Growing Bloomington's Famous Glass Pumpkins

October 11, 2019
glass pumpkin

Pumpkin season is wherever it’s 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Students and volunteers at the Bloomington Creative Glass Center work year-round to create one-of-a-kind hand blown glass pumpkins for the annual Great Glass Pumpkin Festival. At this event every October, over 800 glass blown pumpkins are spread out on the Monroe County Courthouse lawn for visitors from near and far to come and purchase.

Proceeds from the event go towards funding apprenticeships, workshops and supplies at the center, a non-profit.

Director of the Bloomington Creative Glass Center Abby Gitlitz has been a glass blower for more than 15 years and has made over 5,000 pumpkins in her lifetime. She says glass blowing is an activity that keeps you moving through all of its stages.

“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,” Gitlitz said. “You never do the same thing for more than a minute.”

At the festival, no two pumpkins are created the same. Some are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, while others are round and robust. The pumpkins come in a variety of colors, but Gitlitz said that, naturally, the orange ones are the first to sell out.

Gitliz invited The INbox into her studio to see how these pumpkins are made, from a hot glob of glass to a gourd-geous work of art.

The 10th Annual Great Glass Pumpkin Patch will be Saturday, October 12 at the Monroe County Courthouse. For more info, you can check out their Facebook event page.