Most pumpkin farmers work with dirt and sunshine. But not Stephanie McCune. Instead, she grows gourds with nothing more than fire and glass. “I started making pumpkins as soon as I started blowing glass,” the Asheville artist reveals. “There is an appeal to how organic and fun they are, which is such a departure from how tight and unforgiving other forms can be.” But don’t be fooled: Manipulating molten glass into festive Jack-o’-lanterns still requires a bumper crop of tenacity. If you don’t don the gourd’s curly stem within seconds, the entire thing will crack in two. As McCune confirms, “There’s an athleticism to making them. You have to be quick and efficient.” Fortunately, glass artists are a tough breed. Undeterred, some 30 makers will unveil an entire pumpkin patch this fall at the North Carolina Glass Center. According to participant Kathryn Adams, every glass artist puts their own unique spin on the seasonal squash. “Most peoples’ pumpkins, mine included, tend to reflect their other bodies of art,” she says. “But there’s also an opportunity for the artist to create something with new, experimental colors and designs.” Pumpkins will be on display and available for purchase through late October. All purchases support artists as well as the North Carolina Glass Center.
September 15-October 29
Robert Gardner Exhibition Gallery at the North Carolina Glass Center
140 Roberts St., Suite C, River Arts District, Asheville / ncglasscenter.org