WILLIAMS BAY — Three weekends of work that delighted hundreds of visitors came to a conclusion Sunday when a giant star was placed atop the World’s Tallest Glass Tree at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay.
The installation will remain in place in front of the observatory through Jan. 10, 2023.
Rob Elliott and glass artist Jason Mack built the tree throughout the past three weekends using recycled glass bottles donated by the community.
The project is free to the public to view, and the endeavor promotes lifelong family memories, inspiring children and adults alike, according to the creators.
This is the first year the project has been built in Williams Bay.
In years past, the tree has been built in Champaign, Illinois, where Mack owns Mack Glass, his glass studio. This will be the first year in Lake Geneva.
For more than 10 years, Mack has been experimenting with different methods using hot glass to create large on-site sculptures, according to a story from Illinois State University, where Mack graduated.
Mack explained the process for creating the 2020 tree: “First we sort and crush the glass. Then we shovel it into the 2,300-degree furnace in a 50/50 mix of green and clear glass. The following day we begin with 300 pounds of liquid glass in the furnace. We gather it out of the furnace with steel irons. Then we bring it to the 31-foot-tall spinning steel armature and wrap it up like cotton candy until we have 4,000 pounds of glass on it.”