July 19, 2011
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will celebrate the exhibition, Ron Hinkle Glass: West Virginia’s Gift to the World with a gala opening and reception at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26. The exhibition and reception are free and the public is invited to attend.
Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History will make opening remarks and introduce Hinkle, who will present a gallery talk about his work. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
The exhibit has the theme “While You Were Sleeping,” and will resemble a glass flower garden. There are approximately 1,000 pieces of glass in the show including flowers, stars, orbs and leaves in a variety of shapes and colors–all set against the backdrop of a night sky.
Hinkle is an accomplished master glass artist who embodies great passion and appreciation for glass and the history of glass making. He was born and raised in Buckhannon and developed a love of glass at the age of 12. Using the glass tubing from his chemistry set, Hinkle taught himself to bend and stretch glass over the burners of his gas stove.
During the summer before his senior year at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Hinkle learned that the glass factories in nearby Weston needed summer help. He began working for Louie Glass and ended up spending the next 20 years there, learning from the masters, while developing his own style.
Within a few years, Hinkle began working independently during his breaks and after work to learn the art of glass blowing. He began crafting paperweights during every spare moment and secured an apprentice to assist him. In mid-1993, Hinkle left Louie Glass and opened Hinkle’s Dying Art Glassworks in Buckhannon. He initially sold his work wholesale, particularly to Princess House Consultants. For the first five years, his business grew by 30 percent each year. Today, his art glass is available in more than 30 states and select international locations. In December 2005, he changed his company’s name to Ron Hinkle Glass.
Hinkle’s work has been featured on the West Virginia Governor’s Tree and the Christmas Pageant of Peace trees at the White House. It has been featured in USA Today, Lifestyle Crafts Buyers Guide, Wonderful West Virginia, West Virginia Living, Corridor, West Ways and All About Glass magazine. His product line includes designer vases, rondels, bowls, stemware, table lamps and a series of novelty figurines including animals, fruit and flowers. Currently, Hinkle is developing a line of handcrafted custom lamps in collaboration with blacksmith artist Jeff Fetty of Spencer.
For more information, contact David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound, at (304) 843-4128, or e-mail him at David.E.Rotenizer@wv.gov.
Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features the largest conical burial mound in the New World and ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. The Delf Norona Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.