Kevin Chong, owner of San Jose’s Silica Valley Glass Studio, has a special relationship to fire. “Most people run away from fire,” he says. “I embrace it -- I play with it every day.”
In his 3,500-square-foot studio, Chong produces neon signs, commissioned blown glass work -- including lamps, chandeliers and glass awards -- and hundreds upon hundreds of pumpkins.
“Nothing’s off-limits for making a pumpkin,” Chong says. “That gives me so much freedom to explore color combinations, color techniques, glass-making techniques.”
At this year’s 21st annual Great Glass Pumpkin Patch in Palo Alto, Chong exhibited 800 glass pumpkins, ranging in price from $45 to $160. He also participated in four other local glass pumpkin festivals, from Carmel to Danville, showcasing his plump, sparkling wares for avid collectors up and down the peninsula.
Demand for the fragile and beautiful forms doesn’t seem to die down. “There’s people that collect hundreds of them,” Chong says.