When we found out that the Homer Laughlin/Fiestaware factory was less than two hours from Conneaut Lake, we knew we had to take a roadtrip. I'm not sure what I expected but was taken by surprise when we pulled into the driveway. The Newell, West Virginia factory sits on the banks of the Ohio River and looks like it an old, old factory - which it is, so I guess I should't have been so surprised.
Bins of seconds sat in the parking lot.
A larger seconds room is inside with more bins. Next to this is a store with even more Fiestaware.
Unfortunately, pictures aren't allowed on the tour. We were right on the floor where they make the dishes and watched as workers attached handles to mugs, dipped pieces in glaze, and sanded seams from the dishes. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of hands-on work for each piece.
You can see the dumping ground for broken dishes below. They've been burying these broken bits for years, but that might change. A new company started making countertops out of the broken bits!