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Glass-blowing show features fall favorites

Post Time:Oct 26,2015Classify:Company NewsView:216

Upon entering the Glass Academy, the first thing you see is pumpkins. They’re everywhere. Large ones. Medium-sized ones. Even miniature ones that fit in the palm of your hand. With the arrival of fall, this can only mean one thing: the Glass Pumpkin Fest has arrived.

Due to popular demand, Glass Academy extended the seventh annual Glass Pumpkin Fest for two weekends, Oct. 10-11 and Oct. 17-18. The event took place at the art studio, 25331 Trowbridge in west Dearborn. In a rare occasion, guests could get a behind-the-scenes look at glassblowers as they designed various styles of pumpkins. Pre-made pumpkins were also available for purchase.

Chris Nordin, co-owner of the Glass Academy, said 2,000 pumpkins were made for the show, which had to be prepared months in advance. Seven glassblowers assisted Nordin and his wife and co-owner, Michelle Plucinsky, in creating versions of the vegetable in various shapes and colors. It takes two glassblowers to create a pumpkin he said, usually taking about a half-hour. Well, with at least 10 years of experience, he added.

“Glassblowing; you can’t judge or describe it by how long it takes to make the piece, because you have to practice so much. It’s like learning an instrument or a sport; you have to keep practicing. You can’t stop making glass for a year and then sit down and make something really nice. You gotta keep up your skills.”

To go along with the fall theme, Nordin and Plucinsky decided to create a signature series of cider-colored pumpkins. Topped with a curly stem, the pumpkin is coated in a glossy, golden color. As many as 15 cider pumpkins were displayed in the gallery, with pieces of hay surrounding them. Most squash were round throughout, while others started to thin at the top and then widen at the bottom. One pumpkin did not have any roundness, its surface flat as if it had melted into a puddle. Gallery Manager Lindsey Fendt said the series is inspired by pumpkin patches. The glassblowers visited various ones to give their pumpkins a realistic look.

The collection is also available in Glass Academy’s signature style called Van Gogh. Inspired by the artist’s paintings, two colors are added to the glass, creating a swirling pattern.

“They add color to tiny pieces of glass,” said Fendt about the glassblowers’ technique. “They melt it and then use tools to twist the glass, adding more color to it. It’s really cool.”

Another signature style popular at the gallery was the “sugar” pumpkins, where the pumpkins were sprinkled with tiny pieces of colored glass.

Prices for the pumpkins start at $35 for their Cuties series, which are miniature versions of their signature products. Prices then ranged from $60-$100.

Many pumpkins appeared in an array of colors including red, green and purple. Some also appeared in sky blue. This is the result of the glass being recycled said Fendt. The glassblowers use two furnaces, one that is used for clear glass and the other for broken glass and old items. When using the recycled furnace, it turns glass cobalt blue. This comes to the shop’s advantage when they make icicles for their Christmas show. For the pumpkins, the glassblowers mix the blue with white, changing its color to light blue. 
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Source: http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2015/10/25//Author: shangyi

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