Festival in Laurelville featuring 2,000 glass pumpkins, food and music

When the Circleville Pumpkin Show was canceled last year, Jack Pine decided to start his own pumpkin show.

The glass artist set up a Glass Pumpkin Show in the fields around his studio in Laurelville, Ohio, and drew 5,000 guests, selling all of the pumpkins he made for the event.

The Glass Pumpkin Show is back for a second round from September 24-26.

“Last year we did it later in the year, to replace the Circleville Pumpkin Show,” said Pine, 56, speaking by phone from his Laurelville studio.

Jack Pine working in his workshop.

This year he will be back to exhibit and sell at the Circleville show, and he didn’t want to compete with that.

“And we thought it would be nice to do it sooner, because then people would have their decorations for the fall,” he said.

More than 2,000 hand-blown glass pumpkins will be on sale in the “Pumpkin Patch” on the studio’s multi-acre site.

Among them is the popular “Pumpkin of the Year”.

The Glass Pumpkin Festival will take place September 24-26 in Laurelville.

“We’ve done a ‘pumpkin of the year’ every year for the past 20 years, and it has really taken off over the past 10 years. They have become a major collector’s item. We sell about 2,000 each season, ”said Pine.

“Last year was a black pumpkin with a very black stem and a silver lining, to represent the very dark year we had. This year I decided to reverse it, so I made a white pumpkin with rainbow colors at the bottom.

This year, Pine is donating 10% of the proceeds from the sale of the Pumpkin of the Year to Feed the Second Line, a charity dedicated to helping artists and musicians affected by Hurricane Ida.

Glass pumpkins look real.

In addition to perusing the pumpkins, festival visitors can watch glassblowers make them. Pumpkin carver Gus Smithister will be on hand to carve a 600-pound pumpkin over the weekend, and those looking to purchase real veg will be spoiled for choice in a plot provided by a local grower.

Pumpkin rolls, ice cream and other food will be available, and live music will be played throughout the festival, with artists such as the Poverty String Band Trio and Frank Grasso.

Ten other artists will have works for sale, including Starfish Earth Clothing with clothing, bags and accessories; The metal art of the colonial wagon wheel; the copper sculpture by Poff Studio; and the watercolors of Ed Kitchen.

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Pine grew up in the nearby town of Tarlton, then went to college at Columbus College of Art & Design. From there he moved to Seattle and started working in a glass studio.

“I fell madly in love with it all,” he said.

He moved to Colorado where he set up a studio and lived for 17 years, then in 2006 moved to Columbus and had a studio in Short North.

Five years ago, he found an old farm in Laurelville and set up a studio, where he now employs a team of 14 people, including five skilled glassblowers.

Glass pumpkins come in a variety of colors and shapes.

“I’ve always wanted to move to the Hocking Hills because this area is perfect for a studio. We have large spaces. I started a gallery selling my work and the work of other artists I know, and now we have over 30 different local artists, ”he said.

The studio is open year-round, with glassblowing demonstrations offered daily, so those who can’t make it to the festival can still experience it.

“It can take something as simple as a pumpkin and make it look totally unique,” ​​said Hayley Deeter, owner of the Hayley Gallery in New Albany, where Pine’s work was last exhibited. year.

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“The pumpkins look like they’ve been painted, but he doesn’t use paint. He uses metal to add dimension to the glass. A lot of people make pumpkins out of glass, but when you have one in the gallery, people say, Oh, it’s a jack pine. Hers are just different. They’re real works of art, but they’re also affordable. “

Adam Henry has worked as a glassblower at the Laurelville studio for two years.

“He’s a visionary artist,” Henry said of Pine. “His color technique is what really sets me apart. Most glassblowers focus on form, and color is secondary to them. But he has spent 30 years developing a color palette.”

For Pine, works of art are a labor of love.

“Glass pumpkins are just whimsical and magical,” he said. “I would dare say that I have made over a million glass pumpkins in my life. I still really love what I do and I love giving back to this community. It’s a win-win.


In one look

The Glass Pumpkin Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. September 24-26 at 21397 Ohio Route 180, Laurelville. Reserved parking tickets, which are recommended, are available online for $ 5 per car. Only 75 guests will be admitted for each two hour time slot. The $ 5 charge for timed tickets will be deducted from the purchase price of any glass pumpkin. The festival will also have unreserved parking, with places depending on availability. The fee for this is $ 5, which cannot be used towards the purchase of a pumpkin. Apart from parking fees, entry to the festival is free. For more information call 740-332-2223 or visit glasspumpkinfestival.com

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