Choose Between Two Options
- $6 for an art-glass-factory tour for two ($10 value)
- $12 for an art-glass-factory tour for up to four ($20 value)
Tours are given at 10 a.m. each Monday–Friday, except for holidays. Guests watch sheets of glass being made the same way they were a century ago and glass-blowers forming crafts such as paperweights and vases.
Kokomo Opalescent Glass
Established: Before 1950
Reservations/Appointments: Not necessary
Staff Size: 25–50 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Kokomo Opalescent Glass
Pro Tip: There is no temperature control in the factory. Summer months are quite hot, and winter months cold.
Handicap Accessible: Yes, although restrooms are not handicap accessible
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Art-Glass Production and Glass Blowing
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Q&A with Anne and Dick Elliott, Part Owners and Business Managers
Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
KOG is proudly American-made and the oldest continuously operating art-glass manufacturer in the United States. Started in 1888, there are documented sales to Louis Comfort Tiffany and Frank Llyod Wright. KOG art glass consists of over 22,000 color and texture options, and is shipped all across the world. Their sheet glass and blown glass appears in the Vatican, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the White House, Disneyland, and in restaurants, airports, homes, and churches worldwide. KOG can create custom works or offer classes for anyone interested in learning.
In 2011, KOG was voted Best Factory Tour in Indiana. In 2009 they were presented by Indiana's governor The Century Business Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Economic Growth and Prosperity of Indiana.
What special training do you or your staff have?
Many of our employees have years of onsite training and experience, and are descendants of earlier employees or come from families with artistic backgrounds. Others just have a love of the medium and are self-taught glass artists. Two of the glass blowers have college degrees in fine art and glass blowing. All of our employees have been taught the impact that their efforts make on the very unique handmade process that makes our products recognized worldwide.
What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
The daily tours starts at the retail shop, where they are introduced to the company with a brief historical overview. From there, they are walked through the 125-year-old building to witness firsthand the heat from the fiery furnace and the hand ladling of the molten glass onto the mixing table.
Moving on to the hot glass studio, they can watch and converse with the glass blowers creating rondels, pressed jewels, and mouth-blown giftware. Further along, they watch the colorful sheet glass coming off the lehr, being trimmed, and sorted for packing. Each tour guide, as they move through the factory, brings an interesting perspective to the tour, sharing what they know of the company's history and relaying information about current projects and artists with whom the company is working. They will show visitors the brick wall with company signatures that predate 1900. They will walk through the racks of stunning colorful art glass and discuss what makes each sheet unique. And finally, they will come full circle to the retail area and beyond, where visitors can browse the gift shop that offers only art glass made onsite. They are invited to watch artists flame-working beads, repairing and designing art-glass windows and panels, sandblasting awards, creating sun catchers, and teaching classes for beginners and intermediate glass students alike.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
It is wise for customers to wear closed-toe shoes, as the floor of the factory is uneven and there is naturally some broken glass at times. People sensitive to heat need to exercise common sense regarding tours on days with extreme heat and humidity.