Glass pumpkin festival celebrates art heritage in Chester County

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Glass pumpkin festival celebrates art heritage in Chester County
This weekend, you can find sparkling glass pumpkins at this art festival in Chester County, Pennsylvania!

TOUGHKENAMON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Working with glass is very addictive, so you never can stop doing that," said Thomas von Koch. "I probably will do that until I can't do anything anymore."

The passion started back in von Koch's hometown of Wertheim, Germany, which is known for its glass industry. He started his own business, WGK Glass Art, in the early 1980s.

"2001, still living in Germany, I incorporated here in the US and started going to trade shows as a US company," said von Koch. "And it took off."

After years of selling wares and meeting customers at craft shows, he decided to take advantage of his brick-and-mortar location adjacent to the New Garden Airport. It took most of the year to plan what would become the first annual WGK Glass Art Pumpkin Festival.

From September 16 to September 18, local artists, musicians, and food vendors will populate the property. At the center of the event, guests can survey an art gallery of delicately-crafted glass ornaments and glass-blown pumpkins. A lucky few can even schedule a hands-on glassblowing experience and leave with their own souvenir.

"It was nerve-wracking at first, it was," said Theresa Yeoell from West Chester. "It was hot, but the instructor was awesome, showing us how to do it."

While the first official festival is set to end on Sunday evening, interested guests can come back for smaller-scale events and demonstrations throughout the year.

"They can come and watch us work, we'll explain to them the process, and we have events where people can make their own something three to four times a year," said Kimya Williams, one of the managers of WGK Glass Art.

To learn more, visit their website.

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This weekend, "Say it With Clay" will auction artwork made by creators with diverse abilities at its annual fundraiser.