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From imagination to glass: Fall City boy’s poultry ninja gets museum touch

Fall City pupil Aaron Stone and his brother Quinn, 6, leaf through Aaron’s sketches and drawings at home. Art is one of Aaron’s favorite subjects at school. Inset, his ninja gets ready for a ride through the furnace. - Allison Espiritu/Courtesy photo
Fall City pupil Aaron Stone and his brother Quinn, 6, leaf through Aaron’s sketches and drawings at home. Art is one of Aaron’s favorite subjects at school. Inset, his ninja gets ready for a ride through the furnace.
— image credit: Allison Espiritu/Courtesy photo

When Fall City Elementary fourth grade teacher Kate Walsh asked her students to make a picture for the Tacoma Museum of Glass Kids Design Glass program, never in 9-year-old Aaron Stone’s wildest dreams did he think his drawing would come off the paper and into real life.

Walsh’s imagination created a heartbroken chicken ninja.

“I wanted to make something like an animal and since my cousin likes ninjas, I did that too,” Aaron said.

Competing with classmate drawings and hundreds of other students’ designs, Aaron’s ninja fowl stood out and was chosen to become the program’s glass figurine in March.

Kids Design Glass began as a temporary educational program at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma in 2004. The exhibition shared the symbiotic relationship between designers and glassblowers who make works of art in glass.

The museum’s Hot Shop Team chooses one child’s design every month based on aesthetic merits and transforms the two dimensional drawing into a three-dimensional sculpture.

Gabe Feenan, a member of the Museum of Glass’ Hot Shop Team, was the glass artist of the month, able to choose which design he wanted to recreate as a glass figure.

“Gabe said he chose Aaron’s first becuase he liked ninjas,” said Aaron’s mother, Collette Stone. “He had ninja underwear and socks.”

Inviting Aaron and his family to the Museum of Glass at the end of March, they watched Feenan recreate Aaron’s design, one for Aaron and another for the museum to display in their permanent collection.

“It was really cool. He showed me how to form the glass, and after they made it, we got to go down to where all the furnaces were,” Aaron said.

The Stone family was only expecting a small gathering at the museum, but were surprised by an audience of about 250 people and an emcee who hosted the event.

“I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until we got there,” Collette said. “Aaron’s picture was up and they kept putting it up on the big screens. We had people stopping him all over the place asking him what his inspiration was.”

As a stand is still being made for Aaron’s heartbroken chicken ninja, it will be on exhibit in May and in a few years may travel the world on a tour.

“It was cool being famous for a day,” Aaron said.

For more information on the Kids Design Glass program at Museum of Glass in Tacoma, visit www.museumofglass.org.

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