The Morton Arboretum’s Glass Pumpkin Patch kicked off Wednesday for its 11th year. Rain or shine, guests were happy to check out the fall-themed creations.
“With weather like this, the only thing that really comes out is our stubbornness. We’re still going to make a piece of glass. Will the glass survive? Yes. 2,000 degrees usually wins over rain,” glassblower and event co-founder Shannon Jane Morgan said.
Thousands of pieces are on display for guests to enjoy, but the real action of the event comes with the glassblowing demonstrations.
Crowds watch as artists roll molten glass in a colorful substance called “frit,” before molding, spinning, and blowing air into it until it reaches that signature pumpkin shape. Finally, a stem is added by twirling another molten piece of glass on top. As they work, a narrator explains the process and history of the ancient practice.
16 artists are showing their creations this year, and each one has their own twist to make the works truly unique.
“I teach, so I share everything I know. Do I have any secrets? I might have a couple about color. But this is a pretty open group; it’s like open sourcing on the Internet. People are really willing to share their techniques and styles,” Morgan said.
Glass Pumpkin Patch Info
Those who have been to this event before still have lots to see, as this year’s selection includes a new Halloween themed tent, and a garden glass tent for year-round decoration.
The Glass Pumpkin Patch runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Sunday, October 17. Entrance is included with admission to the arboretum.
Glass blowing demonstrations will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday.
For now, the pumpkins are only available to enjoy as an art exhibition. But guests will be able to start their pumpkin purchases at 1 p.m. Friday and throughout the weekend.
“Despite the rain you’re seeing today, at the Morton Arboretum, the weekend looks bright and sunny, beautiful fall weather, so I really want to invite everybody to come out to the Glass Pumpkin Patch and see it for themselves,” Morton Arboretum store manager and event co-founder Jacque Fucilla said.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Flanagan reports.
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