Thousands of glittering orbs rest atop hay bales, on wooden shelves and even in the bed of an antique pick-up truck, their colorful swirls and patterns glinting in the autumn sunlight. The popular Glass Pumpkin Patch returns to The Morton Arboretum, October 12-16. Visitors can make their way to the Arboretum to see and select from a collection of more than 4,000 unique and hand-crafted glass pieces available for sale. Returning in 2016 is the “Farmer’s Market,” featuring blown-glass acorns and leaves as well as a cornucopia of one-of-a-kind glass fruits and vegetables.
Throughout the event, visitors can watch daily demonstrations by noted glassblowers, both from the Chicago area and across the country. Utilizing a kiln and tools of the trade, artists will detail the process of turning smaller pieces of glass into beautiful works of art.
“The Glass Pumpkin Patch has become a wonderful fall tradition for many, and an event we’ve seen grow with each passing year,” said Jacque Fucilla, manager of The Arboretum Store. “Under the colorful canopy of our towering trees, visitors can shop unique art not available anywhere else and take in free demonstrations that highlight the amazing work that goes into each meticulously hand-crafted piece.”
Twenty artists from across the U.S. will showcase their art and participate in the 2016 Glass Pumpkin Patch, including 10 from the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. 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
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Stop by and watch daily demonstrations by the artists as they dramatically turn bits of glass into stunning molten pumpkin creations.
Glass Pumpkin Patch Market
1-5 p.m. (Friday)
10 a.m.- 5 p.m (Saturday and Sunday)
Purchase exquisite pieces of 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.
Chicago-area 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.
- Ian Duncan (Monticello) earned a Bachelor of Fine Art in glass sculpture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Cahmpaign and works as an instructor at Chicago Hot Glass.
- 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.
- Originally from Seattle, Brent Rogers (Chicago) is a lead studio assistant for design and production at Ignite Glass Studios in Chicago. He has studied at several institutions, having taken glass technique and illustration concepts at Seattle-based Pilchuck Glass School and Pratt Fine Art Center.
- Jeffrey Smart (Crete) finds working with glass gives him an unparalleled perspective, allowing him to create a variety of unique pieces since his start with the artform in 2000.
- 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.