Glass pumpkin festival celebrates art heritage in Chester County

TOUGHKENAMON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “Working with glass is very addictive, you can never stop,” says Thomas von Koch. “I’ll probably do this until I can’t do anything anymore.”

The passion began in von Koch’s hometown of Wertheim, Germany, which is known for its glass industry. In the early 1980s he started his own business with WGK Glass Art.

“In 2001, when I was still living in Germany, I registered here in the USA and started going to trade fairs as a US company,” says von Koch. “And it started.”

After years of selling goods and meeting customers at craft fairs, he decided to use his stationary location next to New Garden Airport. It took most of the year to plan the first annual WGK Glass Art Pumpkin Festival.

From September 16th to 18th, local artists, musicians and food vendors will crowd the property. At the heart of the event, guests can tour an art gallery featuring intricately crafted glass ornaments and glass-blown gourds. A lucky few can even arrange a hands-on glassblowing experience and leave with their own souvenir.

“It was nerve-wracking at first,” said Theresa Yeoell of West Chester. “It was hot but the instructor was great and showed us how to do it.”

While the first official festival ends on Sunday evening, interested guests can return for smaller events and performances throughout the year.

“They can come and watch us work, we explain the process to them, and we have events where people can make something for themselves 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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