Enchanting glass pumpkin show and sale kicks off this weekend

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Delicate and whimsical as if plucked from a tiny fairy tale, the hand-made glass pumpkins from Dearborn's Glass Academy are back. 

Watch these colorful, decorative gourds come to life this month thanks to expert glassblowers using ovens that are more than 1,000 degrees. Most weekends in October the Glass Academy will host demonstrations and offer guests a chance to look around the studio, shop and place custom orders. 

This year's signature pumpkin at the Glass Academy's Pumpkin Harvest Show and Sale is "American Jewel."

This year's signature squash is titled "American Jewel," and has a transparent purple color made by adding magnesium to the molten glass early on in the process. It has a decorative curly stem and comes with a letter of authenticity. Made by artist Chris Nordin, all use the same amount of glass but but they come in many shapes and the stems are a variety of colors and curly-ness.

Priced at $100, the Academy will donate $10 from each one sold to an organic farm in Ann Arbor as a way to help support local growers. 

Founding artist Michelle Plucinsky says the pumpkin show and sale is the Glass Academy's customers' favorite event of the year. 

Dearborn's Glass Academy Pumpkin Harvest Show and Sale runs weekends through October.

"It's a great time to come in from the outdoors and sip some cider while getting entertained and educated on the art of glassblowing," she said. 

This year, the pumpkin show will hit the road and bring its mobile glassblowing unit to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market Oct. 19-20. 

Plucinsky, who founded the studio with fellow artist Nordin in 2003, said they started with natural-looking pumpkins years ago, and the look of the fall fruits have only gotten wilder as years went on. 

"Customers would request unique colors like blue or purple and suddenly we developed a wide range of styles like the 'fantasy' pumpkins," she said. "These are blues and purples, or the 'ice' pumpkins ... that use a special glass technique of dipping the molten glass in water to create an icy look." 

Dearborn's Glass Academy Pumpkin Harvest Show and Sale runs weekends through October.

Besides this year's "American Jewel," other collectible glass pumpkins are the "Van Gogh" with swirls of color and the "Ice" pumpkin with reflective, cracked skin. All pumpkins for sale start at $48 and increase from there depending on shape, color and techniques used. 

Glass Pumpkin Harvest Fest Show and Sale

Glass Academy

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Oct. 12-13 and 26-27

25331 Trowbridge, Dearborn

(313) 561-4527

Ann Arbor Farmers Market 

9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 19-20

315 Detroit, Ann Arbor 

Pumpkins can be purchased at the Glass Academy during normal studio hours in October, Wed.-Sun. and online at GlassAcademy.com


Twitter: @melodybaetens