Arboretum News

2022 Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch Artists

Meet the award-winning artists behind the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch from Sept. 9-11.

The Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch is back for its second year from Sept. 9-11! Discover more than 4,000 handblown glass pumpkins, as well as glass garden art, created by award-winning artists from around the country at this unique event. All proceeds from the sales benefit the artists and the Arboretum.

In addition to searching for the perfect pumpkin, watch glass blowing demonstrations offered every half hour, and meet the artists involved in the display.

Learn more about the talented artists involved with this event:

Shannon Jane Morgan

Shannon has worked with hot glass for the past 20 years, and she also coordinates all of the artists involved with the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch. Since 1995 she has become widely known for her colorist approach, delving into glass color in a painterly fashion. She was inspired by her mother, who asked if she could “paint like Monet” in glass. 

Driven by that ‘simple‘ request, Shannon’s passion employs a wide range of techniques. Combining the naturalistic elements of light and glass, Morgan says, “Glass is my canvas… the light passing through my piece holds me captive and breathless at times.” 

Her craftsmanship is highly regarded by gallery owners, collectors and friends for the deep, emotive quality held within each creation. Her intensity to create is related to a need to express herself on a personal level. “Making beautiful everyday glass art is the most empowering and fulfilling ‘jobs’ I have ever pursued,” she says. “To become one with this chosen medium – with timeless characteristics of strength, focus, tenacity and fearlessness, coupled with modern day use of color, equipment and design – is such a spellbinding combination for me. Each day in the studio fascinates me. It is there the world falls away and time ceases to exist.”

Aaron Baigelman

Aaron’s glassblowing career started at the early age of 11, when he drank from the first cup he had ever made. Growing up in Boston, he started blowing glass at summer camp and fell in love with the art form. He knew he had found his calling in the transformation of raw materials into art pieces, and he still has that feeling with every finished vessel. Aaron has perfected his technique through decades of devotion, and each piece displays his reflective sense of style, depth and vision.  

In 2014, Aaron launched Baigelman Glass with partner and fellow artist Heather Baigelman. Baigelman Glass creates bespoke pieces, elegant art series and functional glassware inspired by bright colors and clean lines. These one-of-a-kind creations are featured in galleries and stores across the United States.

Amanda Cosgrove Paffrath

An art lover since childhood, Amanda was introduced to glass blowing as a high school student. She took several semesters of glass sculpture in college at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare and Sociology in 1989. She spent the next 10 years working as an advocate for battered women and their children, all the while creating jewelry and blowing glass whenever she could.  

In 1997 she took a chance on a dream and opened Funky Hannah’s Beads & Art. In 2005 another dream became reality when she collaborated with other glass artists to restore an 1880s cream brick livery and turn it into a public access glass blowing facility & gallery – Hot Shop Glass. She now spends her time running two arty businesses. Her jewelry and glass work are in collections worldwide. 

Amanda Pierce-Ghahramany

 Amanda has been involved with making glass for over 30 years. She earned her bachelor of arts in glass in England and subsequently attended Illinois State University in Bloomington, where she studied for her master of fine arts in glass.

While in England she worked alongside renowned glass artist Anthony Stern at his London studio. Then, after her studies at Illinois State, Amanda worked with Painter and Glass Artist Nicolas Africano, producing cast and blown glass pieces. 

Amanda’s studio is located in Bloomington, Illinois. The studio produces welded steel architectural and furniture pieces, as well as works in concrete and wood. Amanda’s blown glass is produced in the studios of Michael Amis and George Tessman.


Daniel Sviland

Daniel started with stained glass at the age of seven, continuing through his college years at Michigan State University. Torch work followed, and Daniel made glass beads to adorn his beautiful wife. For many years he took lessons and rented time at Hot Shop Glass in Racine, Wisc., dipping into the crucible to create barware, bowls, vases and home accents. In 2016, Daniel became co-owner of the studio.  

Earlier in his life, Daniel worked flight line avionics in the Air Force and had a year-long stint as staging director for USAF’s song and dance tour, “Tops in Blue.” After finishing up his degree in Hospitality Management, he was department head for the Four Season Hotel downtown Chicago, and then helped open and run Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, Ill. His time working in bars & restaurants, along with his extensive international travel, has helped found the vision for his glass.

Dave Gribbins

Dave’s first exposure to art glass was as an elective course at Illinois State University, where he graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in Intaglio Printmaking. After moving to Seattle in 1992, he got his start as a “bit boy” at the Glasshouse Art Glass and the for Eastlake Glass, working on glass sculptural installations for Nordstrom.  

In 1998, Dave returned to Illinois and worked for Lotton Art Glass in Crete, Ill, and in 2012, he earned a master of arts in sculpture from Governors State University. During this time, he began working with George Tessman in his hot shop in Highland, Ind. He currently teaches 2D and 3D design and ceramics at Kankakee Community College.

Gigi Erickson

Gigi started working with glass in 1977. She began with stained glass and worked for many famous glass artists. In 1990, she was introduced to hot glass and has moved forward since then to perfect her passion for hot glass. She has her own stained glass and hot glass studio where she creates many pieces of art. She has sold her work around the world and loves making blown glass pumpkins. She is one of the founders of the Los Gatos Pumpkin Patch in Los Gatos, Calif. and has run and participated in many glass pumpkin patches in the country. Enjoy the swirled world of colors and sparkles of her creations — no two are ever alike.

Kit Paulson

Kit received her master of fine arts from Southern Illinois University and her bachelor of fine arts from Alfred University. She has taught across the United States and internationally at schools, including Penland School of Craft, Pilchuck Glass School, Corning Museum of Glass,  Bildwerk Frauenau in Germany, National College of Art and Design in Ireland and Canberra Glassworks in Australia. 

Kit has also completed residencies, including the S12 Gallery in Norway, the Tacoma Museum of Glass and, most recently, a  three-year residency at Penland School of Craft. She has received scholarships from Pilchuck Glass School, Corning Museum of Glass, Pittsburgh Glass Center, The Windgate Foundation and the Glass Art Society. 

Her work has been published in New Glass Review editions 36, 37, 38 and 41 and is in the permanent collection of the  Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum. She is currently a studio artist in Penland, North Carolina.

Kyrana Michaelson

Kyrana’s journey in glass blowing started out of necessity. Shannon Morgan needed an assistant on the studio floor, and five days later, Kyrana was participating in public demonstrations with her in front of crowds of up to 250 people.

Her beginning in glass blowing may have been born out of necessity, but it grew into something more. “The time spent with Shannon ‘on the floor’ became a time of silent meditation, and that is now sacred to me,” she says.  

Kyrana says she finds herself in the unique position of being a bridge between the lay  person and where she stands, whether it be nature or art. “I continually strive to create an opportunity of learning with my audience,” she says. “My hope is to inspire action. My goal is not to show you what I want it to be – the potential – but rather to express the beauty, grace, structure, chaos – the emotion – I experienced while witnessing the moment you now see before you.”

Matthew Urban

Matthew’s art career formally began as an industrial design student preoccupied with the history of design. Through his studies, he encountered beautifully-designed handmade glass objects, specifically from the beginning of the century, and his passion was ignited. Matthew owns and operates Furnace Urbini Glass Works, an environmentally-friendly studio in the heart of Illinois. The studio uses 100 percent vintage recycled glass in all of the designs.

Michael Amis

Michael received his diploma in Product Design from Kent Institute of Art and Design, and he continued on to the University of Wolverhampton, West  Midlands, UK, where he earned a bachelor of arts with honors in Glass. He came to the United States to enter Joel Myers’ graduate program at Illinois State University and received a master of fine arts in 1998. 

After graduation, he designed and built a hot shop for Kokomo Opalescent Glass, where he worked as a studio director, designer and gaffer until he opened his own studio in October 2007. He is currently in Bloomington, Ill. creating functional designs and mixed-media sculpture.

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