Handmade Crafts » glass 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 West Virginia’s Very Own Marble King http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/west-virginias-very-own-marble-king http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/west-virginias-very-own-marble-king#comments Wed, 14 Jul 2010 20:19:40 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=933 Marble King

Becky Henderson (far right) of MountainMade launches a Marble King marble down one of the toys at the gallery.

West Virginia is known for its rich tradition in fine art glass and marbles. Did you know that Marble King, Inc., was founded in 1949 by Berry Pink and Seller Peltier in St. Mary’s, W.Va.?

The factory didn’t move to Paden City, W.Va., until 1958 when Manager Roger Howdyshell relocated the factory after the original one was destroyed by fire. Howdyshell, who purchased Marble King in 1983, was the first to create cat’s eye marbles and veneering marbles.

Marble King, Inc., is still owned and operated by the Howdyshell family. The factory is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is touted as “The world’s best known and best loved quality marbles.” Marble King marbles have been featured in the movies Goonies, Hook and Home Alone.

Marbles aren’t just for tournament play. MountainMade is proud to carry Marble King Marbles and several Mountain Craft Shop toys, heirloom toys that family and friends will enjoy for generations.

Made from real wood (no plastic!) harvested here in West Virginia. Simple treasures and mind teasers like the Marble Trick, shuttle Puzzle to the beloved Marble Trees and Marble Chutes.

There is fun for kids of all ages. Of course, when you pick up the Marble Blister Pack of Marbles you’ll learn how to play those old marble games and what a “mig” is and why a shooter is called a “taw.”

So, what are you waiting for? Get your game on!

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Next Stop, Blenko Glass http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/next-stop-blenko-glass http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/next-stop-blenko-glass#comments Mon, 26 Apr 2010 14:58:28 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=715 Rich and Carrie recently took a whirlwind trip to meet with artists in Central and Southern West Virginia and made a stop at Blenko Glass in Milton.  What they brought back was an amazing sea of rich color and textures.

We are delighted to have 11 colors of Water Bottles and an array of bowls, vases and decanters! There is crackled glass, rich diamond cut pieces and floral and ribbed bowls.  And if you haven’t seen the pieces in Blazing Red yet, look out. These are sleek and sassy!

More amazing still is the affordability of these pieces. Bowls start at just $18 and vases at $25.  We were blown away. It is an amazing mix of traditional and contemporary.

And from this girl’s perspective it is a real treat to walk into the Gallery each morning and watch the light play on the amber, greens, blues, red and golds.  Affordable beauty anyone can appreciate.  They won’t last long …

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New Hinkle Glass for Spring 2010 http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/new-hinkle-glass-for-spring-2010 http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/new-hinkle-glass-for-spring-2010#comments Mon, 19 Apr 2010 14:30:55 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=658 It’s spring time and Ron Hinkle and his team at Hinkle Glass have been fast at work!

There is a fresh batch of tumblers (8 and 12 ounce) that are beautiful, sturdy and just feel good in your hand. He spoils us with small groupings of different colors and patterns that are lively and eclectic.  I had a couple in over the weekend who have been collecting. They have an eclectic set of 12 different glasses that they enjoy using every day for everything: water, iced tea and wine.

They loved the color, the feel and the integrity of each piece, and said, “We don’t worry about bumping and breaking.”  
We think Ron might be gearing up for a garden party as he shared three new pitchers with us: a Rainbow, Purple Swirl and Watermelon, each of which can stand alone or be paired with matching tumblers. What a great gift idea as wedding season is fast approaching.

And don’t forget about the return, by popular demand, of Ice Screamers. Fashioned after Hinkle’s Martini Glasses (we have a nice selection of those too), these are gorgeous little dessert dishes that make every day a special occasion.

There are a number of specialty items that make great and affordable gifts for the glass collector on your list: 3D paper weights, apples (paperweights and table top sun catchers), shot glasses (many customers use them for tooth pick holders too), vases and a new piece, the Nuclear Windstorm Bowl. An amazing swirl of reds, blues, black and more surrounded in a neon green. You’ve got to see it to believe.
And that is just in the Gallery.

Slip down to the Country Store and there’s more! Pick up a $6 Kiss or ponder a flying pig (available in two sizes for every pocket book), dolphin paperweights, soap/lotion dispensers and Hinkle’s ever popular child’s vase.

The bottom line is that beautiful, collectible glass should be affordable for everyone and Ron Hinkle has done just that. Enjoy!

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Hi, I’m Ron Hinkle http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/hi-im-ron-hinkle http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/hi-im-ron-hinkle#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2009 21:37:39 +0000 Ron Hinkle http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=113 Photo by Kitty Vickers

Photo by Kitty Vickers

Hi, I’m Ron Hinkle, a master glass artist who’s very passionate about glass and the history of glass making.

Born and reared in Buckhannon, West Virginia, I developed a love of glass at the age of 12. Taking the glass tubing from my chemistry set, I learned to bend and stretch the glass over the burners of my gas stove. I became fascinated by the movement, the flow, and the possibilities of glass.

During the summer before my senior year at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, I learned the glass factories in nearby Weston were looking for summer help. I began work at Louie Glass, and after just one summer, I was completely awestruck by the magic of glass and had an insatiable hunger to learn more about this craft. I returned to Louie Glass after graduation in 1974 and would spend the next 20 years learning from the masters while developing my own style and technique.

Within the first few years at Louie Glass, I worked independently during my breaks, at lunch, after work, and on weekends to learn the art of glass blowing. I  was soon assigned to a glass blowing position, where I remained for 14 years.

During this time, I observed my co-workers crafting paperweights with colorful glass flowers and intricate designs encased within the glass. I was consumed with achieving this skill and growing my repertoire. Within a year, my paperweights were in such demand among the employees that they would purchase them while I was still forming the glass. My co-workers would claim a paperweight before it was even cooled. Soon, I was crafting paperweights during every spare moment and even secured an apprentice to assist me. I quickly realized that in order to meet the growing demand of the employees, other individuals, and an expanding list of gift shops was going to require even more time.

I began investigating the possibility of starting my own glass studio. I sought the advice of Jennings Bonnell, formerly of Big Pine Key Glass Works Studio in the Florida Keys, who assured me that my talents were adequate and the market for fine handmade art glass was as open and endless as the number of items the mind could create. Jennings and I visited accomplished glass artists including Roberto Moretti, Harvey Littleton, John Littleton, Gary Beacham, and Walter Evans. I also sought input from Vander, Mark & Merritt of Three Bridges, New Jersey; Robert Hammond of Scott Depot, West Virginia; Charlie Gibson of Milton, West Virginia; Charles Lotton, Fred Wilkerson, Sr., Fred Wilkerson Jr., Leon Applebaum of New York; and Jim Davis of Pennsboro, West Virginia among many others. I learned about the processes involved in their individual creations, studio construction, and product marketing.

With a dream in my left hand and faith in my right, I set out to build my own glass studio. With literally no money to invest, it took four years to build the tank, furnace, and studio. I and my father, Paul Eugene Hinkle, harvested logs from the property and traded part of the logs to have the lumber sawed for construction. I purchased second-hand tools and machinery and even collected tools that had been discarded, thrown away to repair and returned them to service in my own studio.

In mid-1993, I left Louie Glass, and officially opened Hinkle’s Dying Art Glassworks on January 1, 1994. I began by marketing my work exclusively through wholesale, particularly to Princess House Consultants, with which I became acquainted through Louie Glass. It didn’t take long before orders started coming in from many states and because of the quality of my work, word of mouth became my best marketing tool.

Since it began, business at Hinkle’s Dying Art Glassworks has grown by at least 30% every year. My art glass is now available in more than 30 states and in select international locations. In December 2005, my business became known as Ron Hinkle Glass.

My work has been featured numerous times on both the West Virginia Governor’s Tree and the Christmas Pageant of Peace trees at the White House in Washington, D.C. For the 2000 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA, I crafted hundreds of glass peaches for distribution to dignitaries and guests. I have regularly demonstrated my craft at the Mountain State Arts & Craft Fair in Ripley, West Virginia, and have been featured in USA Today, Lifestyle Crafts Buyers Guide and All About Glass magazine.

The product line at Ron Hinkle Glass includes original designer vases, rondels, bowls, stemware, table lamps, and a series of novelty figurines including animals, fruit and flowers. I am currently developing a line of handcrafted custom lamp shades for both chandelier and sconce applications.

I am currently partnering with Fenton Glass USA in developing and creating for Fenton a limited edition Christmas ornament using Burmese Glass supplied by the Fenton Factory in Williamstown, West Virginia.

In the May 9th, 2003 Edition of the New York Times Journeys Section, the article entitled Thirty-six Hours in Morgantown, West Virginia stated, “The highlight of the shops is the Gallery at Seneca Center, a co-operative that features the work of artists like Ron Hinkle, a Buckhannon, West Virginia glassblower who loves color in dapples and swirls.”

I am fulfilling a lifelong dream to create and sell my own works of glass art.

Glassblowing is no longer a dying art, but alive and well in the 21st century.

Artist’s Statement & Philosophy

Each piece of my glass is an extension of my very being. Over my 35-plus years of experience in the glass making industry, I have developed a passion for glass that has transcended a mere desire to earn a living.

My mother and my aunt instilled in me a love of art that has allowed me to develop my own artistic abilities — cultivating and nurturing them to achieve a great satisfaction in my work. Glass blowing is something I truly enjoy, and I continually strive to learn new techniques and advance the industry toward a sustainable future.

Fostering the growth of the glass industry is part of my mission as an artist, and I work to achieve this through educating the public. My studio is open to the public and visitors can watch, learn and interact as I handcraft each piece. My hope is that they take away with them some understanding of the magic of glass.

I have a deep appreciation for all that glass has allowed me to achieve. Not only has it been a vehicle by which I have explored and broadened my artistic horizons, but it has afforded me the means to raise and provide for my family, and meet many dear friends along the way.

My life has been a sort of adventure novel, and I am truly blessed to be doing something I love every day. Each piece of my art represents what I have learned and pursued for the last 30 years. I hope to be remembered for the pieces I have created— to have some small footnote in history.

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