s cultural history, consider this wonderful Appalachians DVD Set, featuring an extended interview with the late Johnny Cash.

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History of Glass Making in West Virginia http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/history-of-glass-making-in-west-virginia http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/history-of-glass-making-in-west-virginia#comments Thu, 12 Aug 2010 22:54:08 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=947 Interest in West Virginia glass has been rekindled by artisans updating this craft with new designs, colors and individual flair.

During our state’s history, over 500 factories have manufactured glass in the Mountain State because it offers great quantities of silica sand, stone and other chemical compounds necessary to produce glass and vast reserves of natural gas for fuel. The network of rivers and railroads used to transport raw materials and finished product has made West Virginia an ideal location for all aspects of the industry.

Pictured here from left to right, MountainMade artists Chip Turner of Appalachian Glass is well known for his whimisical Friendship Balls, Lynn Gundry is an accomplished stained glass artist, Blenko Glass Watter Bottles like the Ocean Blue one picture here are very popular, Catherine Miller of Pilgrim Glass demonstrates her fine techniques in glass etching with the Pilgrim Green Vase with Leaves, and Ron Hinkle's Rainbow City Pitcher stands out in any setting.

Pictured here from left to right, MountainMade artists Chip Turner of Appalachian Glass is well known for his whimisical Friendship Balls, Lynn Gundry is an accomplished stained glass artist, Blenko Glass Watter Bottles like the Ocean Blue one picture here are very popular, Catherine Miller of Pilgrim Glass demonstrates her fine techniques in glass etching with the Pilgrim Green Vase with Leaves, and Ron Hinkle's Rainbow City Pitcher stands out in any setting.

To support the success of the glass industry, West Virginia attracted talented European immigrants to work in the glass factories.  These glass workers have passed down their craft to future generations.

West Virginian glass artisans traditionally created both molded glass and hand-blown glass.  With press-molded glass, glassmakers pressed molten glass into an iron mold, giving the glass both its shape and decorative pattern and eliminating the need for hand design.  After 1900, glass factories began making their own molds on site, allowing them to create patterns unique to specific companies.

Hand-blown glass allows an artisan to introduce a small amount of air through a blow pipe or blow tube into a blob of molten glass.  This novel technique dates back to the last century BC and is still practiced today by Ron Hinkle, Chip Turner and others.

MountainMade features a wide selection of glass art, made right here in the Mountain State. You can see more of our glass artisans’ work in the MountainMade Glassware Section of our website, or if you visit us in our beautiful Thomas Gallery.

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The West Virginia History Of Father’s Day http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/the-west-virginia-history-of-fathers-day http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/the-west-virginia-history-of-fathers-day#comments Tue, 25 May 2010 22:00:30 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=870 Father's Day Church / Monongah Mine Disaster

While Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., is given credit for Father’s Day, history shows that the first Father’s Day celebration occurred in Fairmont, W.Va., on July 5, 1908.

The seeds of a Father’s Day Service were planted on Dec. 6, 1907, when a horrible mine explosion at Monongah, near Fairmont, killed more than 360 men, 210 of whom were fathers, leaving 250 widows and more than 1,000 children grieving.

Thoughts of these lonely people touched local resident Grace Clayton deeply. “It was partly the explosion that got me to thinking how important and loved most fathers are. All those lonely children and those heart-broken wives and mothers, made orphans and widows in a matter of a few minutes.”

She suggested to her pastor, at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, South, that it would be wonderful if fathers were given a special day to be honored and remembered.

 Mrs. Clayton suggested the Sunday closest to her father’s birthday, which would be July 5, 1908. Her father had been a Methodist minister.

Mother’s Day may have had a small influence, which had originated some 20 miles away in Grafton. The event was set for July 5, 1908.

Unfortunately due to other events within the Fairmont community, no one felt the desire to follow through to convince the city or the State of West Virginia to issue a proclamation establishing an annual Father’s Day.

In the next several years, a number of people in different states made an effort to found a Father’s Day with a national observance. Finally such a bill was signed into law in 1972 by President Nixon.

But one church member who attended, remembered, “I recall the occasion very distinctly as the pulpit was decorated by having ripened sheaves of wheat placed about it. Many favorable comments by the individuals and the press were made concerning the service at that time.”

The church is now called Central United Methodist Church and Father’s Day is celebrated there each year. Highway signs were erected at city entrances proclaiming ‘Welcome to Fairmont – the Friendly City – Home of the First Father’s Day Service, July 5, 1908.”

A plaque was placed on an outside church wall in 1984, and in 1985 a historical marker was erected in front of the church by the West Virginia Department of Archives and History.

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