Fifth graders had the unique experience of visiting a glass art studio to create one-of-a-kind glass pumpkins. With the assistance of an experienced glass artist, students participated in almost every part of the process.
First, each student picked out colors for the stem and body of their pumpkins. A ball of near-molten hot clear glass was brought to the color station on the end of a blowpipe. Students rolled the clear glass into the colors of their choice and returned the ball of glass to a furnace, where they continued to turn the pipe ensuring the glass stayed at the right temperature.
At another station, they rolled the ball along a metal surface in order to manipulate the glass into a longer shape, and the technician introduced air into the glass ball for the first time. They returned the glass to the furnace once more before placing it into a metal mold to help form the ridges of the pumpkin.
The blowpipe was then brought over to another station, where one student rolled the pipe while another blew into the end opposite of the glass. The glass inflated, taking on a more full and round shape.
At the last station, the technician added a smaller ball of glass to the pumpkin, twisting and forming a curly stem. The students then used a blowtorch to melt the end of their stem, preventing it from becoming sharp upon cooling.
The finished pumpkins are on display in the glass case in the Museum Building. Students will take them home in time for Thanksgiving.