Page 61 - 2020 Southern New Jersey Vacationer
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Historically, glass has always been important in Southern New Jersey. Sand is the major ingredient in glass and the quality of sand in southern New Jersey was so pristine that it was exported to Massachusetts. With a bit of iron content, the prized sand lent a distinctive green tint to the glass produced in Cumberland County. At the turn of the 20th century there were 90 glass factories in New Jersey.
Frank Wheaton, Jr. gathered a collection of glass and in 1970 the first buildings at WheatonArts opened with a comprehensive collection of American glass that spans the first glass bottles produced in this country to the celebrated works of Dale Chihuly and other contemporary artists who work in glass.
WheatonArts’ Hot Glass Studio is one of the nation’s first amphitheater- style hot glass studios where visitors can watch artists turn hot glass into amazing creations. Besides daily glass blowing and artist demonstrations, WheatonArts features special exhibitions in the Museum of American Glass and Down Jersey Folklife Center, provides artist residencies through the Creative Glass Fellowship program, hosts a variety of classes and workshops, special performances and several weekend festivals throughout theyear,includingtheaward-winning“FestivalofFineCraft”inOctober. G

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