Growing Bloomington’s Famous Glass Pumpkins | The INbox

Growing Bloomington’s Famous Glass Pumpkins | The INbox


I’m Abby Gitlitz and I’m the director of the
Bloomington Creative Glass Center and today we are going to show you how we make one of
our famous blown-glass pumpkins. Get the glass out of the furnace. I’m going to get some color on it and this
is crushed colored glass. It’s called frit and we buy this already colored
and already crushed. Touch this glass on to that metal table, it
starts to cool down. And when it cools down, it gets hard. So I have to heat it back up again. And I’m just going to keep doing that over
and over and over. Letting it cool down, heating it back up again. The air molecules inside get excited, they
want to move and boom! They expand the glass. Now I’m going to heat it up again, because
it’s already getting cold. And for me? Cold? This is probably, oh, 1400 degrees. And then I’m going to come and drop it into
a mold. And the mold will give my pumpkin its distinctive
ridges. And I can’t make the stem by myself. I need to have a partner to do that. He has gathered some glass out of the furnace
and he’s putting it on another rod. Now, I’m going to blow up and shape my pumpkin. When you’re blowing glass, your two hands
are doing two totally separate things in different rhythms, your feet are doing different things, and ever so often, you have to blow. You
never do the same thing for more than
a minute. It’s enormously satisfying. It’s a nice way to introduce people to glass
without having the pressure of it has to look perfect. I’m going to put one drop of water and that
drop of water is enough to shock that and solidify it and I torch the bottom because
where I just broke it is sharp. And then we put it in this kiln, and at the
end of our day today, it will start to cool down very slowly to room temperature, but
that will take about 12 hours. In my lifetime, I have probably made close
to 5,000 pumpkins. I don’t get sick of it. You want to make another pumpkin?

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