This adorable designer sample is one of about a dozen different and unusual pieces that I bought at auction. Some of these never went into production, and are one of a kind. I had never bought any Fenton through the years, but seeing and touching them has really changed my mind. This Ruby Elephant figurine (3.5" tall) with hand-painted decoration does not photograph well, but the painting is excellent.
This piece is signed "handpainted by J. K. Spindler". When you find a Fenton Art Glass collectible signed "J. K. Spindler" (Judith Kay), then you've found Robin! She says she is the "serious one" among the four-person Fenton decoration design group. Born in Morgantown, West Virginia, she came to Fenton in 1979 after her family encouraged her to pursue a love for art and painting. She became a designer in 1994.
Robin has developed a great personal style with lots of whimsey. Robin's unique designs are always of the highest caliber, and she says much of her inspiration comes from nature. The outdoors and animals are among her favorite subjects. Robin often studies the different shapes and colors in her garden and is amazed at the different lines and textures there.
Her talent has been recognized with many awards, including a Discovery Award for Technical Excellence and, most recently, the Vandenoever Award and the Judges' Award from the Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators. She also has Awards of Excellence from the Collector Editions magazine and special recognition by the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED).
It is in Excellent Condition, with much less than expected signs of age wear.