Glass Festival Comes To Weston - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Glass Festival Comes To Weston

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Fred Wilkerson's been producing works of glass almost his whole life.

"I started with my father. When I was a kid, he had a little factory, and I worked with him, so I learned it the honest way," Wilkerson said.

And on Friday, Wilkerson and other crafters came to Weston to show their work off to a larger audience at Appalachian Glass's fifth annual glass festival. Owner Chip Turner said he started the festival to connect glass crafters and highlight the people who practice a craft that's been a part of West Virginia for decades.

"We try to keep our traditions alive with the glassmaking. We invite other West Virginia artisans to come here, produce glass so that people can come and watch glass be made all in one spot," Turner said.

While adults were enjoying the crafts, kids at the festival were busy too, competing against other kids from around the state in a marbles tournament. Organizers of the tournament said they're hoping to reach out farther with the game the glass industry makes possible.

"We have a few counties that are participating, and we keep looking for other people to organize marbles. If we can get people from out of state, that'd be great," said tournament organizer Marvin George.

Statewide, the glass industry may not be as strong as it used to be. There are only a handful of shops left from 400 at its height. While Wilkerson may not be making windows, he's happy to continuing working in and promoting a craft that helped build the state.

"The art aspect, it's always something different every day, always a chance to create something new. I just enjoy that and have been fortunate enough to be able to make a living at it," Wilkerson said.

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