Glass pumpkins to be sold Saturday

By Marissa Novel

Typical pumpkin patches are places for children to run, play and enjoy the fall air. At the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, you may need to watch your step.

The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, Southern Glass Works’ 8th-annual glass pumpkin sale, will begin 9:00 a.m. Saturday at the Town Square Pavilion, and will end when pumpkins sell out.

Jiyong Lee, the faculty advisor for Southern Glass Works, a Registered Student Organization, said the pumpkins sell out within three to four hours.


“The sale starts at 9 a.m. and usually when we show up around 7:30 a.m., there are people there with chairs,” he said. “They make long lines, of like 100 people, before the sale even starts.”

Brandon Smith, president of Southern Glass Works, said members of the RSO and students in the glass program made roughly 700 pumpkins. He said pumpkins take anywhere from six to 30 minutes to make depending on their color, size, design and the skill level of the artist.

Smith said the proceeds from the sale fund visiting artists, equipment and demonstration materials, among other things.

“As far as our school is concerned, there are a lot of programs with a lot of wants and needs with only one budget,” he said. “We try to supplement as much as we can.”

Lee said visiting artists stay for a semester rather than a few days at a time because of the money raised from sale.

“The artists have to work with the students so they have a much longer exposure with these artists, and their interaction gets a lot better,” he said. “It’s almost like having another faculty member for a semester.”

Lee is the only faculty member in the glass program. He said each artist stays during the fall semester.


Scott Chaseling, from Australia, is the program’s fourth artist. He said he has been an artist-in-residency in Japan, France, Germany, Italy and other locations.

“The unusual thing about this one, though, is that they’ve brought me on for such a long time,” he said. “It’s almost as if as the seasons change, you see new faces and fresh ideas.”

Chaseling said he has learned as much from the students as they have learned from him.

“You grow with people,” he said. “That’s what I enjoy about this. It’s not just a matter of, make this here or have an impact there … You get to meet everyone, their good and their bad, me too, and that’s the nice thing about it.”

Chaseling said he creates original works inspired by the culture of each area he visits. He said he is working on a Carbondale-inspired installation of blown and fused glass boxes.

“It’s a mix of traditional and contemporary techniques,” he said. “I’ve not made these before and I’ve never seen anything like them before.”

The installation will be on display Nov. 18 at the Vergette Gallery in the Allyn Building.

Smith said bringing the university diverse artists-in-residency with different backgrounds is beneficial to students.

“Most of these students would never meet an Australian artist because they’d never make it to Australia,” he said. “So to have him come down is really something special.”

Marissa Novel can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @marissanovelDE or at 536-3311 ext. 268.