do as your mother says

Who would have guessed that a mother, or in this case, Kathleen Dustin’s mother, would know just what her daughter needed to pursue in life? Despite her mother’s recommendation to major in art, Kathleen Dustin followed a very different path into mathematics. It wasn’t until she was 28 that she realized her mother was right: she needed to follow her dreams and her passion for the arts.

Kathleen Dustin

While still working at her “real” job, Kathleen set up a ceramics studio in her parents’ basement. She also went back to school and received her MFA in ceramics from Arizona State University. While in grad school, she took a metalsmithing course, but realized it wasn’t for her. She preferred a medium that was “laid back,” as she says, something that allowed her to create what she wanted without the resistance of sawing, hammering, or filing. This is what drew her to ceramics.

For a ceramicist, it is quite difficult to create work away from the studio and while traveling. Kathleen and her husband traveled overseas for a few years due to his job, which made it difficult for her to pursue her art. That’s when she discovered Fimo, a German brand of polymer clay, which was not only wonderful to work with, but also highly portable. She eventually quit ceramics to focus on working in polymer clay.

When she came back to the United States, Kathleen was introduced to a small network of artists working with polymer clay. Alongside them, Kathleen became one of the pioneers of the polymer clay movement. Since polymer clay was such a new medium, the group did a lot of things themselves: they invented polymer clay millefiori and created their own techniques, tools, and ways of connecting.

Kathleen Dustin creating a millefiori.

Kathleen Dustin demonstrating the art of polymer clay millefiori. (Photo via Dutch Polymer Art Guild.)

Thirty years later, Kathleen Dustin continues to use polymer clay to create astonishing jewelry and sculptural handbags, providing wearable statement pieces for extraordinary women. Kathleen uses her mathematics background to engineer her pieces of art. Like a true mathematician, encouraged by the challenge of solving a problem, Kathleen uses her troubleshooting skills to determine how to execute her artwork so that it is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally wearable.

Tribal Earrings in Black & Rustic by Kathleen Dustin carved-polymer-fauxivory-handbag_edits
Left: Tribal Earrings in Black & Rustic. Right:Harvest Handbag.


Now that she has followed her mother’s intuition into a career in the arts, Kathleen revels in the flexibility of being her own boss. She goes into her studio around 10am, listens to NPR, and sips her coffee comfortably as she works. After taking a break in the evening, she goes back to creating intricate works of art for a couple more hours before day’s end.


Kathleen Dustin’s workstation at a workshop she provides. (Photo via Dutch Polymer Art Guild.)

We often wonder if an artist has a favorite step in the creative process. Kathleen explains that though the beginning is where the idea ignites, and the end results are terrific and motivating, it is what happens in between that really gets her going. Kathleen believes that “the perseverance in the middle is what art really is all about, in spite of the struggle.” She continues, “I go through a lot of work: the problem solving, editing, pulling apart and redoing, trying another way until I finally think I’m finished.”

Kathleen Dustin diligently working. (Photo via Dutch Polymer Art Guild.)

Kathleen Dustin working diligently. (Photo via Dutch Polymer Art Guild.)

Kathleen explains that the two places she draws inspiration from are her personal life and the polymer clay itself. From her travels overseas and living in exotic countries to her relationship with her family, including a parent with Alzheimer’s, her personal life offers plenty of new ideas for her work. Polymer clay itself is such a versatile material that it constantly inspires her, driving her to discover new techniques and to explore juxtaposing it with different materials. These inspirations allow Kathleen to create work that not only makes a big statement, but is lightweight, comfortable, and versatile to wear.

Tribal Earrings & Tribal Necklace by Kathleen Dustin

Tribal Earrings and Tribal Necklace by Kathleen Dustin

Kathleen Dustin has gone from being a mathematics major spending her free time throwing on the potter’s wheel in her parents’ basement to a globe-trotting artist making a living by selling her work. I invite you to discover her strikingly original jewelry pieces in our collection.

By |November 23rd, 2016|spotlights|0 Comments

dress joyfully! Maliparmi embodies an expansive worldly look & attitude

As we travel to seek out new artists and designers, at times we encounter work that strikes us as so compelling that we fall in love—and suspect that you, our customers, will fall in love, too. We remain committed to selling the work of North American designers and artists, though from time to time we will also introduce you to extraordinary work by artists from beyond our borders.

Maliparmi Virginia Leather Bags available at Artful Home

When we saw the Malìparmi collection, we were utterly entranced by its novel use of diverse textiles, intricate folk embellishments, and modern design vision. We decided to bring a sample to you in an online trunk show of select scarves, bags, and a unique coat. We hope you like what you see!

photo of Annalisa Paresi, Chairperson of Maliparmi

Annalisa Paresi
Chairperson of Maliparmi

Marol Paresi was a very creative Italian woman. An avid world traveler with a keen eye for uncommon textiles and skillfully crafted embellishments, she travelled all over Asia, Indonesia, and Africa collecting beautiful things and ideas that entranced her. In the 1970s, she established a small workshop in Italy to design and produce women’s accessories and found an eager clientele for her bejeweled handbags. With her daughter, Annalisa, she founded a company in 1977, and by 1980, they moved into footwear as well. Maliparmi, a combination of their names (“Ma” + “li“), was established as a business in Padua, Italy in the 1990s, with Marol and Annalisa as joint owners. Under their new identity, they moved beyond bags and footwear, soon creating a full line of women’s apparel with designs embodying an exuberant worldly vision. Annalisa Paresi is today the chairperson of the growing Italian apparel company.

Marol Paresi’s fascination with diverse textiles from Japan, India, Indonesia, and Africa, as well as her love of traditional folk and ethnic embellishments, are the continuing inspiration for Malìparmi’s fresh and innovative look. The design team’s creations are a synthesis—many things coming together in a new form—in the very best sense of the word.

Maliparmi’s seasonal collections combine a fresh worldly spirit, both cosmopolitan and sophisticated, with a reverence for traditional craft techniques—enlivened through innovative methods. Bold combinations of textiles and ornament reimagined in modern silhouettes and applications marry the artistry and crafts of the past to a forward-looking sensibility. The striking result: vibrantly colorful and innovative apparel collections. Maliparmi’s women’s apparel, shoes, and accessories convey an expansive and joyful look unlike any other.

Maliparmi is dedicated to revitalizing historic crafts—intricate textile weaving, diverse embroidery, beading, leatherwork, and more—through new production techniques and designs. Incorporating traditional ethnic embellishments into exciting forward-looking styles promotes fresh interest. Traditional crafts can grow and thrive through creative partnerships: diverse hand embroidery techniques unique to India garner interest and, consequently, a larger market for skilled artisans. Some Maliparmi pieces are produced in India, the only place where artisans skilled in many traditional embroidery techniques still live and work. Everybody benefits through these inspired artistic collaborations.

We are deeply impressed by Malìparmi‘s innovative, modern designs, its artisan collaborations, and its long-standing values. We hope you love these extraordinary pieces as much as we do!

the art and craft of gourmet foods

We are excited to offer something new at Artful Home:  food!

Why food? We think that small-batch food artisans are more than just chefs or bakers—they are culinary artists. Just like other artists, they pair a profound mastery of their craft with the inspiration and creativity to make something extraordinary for you to enjoy.


Our Artisans’ Gift Box – a grand survey of culinary delights from Wisconsin.

Of course, offering food for sale means that we get to enjoy it, too. As one of Artful Home’s copywriters, I was happy to have the chance to sample the goodies in our gift boxes (strictly for research purposes, of course…how else could I describe the flavor of the chocolate?). To me, each creation stood out with memorable flavors that far exceeded those of any mass-produced variety.

Gourmet Food from the Heartland
Nearly all of our food artisans hail from our home state, Wisconsin (and one is from neighboring Minnesota). There’s good reason for this—it’s more than local pride! The Dairy State is home to an abundance of groundbreaking small-scale farmers, growers, and makers, from organic vegetable farmers and cranberry growers to heritage meat producers and beekeepers. Combine this with a variety of rich food traditions and a history of innovation and entrepreneurship, and it’s no wonder Wisconsin is such fertile ground for a thriving artisanal food scene.

About the Artisans
Our gift boxes are curated by Madison-based artisans Quince and Apple. I was curious to find out more about these renowned preserves-makers and the rest of the culinary artists behind the food. Learning more about each maker—and the incredible amount of creativity and care that they put into their offerings—helped me appreciate the food even more.


Quince and Apple

Left: Quince and Apple founders Matt and Clare. Right: A jar of Fig with Black Tea preserves. Photos from Quince and Apple


Matt and Clare, the husband-and-wife duo behind Quince and Apple, craft small-batch preserves and syrups with distinctive, nuanced flavors. They use local ingredients whenever possible, sweetening them only as much as needed. As they explain, “We focus on bringing out the natural fruit flavors, not covering them up or preserving them with lots of sugar.”

Every step of their process is done by hand, from peeling the fruit to filling the jars. “This artisan-centered approach allows us to always use the highest quality fresh produce, adjusting for the differences in season and variety,” Clare and Matt explain. “It’s not the easiest way, but it means that we touch and evaluate every single jar to ensure each one is up to our exacting quality standards.”

With flavors such as Fig and Black Tea or Pear with Honey and Ginger, their preserves are scrumptious paired with cheese and crackers or eaten straight from the jar with a spoon (don’t ask me how I know that). As the makers exclaim, “We only make flavors we truly love. We hope you love them too!”


Marieke Gouda

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Left: Marieke and Rolf Penterman and their five children with a wheel of cheese and the cows that make it possible. Right: Freshly sliced Marieke Gouda. Photos from Marieke Gouda.


Wisconsin is home to some of the top artisanal cheesemakers in the country. One such cheesemaker is Marieke Gouda, a family farm specializing in traditional Dutch-style gouda.

Marieke Penterman grew up on a dairy farm in the Netherlands. She and her husband, Rolf, emigrated to the USA in the early 2000s and started their own dairy farm in Thorp, Wisconsin. Missing the cheese from back home, Marieke decided to learn how to make it herself.

Today, the Marieke Gouda cheesemaking facility is located right across from the Penterman dairy farm. As the Pentermans explain, “Exceptional milk makes impressive cheese. We have our cows to thank for that…Early in the morning, our cows provide the cheesemakers with the best quality fresh milk. Cheese is made within five hours of the cows being milked.”

The cheesemaking process itself is complex and hands-on, from packing and brining the curd to flipping the wheels and brushing them with a breathable coating while they cure. The hard work is worth it: the Pentermans have won more than 100 awards. When I had the chance to taste the creamy young gouda included in our gift box, it became clear to me why it’s received so many awards and accolades!


Potter’s Crackers

Left: Potter’s Crackers co-founder, Nancy Potter. Right: Potter’s crackers pair well with cheese, fruit, and more. Photos from Potter’s Crackers.


What’s cheese without crackers? Though they’re a vital part of any snack tray, crackers are often considered little more than vehicles for other flavors. Yet the right cracker can make all the difference. And Potter’s organic artisanal crackers are delicious enough to make you consider having them as the focal point on your next cheese tray!

The company was started by Peter Potter Weber, a food science graduate, and his mother, Nancy Potter, a former bakery owner. They noticed that Wisconsin was full of remarkable artisanal cheeses, yet lacked exceptional, handcrafted crackers to accompany them. So Peter and Nancy teamed up to create what they describe as “a cracker that truly delivers the flavors of Wisconsin to you.”

Potter’s crackers are handmade in Madison, Wisconsin, using milled whole-wheat flour, local milk and butter, and a variety of seasonal flavors. “Our mission is to sustainably produce high quality, organic crackers for the great people of Wisconsin and beyond,” they explain. Tasty enough for straight-up snacking, these savory crackers also bring out the flavor of their toppings without overpowering—a balancing act that is no small feat to achieve.


Ames Farm

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Left: Brian Fredericksen, founder of Ames Farm. Right: A jar of single-source honey ready to be enjoyed. Photos from Ames Farm.


One day, Ames Farm founder Brian Fredericksen was standing in his kitchen eating fresh dandelion honey when he had a realization: every batch of honey produced by a hive was unique to a particular time, place, and floral source. Dandelions in the spring, basswood trees in summer, prairie flowers in fall: each resulted in honey with distinctive flavors, aromas, and colors. However, most honey on the market was a mixture of different batches, canceling out these nuances. Brian wanted others to experience honey’s rich variations, and so Ames Farm Single-Source Honey was born.

Brian explains, “Ames Farm is nationally recognized for producing single-source honey, which we define as raw honey from one location, one hive, and one time period…This level of micro-extracting and detailed traceability from hive to jar is unmatched.”

Today, Ames Farm maintains 18 bee yards throughout central and southern Minnesota. Each jar of single-source honey has the location, hive number, and floral source printed on the label. The exact honey included in each of our gift boxes will vary—a bit of surprise to add to the fun!


Gail Ambrosius

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Left: Gail Ambrosius stands outside her shop in Madison, Wisconsin. Right: Gail Ambrosius’s cherry almond chocolate bar is rich and delicious. Photos by Gail Ambrosius.


“I suppose it was fate that my parents, Ray and Lucille Ambrosius, gave me the perfect name for a chocolatier,” says Gail Ambrosius. She developed a passion for chocolate over the course of her lifetime, sparked by her mother’s homemade pudding and deepened by the discovery of Parisian patisseries on a school trip to France. In 2004, she opened her own chocolate shop in Madison, Wisconsin, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Having grown up on a farm, Gail continually finds herself drawn to the cacao farms that make her business possible. She has traveled to Ecuador, Columbia, Peru, and Costa Rica to get to know the farmers who grow cacao and learn the story behind the beans. In this way, Gail is able to thank the farmers and let them know how much her customers love their chocolate.

Gail explains her approach to chocolate: “In my opinion, good chocolate is its own food group. A little bit feeds the soul and fires the imagination. I want people to experience the real thing…Real chocolate is strong, earthy, fruity, floral…a whole world that unfolds on your palate.” Her cherry almond chocolate bar is a great way to experience real chocolate at its finest.


East Shore Specialty Foods

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Left: Jeri Mesching, founder of East Shore Specialty Foods. Right: Jeri’s renowned Mustard for Cheese is a delicious and versatile spread. Photos by East Shore Specialty Foods.


East Shore Specialty Foods was started by Jeri Mesching, a teacher, homemaker, and innovative home cook from Hartland, Wisconsin. In 1986, once her children were raised, she decided to fill the void with her second love, cooking.

She created her signature Sweet and Tangy Mustard and founded her business, which was named for the lakeside location of her family home. She began to sell her mustard and hold tastings at gourmet food stores. She says, “Watching people eat and enjoy something I made was all the encouragement I needed to keep me moving forward.” Today, she offers a variety of gourmet mustards, specialty pretzels, and old-fashioned dessert sauces, all created in small batches by a small, dedicated staff—including her two grown children.

I tasted her Mustard for Cheese, and I must say, it truly is phenomenal with cheese—especially Marieke Gouda! But why stop there? Try it as a dip for pretzels, dolloped on a sandwich, spread on crackers…the options are endless for this delectable condiment.


Treat Bake Shop

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Left: Sarah Marx Felder, owner and founder of Treat Bake Shop. Right: Sarah’s signature spiced pecans. Photos from Treat Bake Shop.


When Sarah Marx Felder opened Treat Bake Shop in 2011, she already had a published cookbook under her belt—not to mention years of experience in the food business, from working in restaurants to developing new recipes for culinary magazines.

Her signature spiced pecans were inspired by a favorite recipe from a childhood friend. She asked her friend to teach her how to make them, and once she did, Sarah discovered that they made great holiday gifts (it didn’t hurt that her future husband raved about them, too). When she took the plunge to open her own bakery, it was a natural fit to start selling her pecans.

Growing up, Sarah apprenticed with the nationally known spice family, the Penzeys—and she continues to use their spices in her creations. She explains that her Milwaukee, Wisconsin, bake shop is focused on “sourcing the highest-quality ingredients to produce unforgettable baked goods delivered with exceptional customer service.” She describes her signature creation as “a little bit spicy, a little bit salty, a little bit sweet…” A treat indeed!


Infusion Chocolates

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Left: Infusion Chocolates owner Ann Culligan (left) and lead chocolatier Alyssa Haskins (right). Photo from Infusion Chocolates. Right: A box of handcrafted truffles in a tempting array of flavors and colors.


Infusion Chocolates owner Ann Culligan has spent the last 25 years working in the specialty food industry, developing an obsession for fine food and drink. As she puts it, she is passionate about “folding simple indulgences into everyday life.” And I can think of few indulgences better than handcrafted chocolate!

Along with lead chocolatier Alyssa Haskins and a small team of chocolate lovers, Ann crafts truffles that are renowned not only for their incredible flavor but also their sheer beauty. The company also offers a variety of other treats, including drinking chocolate.

Ann explains, “We start by using the highest quality and freshest ingredients available. From there, we aren’t afraid to have a little fun. So, while we will always have the classic truffles, we delight in creating unexpected flavor combinations.” Honey Lavender or Thai Peanut Butter, anyone?

Taste Them Yourself

Now that you know more about the stories behind the food, discover the unique flavors of Wisconsin’s finest artisanal foods for yourself—shop all of our gourmet foods and chocolates here.


By |November 7th, 2016|articles|Comments Off on the art and craft of gourmet foods

pine needle basketry with Hannie Goldgewicht

I had seen Hannie Goldgewicht’s work many times on our website and on social media, but when I saw it in person, it was as if I had discovered a buried treasure. Hannie’s vessels, bowls, boxes, and wall sculptures are all full of detailed surprises, exceeding any expectation you may have from seeing them in a photograph. The textures are rich—from the ceramic structure to the weavings of the pine needles.

Hannie Goldgewicht's work.

Hannie Goldgewicht’s vessels and boxes.

Hannie is a native Costa Rican living in Los Angeles. She studied sculpture and explored many creative media, from ceramics to metal, wood to stone, and textiles to handmade paper. She traveled around the world observing and being influenced by different cultures and different artistic styles. On a trip to Argentina with her husband, he introduced her to his aunt Delfa Deriu, a master in fiber. After seeing Deriu’s work, Hannie was drawn to the pine needle basketry. It was the first time she had been made aware of this type of work, which is not a typical Argentinian craft. After spending an afternoon with Delfa learning how to weave, Hannie returned to Costa Rica, inspired to master and incorporate this newly acquired technique into her ceramic pieces.  Hearing Hannie express the enthusiasm and passion she has for her work makes you appreciate her art in a renewed and even brighter light.

As we settled deeper into our conversation, I asked Hannie how long it takes to create one piece of work. It became clear that it’s difficult to pinpoint a standardized timeframe due to her comprehensive, detail-oriented process.

Each piece has a multi-step process. Every piece starts on the potter’s wheel, where she can easily spend all day creating various vessels, bowls, boxes, and platters. Hannie throws enough to keep a stock of different sizes and designs at hand. The pieces are then trimmed, pierced with holes for weaving, fired, and finished with paint and patinas.


Stock of vessels already fired.

Hannie sanding the fired pieces.


After the ceramic piece is done, she begins the longest part of the whole process: basket weaving with pine needles. Depending on the size of the vessel, it can take as short as an hour or up to a couple days to complete the woven portion. Hannie usually saves the basket weaving for the end of the day, when she can weave and unwind as she sits on her couch and catches up on her favorite TV shows.

Hannie Goldgewicht pine needle weaving. (Photo credit: Kirk Douglas)

Hannie Goldgewicht pine needle weaving a ceramic plate.
(Photo credit: Douglas Kirkland)

To be able to weave her ceramic pieces, Hannie requires bunches of pine needles to work from.

Bunches of pine needles.

Bunches of pine needles.

Hannie uses the ancient way of acquiring pine needle supplies: by traveling to different locations and hand picking the perfect pine needles herself. She always keeps an eye on the pine trees wherever she goes, ready to gather pine needles at any time. One of her favorite locations to gather pine needles is in San Diego. On a trip to San Diego for an art fair, she spotted soft pine needles near the shoreline. Her family has become great contributors in the pine needle process. Hannie’s husband and son help her with gathering pine needles, and when her mother visits she helps Hannie bundle, separate, and clean them.

Hannie Goldgewicht's mom with the pine needles from Costa Rica.

Hannie Goldgewicht’s mom with a month’s load of bundling.

Once she has her bunches of pine needles, she cleans them by soaking them in water so she can separate and straighten them out. Then she dries the needles and takes the tops off.

“Some basket weavers leave the tops, but I like them bare,” says Hannie.

Hannie Goldgewicht taking the tops off the pine needles.

Hannie Goldgewicht taking the tops off the pine needles.

Gathering and cleaning the pine needles is a lot of work and very time-consuming, but it is part of the process to creating the beauty in her masterpieces.

Top: Hannie Goldgewicht on the potters wheel. (Photo credit: Douglas Kirkland)
Lower left: Gathering pine needles. Lower Right: Vessels by Hannie Goldgewicht


Wall sculptures undergo the same type of process. Since she keeps a stock of ceramic parts, she works in sections. She spends different parts of the day throwing on the potter’s wheel, designing new work, and weaving.

Ceramic Tiles.

Ceramic Tiles.

Hamming copper to add texture.

Hamming copper to add texture.

Her wall pieces are abstracts inspired by the nature that surrounds her at home, on her trips, or on a daily stroll. Hannie went on to explain what inspired one of her most complex pieces, her Rainbow wall sculpture. It was on a day that it rained while she was on her walk through the observatory and she caught a glimpse of a rainbow reflecting over the city.

Rainbow by Hannie Goldgewicht

Rainbow by Hannie Goldgewicht

What makes Hannie’s work even more intriguing is the one-of-a-kind story behind each piece. Hannie talks about how she loves hearing the stories of what others think the pieces stand for or what they take away from her work.

Learning about each step it takes to create a particular vessel or wall sculpture and how dedicated Hannie is to her work truly increased my appreciation for each masterpiece Hannie creates.

By |October 13th, 2016|spotlights|1 Comment

pumpkin wonderland

Crackle Pumpkins by Leonoff Art Glass

Crackle Pumpkins by Leonoff Art Glass

Pumpkins are a perennial favorite for autumn decorations and Halloween festivities, gracing porch steps and centerpieces alike with their vibrant color and charming presence.

Ripening Pumpkins, giclee print of an original watercolor painting by Steven Kozar

Ripening Pumpkins, giclee print of an original watercolor painting by Steven Kozar

Pumpkins—and their cousins, winter squash—are available in a cornucopia of shapes, colors, and sizes. Tiny jack-be-little pumpkins that fit in the palm of your hand. Enormous Atlantic Giants that can only be moved with a forklift. Butternut squash with smooth, creamy skin. Ornamental gourds studded with baroque protuberances in a panoply of color.

Pumpkins and squash at a roadside stand in Wisconsin farm country.

Pumpkins and squash at a roadside stand in Wisconsin farm country.

But it’s not simply their beauty that makes pumpkins so beloved this time of year: it’s also their status as cherished symbols of abundance and plenty. For the farmer or gardener, pumpkins are one of the final crops of the growing season—a sweet reward after months of tender care, and a joyful representation of a bountiful harvest.

Autumnal Pumpkins by Treg Silkwood

Autumnal Pumpkins by Treg Silkwood

For many (including me), pumpkins also evoke warm childhood memories. I am reminded of cozy pumpkin patch hayrides, the messy fun of carving jack-o-lanterns, the crunch of oven-roasted pumpkin seeds, and the sight of candlelit jack-o-lanterns greeting me and my costumed friends on Halloween night.

With such charming beauty coupled with rich, meaningful symbolism, it’s no wonder that so many artists are inspired by pumpkins. And—bonus—a pumpkin’s cylindrical form makes it perfectly suited to glassblowing. So it’s easy to see why pumpkins are especially popular with glass artists—and why glass pumpkin patches have sprouted up at art centers and studios across the country!

Left and center: A glass pumpkin comes to life in the Anchor Bend Glassworks studio.
Right: Large Orange Pumpkin by Anchor Bend Glassworks.


The sheer diversity of the Curcubita genus is reflected in the breadth of glass pumpkins available in our Artful Pumpkin Patch. But artists don’t simply recreate nature—they use it as a springboard for their own imaginative flourishes and personal touches. You’ll find pumpkins and squash in a dazzling array of colors and patterns never found in a garden—indeed, impossible to grow anywhere besides an artist’s imagination!

Glow Super Mini Pumpkins by Donald Carlson

Glow Super Mini Pumpkins by Donald Carlson

One of the ways that artists make pumpkins their own is through the stem. This also happens to be my favorite part, not only because I am drawn to sinuous shapes, but also because I delight in the variety of creative approaches artists take to represent a pumpkin’s coiled tendrils.

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Upper left: Pumpkin in Burnt Red by Drew Hine. Upper right: Speckled Pumpkin by Scott Summerfield. Bottom: Medium Ivory Autumnal Pumpkin by Treg Silkwood.


Left: Michael Trimpol creates a stem from molten glass. Right: Spotted Pumpkins in Salmon-Gray by Michael Trimpol and Monique LaJeunesse


In addition to getting creative with the stem, many glass artists use the pumpkin’s simple form as a canvas for intricate surface design. For instance, these pumpkins by Ken and Ingrid Hanson are fantastic examples of latticino canework and murrini—traditional Italian glassworking techniques for which the artists are renowned.

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Left: Orange and Yellow Latticino Pumpkin by Ken and Ingrid Hanson
Right: Impressionist Pumpkin by Ken and Ingrid Hanson


Other artists take advantage of glass’s unique optical qualities to create dramatic effects. Both pumpkins below have clear bodies that refract light, creating a striking interplay with the core of dichroic glass or gold leaf. To my eye, these effects give these pumpkins a hint of magic.

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Left: Large Clear and Dichroic Pumpkin by Ken and Ingrid Hanson
Right: Gold Leaf Pumpkin by Scott Summerfield


Still other artists make a statement with color. Some, like Mark Rosenbaum, revel in vibrant colors and bold patterns, while others, like Hudson Beach Glass, focus on a single color with a matte finish for a refined, modern look.

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Left: Mardi Gras Pumpkins by Mark Rosenbaum
Right: Black Gourd 0862 by Hudson Beach Glass


These are only a sampling of the remarkable glass pumpkins available in our Artful Pumpkin Patch. I encourage you to explore the rest of this pumpkin wonderland to discover the many ways that artists interpret this beloved squash—perhaps you’ll find a few that catch your eye and evoke fond memories of autumn. Happy picking!

By |October 7th, 2016|articles|Comments Off on pumpkin wonderland