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Dearborn glass blowing studio gears up for annual pumpkin fest

Dearborn glass blowing studio gears up for annual pumpkin fest
Dearborn glass blowing studio gears up for annual pumpkin fest 03:04

DEARBORN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Glass blowing is a unique form of art that captures the attention of many.

Each season, The Glass Academy in Dearborn showcases a specialty glass pumpkin and other authentic glass masterpieces during the studio's annual Glass Pumpkin Fest, which takes place Oct. 14-15.

Michelle Plucinsky and her husband, Chris Nordin, have been sculpting glass for 35 years. The duo opened The Glass Academy in 2003.

The 2023 specialty pumpkin during The Glass Academy's 15th annual pumpkin fest. Alysia Burgio - CBS Detroit

"I started blowing glass at the Henry Ford Museum here in Dearborn. This is where our studio is. After working there, I went through college and decided to get a degree in glassblowing and art, came back and started a business with my husband. I quit my day job first, and we would blow glass and sell it wholesale to galleries. They were all across the U.S. About 300 galleries we sold in. And then, as time went on, he quit his day job, and we developed our company," said Plucinsky.

It's at the studio where Plucinsky and her staff turn clever ideas into works of art.

"The trick is passion, experience, and time all put together mixed up together for the perfect recipe. Here we have very unique, unusual products because we're always trying new things and developing with current trends," Plucinsky said.

Michelle Plucinsky, Co-Owner of The Glass Academy, speaking to CBS News Detroit Reporter Alysia Burgio. Alysia Burgio - CBS Detroit

This weekend, during The Glass Academy's 15th annual pumpkin fest, Plucinsky says the studio is looking forward to showcasing the skill of glass blowing to the community.

"During our pumpkin fest, we're doing demos, we're trying different techniques, we're showing you different color patterns and things that are really unique and unusual to our studio," she said.

The event has attracted thousands over time.

"We have done it so long, it's so fun. Every year we come up with new colors, new shapes, new designs. We have customers who have been here 15 years in a row buying pumpkins, so it's super fun," said Plucinsky.


Decades of glass blowing inspiration that Plucinsky says usually stems from adventure.

"When we travel, I'm always looking at things ... botanical gardens are our absolute favorite, architecture is also a great influence, old fashioned buildings and those ornate designs on them and then also when you travel you can see what the trends are, what's hip and happening," she said.

An intricate process that Plucinsky says takes between 20 to 45 minutes a piece on average to create.

"Glassblowing is addictive. It is so fun. It's this living, moving creature, but if you get it cold, then it stiffens up, so you gotta reheat. So, you have to love heat, you have to love motion, you always have to be willing to try new things," said Plucinsky.

Alysia Burgio - CBS Detroit

If you want to take part in the fun, the 15th annual Glass Pumpkin Fest is taking place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 14-15 at The Glass Academy located at 25331 Trowbridge St. in Dearborn.

The event is free to the public. Plucinsky says a portion of the proceeds from any art that is sold will go toward the Clean Water Act.

If you're unable to attend this weekend's event, the studio is offering a virtual option on Oct. 17.

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