Washington County festival shines light on glass design
July 17, 2014 12:00 AM
This ruby-colored teardrop candlestick from Duncan Miller Glass will be part of the 39th annual Duncan & Miller Glass Show and Sale this weekend at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
By Dave Zuchowski
With a theme of "Duncan by Candlelight," the 39th annual Duncan & Miller Glass Show and Sale this weekend at the Washington County Fairgrounds, hopes to draw glass enthusiasts from around the region, if not the nation.
The show features a special exhibit of candelabra, candlesticks and candle holders in a variety of glass design including Early American Pattern Glass, Colonial Styles, Art Deco and Mid-century Modern.
More glass candelabra will decorate the banquet room of the George Washington Hotel where the National Duncan Glass Society Convention Dinner will be held starting at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets are $30, and advance reservations are required by calling Lauren Kotar at 724-222-3334.
The annual show includes glass seminars, a ticket auction, a consignment auction, a glass identification segment, a worker and family oral history project as well as the sale of glass collectibles and a raffle. The show is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $4 and is good for both days. The show provides financial support for the research and educational programs of Duncan & Miller Glass Museum of Washington.
"The museum has a strong outreach program that includes displays and lectures at other glass shows and both static and changing displays at the regional Pennsylvania Welcome Centers and area libraries," said Sherry Cooper of Washington, chairwoman of the museum committee.
Around noon on Sunday at the fairgrounds on North Main Street, local authors Gerry Getman and Kathy Roth will sign first copies of their newly released book, "Glass is a Family Affair," which chronicles the early history of the Duncan family.
During both days of the show, former Duncan workers and their family can stop by the documentation project booth to record their experiences.
“The project started in 2011, and we’ve amassed a big data base since," Mrs. Cooper said. "It’s something people can contribute to and have a lot of fun with. At its peak during World War Two, we estimate that the company employed around 300 workers who also made non-glass items, such as hand grenades and six million clay pigeons that were used to help our soldiers learn to shoot better."
Patrons will be able to bring in two glass pieces they may have inherited or purchased from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday to have them identified. They will also be able to see and buy rare and unusual pieces of Duncan and other handmade American glass as well as find more common pieces to add to their collections.
Arlene Ricker of North Strabane started collecting Duncan glass soon after she became a member of the museum four years ago. She now has more than 20 pieces.
"Duncan pieces have a nice range of colors which makes it easy for me to match with the decor of my house," she said. "I especially love their wine glasses and have some etched with lily-of-the-valley images. I also have a ruby red swan etched on both sides with the silhouette of an orchid because one of my hobbies is growing orchids."
During the show, admission to the Duncan & Miller Glass Museum, located at 525 Jefferson Ave. in Washington, is free of charge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Two seminars, scheduled on Sunday, are included with ticket price.
At 11 a.m., Tom Cooper, former president of Chapter One of the National Duncan Glass Society, will present "John Ernest Miller, the Other Half of Duncan & Miller." At 1 p.m., Harley Trice, a Bryce family member and board member of the Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum, will present "Recent Discoveries in Bryce Brothers Glass."
"Antiques can be a bit intimidating for some people, but we at the museum try to make the show fun and interesting," Mrs. Cooper said. "The thing about this show is that our people are both friendly and approachable. And we like to share our enthusiasm with others."
For details, call 724-225-9950.
Dave Zuchowski, freelance writer: email@example.com.
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