Glass collectors and art lovers alike congregated on Sept. 15 and 16 to kick off the fall season at Palo Alto High School’s glass blowing program’s fourth annual Fiery Arts Fall Glass Festival, where about 300 pieces were sold to fund future student projects and keep the glass blowing program running.
Tables lined the plaza outside the Performing Arts Center, laden with hundreds of glistening glass works of art, ranging from vases and cups to pineapples and acorns. Sculpture and glass blowing teacher Steve Ferrera described what draws people to this particular art medium, and what kind of attendees he expected at the festival.
“Glass is such a beautiful object, especially in the light, and there are so many variations of colors and shapes and sizes,” Ferrera said. “A lot of people like to collect glass. Some people wait all year to come here and add to their collection.”
San Jose native Marsha Fong, who came to the festival after she saved a postcard advertising it, is one of these collectors. She detailed her favorite pieces that she saw at the show.
“I really like the seashells,” Fong said. “I’m not interested in the typical vases, I’m interested in the irregular stuff.”
Fong was one of many attendees who preferred the more unusual pieces. Paly junior Christina O’Konski, who decided to attend after seeing the event set up at lunch, and sophomore Isabel Armstrong, who came after noticing it during theater practice, noted that they were attracted to the more odd, obscure pieces. Armstrong excitedly pointed out a small piece depicting a pink brain with clear wings, which was displayed among other whimsical pieces such as large pieces of fruit and colorful snails.
While Paly students did not have the opportunity to sell their work during the fall festival, glass blowing teaching assistants and alumni were selling their art to benefit the program. Teaching assistant Martin Ehrensvard spoke about the experience of selling his work.
“It’s definitely a big part of being an artist,” he said. “When pieces are sold we have space to make more, and then it also gives us the financial gains that make us able to pursue this as a career.”
Ferrera highlighted the importance of the money raised during the festival. One pallet of glass costs around $2,500, making fundraising events like the festival essential.
“All the money goes back into the program,” he said.”We have to raise a lot of money to keep it [the sculpture and glass blowing program] running.”
Anyone who missed out on the Fiery Arts Fall Glass Festival can attend the upcoming Winter Fiery Arts Festival on Dec. 1 from 3-6 p.m. and Dec. 2 from 11-4p.m. inside the tower building.