Handmade Crafts » Ron Hinkle 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 Late Summer Weddings http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/late-summer-weddings http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/late-summer-weddings#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2011 15:05:41 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1231 This week, MountainMade celebrated the upcoming, weekend wedding of one of its employees. As we considered the appropriate staff gift to purchase, we realized that there are still several opportunities for summer weddings before the leaves begin to turn. For these occasions, we’ve selected a few gifts you might want to consider.

Ron Hinkle’s hand-blown glassware is a favorite of wedding couples. These ice screamers, which come in a variety of colors, will serve many sweet treats.

The bride and groom might enjoy Jeff Fetty’s calla lily candlesticks. These candlesticks are his original design and are made from iron, finished in natural black and range in height from 18 to 20 inches. Sold in sets of three, these candlesticks make an elegant display for the couple’s mantle or table. Add a MountainMade taper candle.

MountainMade recently received an order from our potter, Lambros. He creates functional pottery pieces in a variety of popular colors. His coffee mugs, soup cups, casseroles, bowls, etc., are certain to be enjoyed for years to come.

But if it’s Blenko you want to give, MountainMade will have a new selection by Friday. Check the website or give us a call.
Late Summer Weddings

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Packing up and Heading to Fairmont http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/packing-up-and-heading-to-fairmont http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/packing-up-and-heading-to-fairmont#comments Tue, 16 Nov 2010 18:42:49 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1063 Rich and Carrie are busy picking out and packing up its artisan products for the Holiday Market this weekend at the historic High Gate Carriage House in Fairmont.

For those of you who can’t make it to Thomas to do your holiday shopping, come to High Gate Friday and Saturday November 19 and 20 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

We’re bringing a selection of product specifically chosen for Fairmont including popular potters Tygart River Pottery, Lambros, and Brian Van Nostrand among others; and glass pieces by Blenko, Ron Hinkle, Appalachian Glass, and Lynn Gundry. Other artisan products will also be available including holiday items, bath and beauty products, toys, photographs, original art works, wooden bowls and utensils, food items and music. We’ll also have a few pieces by Mary Olive Jones.

If you can’t make it to Fairmont or Thomas, we’ll be in Morgantown at Arts Mon

A sampling of the artisan works coming to Fairmont.

A sampling of the artisan works coming to Fairmont.

on High Street December 9-11. Happy Shopping.

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MountainMade Adds Spice to Your Thanksgiving http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-adds-spice-to-your-thanksgiving http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-adds-spice-to-your-thanksgiving#comments Wed, 10 Nov 2010 16:45:03 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1057 Thanksgiving maybe two weeks away, but in many homes, preparations are already underway.

As you prepare for the holiday, add a Ron Hinkle’s glass pumpkin to brighten your table. The orange color will be enhanced by MountainMade’s natural taper candlelight. These natural candles also come in votive and tall pillars and are carefully created by MountainMade’s Heidi Haldeen.

Add a new food product to your dining table. Ordinary Evelyn’s Cranberry Walnut Jam or Thistle Dew Farm’s Cream Cranberry Honey will be a tasty complement to the turkey and dressing.

Visit the Food

Only a few of MountainMade products to enhance your holiday.

Only a few of MountainMade products to enhance your holiday.

section on our website for other West Virginia food artisan products to add spice to your Thanksgiving table.

Bon Appétit!!

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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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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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MountainMade Blue and Gold for our WVU Mountaineers http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-blue-and-gold-for-our-wvu-mountaineers http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-blue-and-gold-for-our-wvu-mountaineers#comments Fri, 09 Apr 2010 21:15:07 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=529 We have several beautiful Blue and Gold glass pieces to pay artistic homage to the WVU Mountaineers.

We have several beautiful Blue and Gold glass pieces to pay artistic homage to the WVU Mountaineers.

Every West Virginian takes pride in the accomplishments of our basketball team. We have felt the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” with these outstanding young men, their coaches and staff.

To recognize the WVU Mountaineer Basketball team’s accomplishments, MountainMade features its blue and gold glass products this week. Perhaps you are looking for a graduation present for a special WVU graduate or a birthday present for an alumna. For West Virginians everywhere, blue and gold is always in fashion and never goes out of style.

Here are my favorite West Virginia University Blue and Gold glass pieces for the Mountaineer in your life:

Cobalt and Yellow Tumbler by Ron Hinkle
Cobalt Blue Water Bottle by Blenko Glass
Cobalt and Yellow Ice Screamers by Ron Hinkle
The Watercolor Bowl by Blenko Glass
The Blue and Gold Rondel Bowl by Ron Hinkle

As for our Team, enjoy the spring, we’re looking forward to next season.

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MountainMade’s Top Five Wedding Presents for 2010 http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmades-top-five-wedding-presents-for-2010 http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmades-top-five-wedding-presents-for-2010#comments Mon, 01 Mar 2010 15:17:52 +0000 Carrie Nestor http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=373 Spring is just around the corner. (Well maybe! We currently have 4 feet of snow and are expecting up to 24 more inches). The coming of Spring is a time for new beginnings, romance, and youthful love. What a wonderful time of the year to get married!

MountainMade has you covered for Spring time wedding gifts. Here  are my top 5 wedding gifts for 2010.
MountainMade has you covered for Spring time wedding gifts. Here are my top 5 wedding gifts for 2010.

That’s what lots of people seem to think. In fact, it’s such a wonderful time to get married, that you may at this very moment, be bombarded with wedding announcements.  If you are looking for the perfect springtime wedding gift, look no further than MountainMade. MountainMade makes your shopping a little easier this season.

Since I am privy to quite a bit of insider knowledge (I am in charge of our entire inventory after all), I thought I might help you out with some wedding gift ideas. Here are my top 5 favorite suggestions for your bride and groom:

1. Set of Ron Hinkle Wine Glasses. This a a perfect his and hers wedding gift. These would be great paired with a lovely bottle of wine. These wine glasses are very unique because they have a hollow stem. Ron Hinkle is one of the few artists who has the artistic skill to create stemware in this manner.

Mix and match Ron Hinkles beautiful hand crafted wine glasses. You  can create beautiful his and her style collections.
Mix and match Ron Hinkle’s beautiful hand crafted wine glasses. You can create beautiful his and her style collections.

2. Blenko Water Bottles. Not only are these beautiful functional additions for the home, you are also giving a piece of American history. These Blenko Glass water bottles have been produced since the 1930s. They make a great gift and are collectible pieces of art that can be passed on from generation to generation.

Blenko Glass Water Bottles are beautiful and functional. Give a  wedding gift that is a piece of history, and maybe it will be passed on  for generations.
Blenko Glass Water Bottles are beautiful and functional. Give a wedding gift that is a piece of history, and maybe it will be passed on for generations.

3. Jim & Brenda Good Cutting Boards & Marvin Wotring Paring Knife. This set makes a wonderful addition to any kitchen. I personally use my Jim and Brenda Good cutting board and the paring knife by Marvin Wotring daily. With proper use and care this is a gift that will stand the test of time.

Create a perfect wedding gift set by pairing a Jim and Brenda Good  Cutting Board with a Marvin Wotring Paring Knife
Create a perfect wedding gift set by pairing a Jim and Brenda Good Cutting Board with a Marvin Wotring Paring Knife

4. Chris Cooper Wooden Salad Bowl & Allegheny Treenware Salad Tongs. Another beautiful set makes the perfect addition for the newly weds’ kitchen. These are both made from beautiful cherry wood and the quality is exceptional. I think the two pieces compliment each other perfectly.

Make the perfect wedding gift set by paring Cherry Wood Salad Bowl  by Christopher Cooper and Cherry Salad Tongs by Allegheny Treenware.
Make the perfect wedding gift set by paring Cherry Wood Salad Bowl by Christopher Cooper and Cherry Salad Tongs by Allegheny Treenware.

5. Jeff Fetty Calla Lily Candlesticks. This gift is a perfect accent for any home. Bring passion and romance to the table with this beautiful set of 3 candlesticks.

Need more suggestions? Feel free to call and speak to one of MountainMade’s knowledgeable staff to further assist you. We will be sure to help you find the perfect handmade gift from West Virginia’s finest artists . Don’t forget that we do offer gift wrapping!

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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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