The Glass Pumpkin Patch returns to The Morton Arboretum this month with a cornucopia of unique blown-glass artwork set against a backdrop of the Arboretum’s colorful trees.
From Wednesday, Oct. 16 through Sunday, Oct. 20, the event will feature more than 3,000 glass pumpkins and other autumnal designs such as apples, gourds, acorns and more. The Glass Pumpkin Patch will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and is free with Arboretum admission.
The Glass Pumpkin Patch will be open for viewing and glass-blowing demonstrations on Wednesday and Thursday as well as on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pieces will be available for sale starting at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18.
During demonstrations, visitors can watch top glass-blowing artisans, called gaffers, from around the country turn molten glass into works of art. Meet the artists and see how they work the molten glass, adding colors and creating different patterns and shapes. The glassblowers use an outdoor furnace, assembled on site, which reaches temperatures higher than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Large crowds gather to watch the gaffers, as they walk through each stage of the process and narrate step by step,” said Jacque Fucilla, manager of The Arboretum Store. “The on-site demonstrations give you a real appreciation for all of the work that goes into creating these one-of-a-kind pieces.”
After watching a demonstration, visitors can walk through the Glass Pumpkin Patch to see finished pieces in a wide variety of styles, sizes and colors. The pumpkins and autumnal designs range from $35 to $300 per item based on the artist’s experience level, techniques used, color, size and style, and are only available for sale at the annual patch.
The event is co-produced with Shannon Jane Morgan of Girl Glass Studio in Sacramento, CA, and features glass artists from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, North Carolina and California. Morgan is primarily self-taught, having taken just a single class in glass blowing. She is known for using vivid colors to create her signature shapes.