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The Morton Arboretum Celebrates Fall with Demonstrations, One-of-a-Kind Art at Glass Pumpkin Patch

A green antique truck with decorative glass pumpkins and hay in the bed.
The Glass Pumpkin Patch takes place October 10-14.
September 10, 2018

Handcrafted, finely detailed glass pumpkins join brilliant fall color and crisp autumn air as hallmarks of the season when The Morton Arboretum welcomes the return of its eighth-annual Glass Pumpkin Patch this October. Visitors to the event, taking place October 10-14, will find more than 6,000 glass pumpkins and other designs, such as acorns, leaves, and a bounty of one-of-a-kind glass fruits and vegetables, displayed on top of straw bales, in artfully arranged wooden cabinets, and in the bed of an antique pickup truck.

Throughout the event, visitors can see daily glass-blowing demonstrations from some of the nation’s top glass artists, both local and from around the country. The public sale of these handcrafted pieces will take place October 12-14.

Seventeen artists from across the U.S. will showcase their art and participate in the 2018 Glass Pumpkin Patch, including 11 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.

“Fall is The Morton Arboretum’s signature season as we watch the green of summer turn to brilliant gold, red, and orange—colors reflected in the intricate designs from the event’s featured glass artists,” said Jacque Fucilla, manager of The Arboretum Store. “The Glass Pumpkin Patch allows visitors to find new decorative pieces for their home, and see how these unique creations are made.” 

Schedule of Events

Glass Pumpkin Patch Demonstrations & Exhibition
October 10-14
10-5 p.m. (Wednesday-Thursday)
10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Friday-Sunday)

Stop by and watch daily demonstrations by the artists as pieces of colored glass are transformed into pumpkins.

Glass Pumpkin Patch Market
October 12-14
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.

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.
  • Madison Duncan (Mahomet) is a recent graduate of Illinois State University, earning a degree in studio art. She currently works with Michael Amis, a fellow Glass Pumpkin Patch artist.
  • 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.
  • 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.


The Glass Pumpkin Patch is included with Arboretum admission. The Morton Arboretum thanks Fall Color Festival Presenting Sponsor DuPage Medical Group.