The Glass Pumpkin Patch

New Pumpkins!
New Pumpkins!

It’s that Pumpkin time of year! Autumn is officially here and as we see the first leaves begin to turn we put up the sign in front and invite everyone down to the glass pumpkin patch!

 

 

 

We make pumpkins through the summer to be ready for the fall of course. But, after a while we want to stretch our glass blowing legs and do something differently for a minute.  And then, of course, shop talk turns to “Why does it blow so thin here?” “How could we get more definition in that there?” and then the brainstorming starts.

Most glass pumpkins get their ridges from molds like this…Optic molds

The hot bubble is pressed into the ribs of the optic mold and when blown out, these create the ribs of the pumpkin… These molds are a staple tool in glassblowing shops through the ages.

Shaping the bubble before the pumpkin mold

 

 

 

 

 

But we had an idea… a hybrid creation… part fin mold, part hinged two-part mold, this would be a 4-part fin mold!

After some sketches, assembly begins…       Scott assembling a pumpkin mold

Pumpkin Mold partially assembled

 

Pumpkin mold ready for a hot bubble

And then, The Test!

closing the pumpkin mold around the bubble
Closing the mold carefully and quickly

Care must be taken to have the temperature of the bubble just right. If it’s too hot it will just flop to the ground before the mold can be quickly closed around it.  If the glass is too cold it will chill further in the mold and then fail to blow out into the molds contours or simply crack inside the mold…

blowing the pumpkin in the mold

Pumpkin coming out of a mold
The almost pumpkin after release from the mold

 

taking a heat on a pumpkinThe pumpkin takes a heat.  The pumpkin must be warmed back up from the mold in order to have it’s final shape adjusted. Using jacks (a glass blowers most important tool)  the gaffer will trace around the connection to blowpipe.  We will crack the glass cleanly here to transfer the pumpkin to the punty.A pumpkin ready to transfer to a punty

The punty rod is a solid iron, unlike the blowpipe which we can blow through.  The little gather of hot glass at the end sticks to the pumpkin and allows us to crack the glass free from the pipe and have access to that hole we blew through.

Transfering a pumkin to a punty
Transfering a pumkin to a punty

 

wrapping a pumpkin stem

 

That twisty stem is made from a drop of glass; colored and pressed quickly into a mold and then stretched and swirled around and trimmed.

 

 

Some classic pumpkins with some new pumpkins in the background

 

 

 

Some classic pumpkins and gourds, with some of the new pumpkins in the background. Stop by and visit us at the glass pumpkin patch!