This fall, find 5,000 glass pumpkins atop straw bales, lining wooden shelves, and resting in baskets in the bed of an antique pick-up truck during the seventh-annual Glass Pumpkin Patch at The Morton Arboretum. Hand-crafted autumnal designs, ranging from pumpkins to acorns and leaves will join a harvest of one-of-a-kind glass fruits and vegetables during this favorite fall event taking place October 11-15.
Throughout the event, visitors can watch daily demonstrations by artists who hail from the Chicago area as well as across the country. The Glass Pumpkin Patch will include an outdoor kiln and tools of the trade will be on hand as artists discuss how to blow glass and create stunning, unique pieces such as those on display. The sale of these handcrafted pieces will take place October 13-15.
“We see many come back to the Glass Pumpkin Patch year after year, pouring over the amazing selection and picking up one or more new pieces to decorate their home for fall,” said Jacque Fucilla, manager of The Arboretum Store. “The event is a chance for artists to share their amazing craft with visitors and for all to enjoy the beauty of the Arboretum during our signature season.”
Seventeen artists from across the U.S. will showcase their art and participate in the 2017 Glass Pumpkin Patch, including 10 from the Chicago area and throughout Illinois and the Midwest. Leading the event is glassblower Shannon Jane Morgan of Girl Glass Studio in Sacramento, California. Primarily self-taught, Morgan has earned a name for herself with brightly colored ornamental autumn designs as well as pieces such as goblets, bowls, and vases.
Schedule of Events
Glass Pumpkin Patch Demonstrations & Exhibition
1-5 p.m. (Wednesday-Friday)
10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
Stop by and watch daily demonstrations by the artists as bits of glass are transformed into finished pieces.
Glass Pumpkin Patch Market
1-5 p.m. (Friday)
10 a.m. - 5 p.m (Saturday and Sunday)
Purchase handcrafted glass blown art, ranging in price from $20-$200. Visitors are encouraged to shop early for the best selection.
The Glass Pumpkin Patch is free with Arboretum admission.
Illinois artists exhibiting this year include:
- Michael Amis (Shirley) came to the United States for his masters of fine art at Illinois State University and has since opened Michael Amis Studio in Bloomington, where he creates mixed media sculptures and other pieces.
- Aaron Baigelman (Chicago) first started blowing glass at 11 years old. He has studied with world-class glass sculptors and co-owns Baigelman Glass, a modern glass company with products handcrafted in Chicago.
- A native of central Illinois, Jeremie Draper (Peoria) earned a Bachelor of Fine Art in glass from Southern Illinois University and under the tutelage of Ché Rhodes, she became a passionate student of glass and now owns a studio in Peoria.
- Dave Gribbins (Beecher) has worked with Glasshouse Art Glass in Seattle, Eastlake Glass, Lotton Glass in Crete, Illinois, and currently makes glass with George Tessman of Highland, IN.
- Kit Paulson (Chicago) has assisted a number of glass artists and honed her skills as a glassblower in a variety of studios, including Making Glass in Highland Park and Chaos Glass Studio in Evanston.
- Amanda Pierce (Bloomington) has worked within the field of glassmaking for more than 20 years. Her interest lies in glass blowing and casting as well as sculptural and functional work with a variety of materials including metal, wood, marble, and concrete.
- Amy Jo Rupp (Winthrop Harbor) was inspired to join the ranks of glass artists after working with experienced glass blower Shannon Jane Morgan at the Bristol Renaissance Faire for many years. Rupp has taken part in the Glass Pumpkin Patch since its inception, training volunteers on how to handle the delicate art.
- Daniel Sviland (Waukegan) is co-owner of Hot Shop Glass in Racine, Wisconsin, and has been working with glass since the age of 12.
- Matthew Urban (Bloomington) owns and operates Furnace Urbini Glass Works, an environmentally friendly studio in central Illinois using 100 percent recycled glass in all of the designs.