Ask the folks at the Upshur County visitor center and you’ll get an enthusiastic recommendation to visit Ron Hinkle Glass. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but the ride into the country is well worth it.
“They’re working the glass right there while they’re doing demonstrations,” said Sean Harris at the visitor center.
The workshop’s glass blowing furnace echoes the warm welcome provided by Heidi Russell, who says it’s best to call to see if the artisans are blowing glass or doing demonstrations the day you plan to visit.
“The guys will talk your ear off explaining what they’re doing and answering questions,” Russell said. “If they’re not too busy, they might ask your favorite color and create something you inspired.”
Ron Hinkle started in the glass business as an after-school job in the 1970s and opened his own business in 1993.
One of his artisans has been with the company for 20 years while another arrived a year ago after working four years as a studio artisan at Tamarack, West Virginia’s artisan/retail center in Beckley.
“Ron Hinkle Glass is both preserving the heritage of West Virginia glass-making and providing a great experience for visitors to Upshur County,” said Laura Meadows who promotes the county.
You can purchase the art glass objects at the shop or at the facility’s website.
Ron Hinkle Glass: ronhinkleglass.com