Awards in Design

Pratt Fashion Visionary Award

As part of a larger design community, Simon Pearce has cultivated relationships with several higher education institutions, and promoted the awareness of handcrafted Design and the cultural impact it has on our lives. An example of this, is Pratt Institute’s Fashion Visionary award, which is a glass object designed and handmade here at Simon Pearce to celebrate the accomplishments of a designer in the Fashion Industry. The development of the award changes from year to year, with new forms being explored in R&D, that can express the nuances of fashion in glass.

Our most recent creation started with a hand rendering, and was the result of working with riverstone shapes in glass, applied around the form of a modern vessel.  The organic characteristics of the hand formed stone shapes, show off the quality of the glass, particularly with the way light refracts through them.

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 This year, the award was given to Kerby Jean-Raymond, for his notable achievements in Fashion Design as creative director at Pyer Moss.

A prior award design that we provided, took inspiration from a twist of fabric pulled around a shape. The Initial sketches lead to building an armature, that Jan Mollmark masterfully assembled with a wood buck, that he used to locate exactly where the steel wire needed to be to create the creases in the glass form.

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The result was an alluring vessel with curving surfaces of glass, that are accentuated by the creases that form the twisting look of a flowing dress.

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Rose Byrne presenting the award to Francisco Costa

Past recipients for this glass award have been,

Gabriela Hearst, Created her own brand of luxury ready to wear and accessories, and is well respected for her commitment to quality, sustainability, and social activism.

Francisco Costa, Creative director of women’s Calvin Klein collections.

Fern Mallis, Fashion Industry Lifetime Achievement Award from Pratt Institute – presented to her by designer Calvin Klein.

 

 

Handcrafted Home Fragrance

Add a New Dimension with Handcrafted Scents for the Home

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Simon Pearce glass is known for its clarity.  A captivating and lyrical quality of flickering light is created when a candle burns in one of our Silver Lake pieces. The Silver Lake glass texture we created is reminiscent of the reflection of birch trees that surround Silver Lake, not far from our Vermont glass blowing studio. With our home fragrance line, we offer a new way to experience Simon Pearce in your home, with scents curated to reflect a simple and pure approach, in line with our design aesthetic.

When creating the scents, we were inspired by the vast and dense Evergreens in the surrounding forests, the freshly mowed fields that we pass on the way to the glassblowing studio, and the gorgeous Peonies that bloom in Simon and Pia’s garden each Spring.

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Our Scented candles and diffusers use the same durable and beautiful handcrafted vessels as our other products, which makes our home fragrance program unique.

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The Limited Edition ceramic vessels are glazed in unique colors for each season. Made with our porcelaneous stoneware (stoneware containing porcelain ingredients), they are strong, long lasting and reusable as mugs, vases, storage vessels, a pot for your small plant, or a votive candle holder. Available in our retail stores.

The diffuser vessel is a hand blown organic shape we love and fill with a blend of essential oils and all natural fragrance. The fragrance is absorbed through rattan reeds, and the essential oils slowly release the fragrance over time.

One bottle of diffuser oil can last between six months to a year, after which, you could purchase replacement oil, or use the vessel as a vase. 

Available in the scents: Coast, Peony Blossom, Tranquility, and Evergreen.

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Every aspect of these candles and diffusers is carefully considered. From the hand made vessel, soy grown in the USA, to the lead free cotton wicks, the small batch production and the packaging, which makes our scented candles or diffusers the perfect gift.

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Try our current scents:

EVERGREEN: Spruce, fir needles, balsam, citrus

COAST: Ocean mist, briny kelp, fresh citrus 

PEONY BLOSSOM: Oriental blooms, green stems, rose musk

TRANQUILITY: Herbal patchouli, vanilla, lime

PRAIRIE: Cut grass, hay, lavender

Finding the Twist

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“Like anything we create, the ideas go through phases of distillation until we happen upon something we love.”  -James Murray

The simplicity of the Woodbury line, finds it hallmark characteristics in the pursuit of trying to produce an object that is geometric, yet handmade.   The brilliant glass of the original Woodbury vase appears to be rectangular but have soft surface changes and a gentle radius that forms at the rim.

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Simon started the vase design back in 1990, and it has proved to be a favorite, and is an icon within our collection.  The original intent of the Woodbury line was to form squares and rectangles in glass that bring some beauty and pragmatism to everyday life.  On the glassblowing floor, while making these items he discovered that the glass flows in it’s own way to form more humanistic surfaces and curves.

Blog post on the full Woodbury glass line here.

In our design studio, we explore ways to continue these concepts of working with geometry and organic soft execution in glass.  While experimenting with ways to re-interpret the rectangular vase, we did some bristol paper models, creasing the center, and adding water to it to soften the paper in the center to form a twist.  The result was intriguing, and so some renderings of the idea followed to further investigate what the effect could be.

We thought this had potential and brought the concept to the glassblowers, who then spent some time trying to capture the nuances of this idea. They ultimately found that heating the center with a torch made the vessel more malleable and they were able to achieve a light gestural twist effect that we loved.

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A visual benefit of the fluid twist in the vase, is that it obscures the stems and branches of flowers, while marrying nicely with the artistry of arranging flowers.

Find the Woodbury Twist vase in the website store here.

 

Spring Tablescapes

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As days grow longer and dappled sunlight casts its playful shadows through our windows, we set our tables with Burlington Cloud dinnerware and exclusive Watercolor Floral print table linens (napkin, runner, tablecloth).

From Spring holiday tables to Mother’s Day brunch and all the casual family weekend lunches in between, the wavy and organic silhouette of the Burlington dinnerware melds with natural elements for the table, while the versatile floral print linens can be styled with cool or warm toned floral and centerpiece accents*.

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*It should be noted that linen is the ideal sustainable fabric. Far less water and pesticides are used to grow flax, from which linen is woven, and no parts of the flax plant are wasted (also yielding linseed oil, twines and ropes)

The “must have” new hand blown glass star of our Spring tablescape is the Addison Basket. Fill it with eggs or a May Day plant and offer it as a hostess gift, or set multiples down your table for a festive centerpiece. This year we are offering hand carved marble eggs as well, to fill the basket with, or to lay along your tablescape.

Two new light and fanciful elements for the Spring table are Horn Handled flatware and a napkin folded “nest”.  The flatware is crafted in France. The horn pattern (made from acrylic) is hand finished and each piece of the set has a unique and gorgeous design.  We fashioned the napkin “nest” by rolling and coiling our napkin just so, to cradle a marble or real egg .*

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*We’ve used the iconic blue egg from the Araucana chickens, that we hunt down at local markets here in Vermont, but you could paint a wood egg as well.

The finishing glass touches to our Spring table begin with Woodstock tumblers. We love our small tumblers with the rounded silhouettes because they can work as stemless wine tumblers, cocktail glasses, or a simple water glass. This Woodstock (and that of the Apprentice glass) silhouette is fuller, shorter, and more casual, while the elegant Hampton Stemless Tumbler, with its thinner and slightly tapered, taller shape, offers a more refined option.

Our favorite new candlelight option is the Bristol Small Hurricane with its lower profile and angular shape. It brings a modern and fresh element to the table.

As Spring progresses and the peonies blossom, consider adding our new Engraved Floral Addison Vase, engraved with spring blossoms, to your spring table or windowsill. The engraved design adds texture and the tapered opening holds delicate blossoms or greenery alike. It is fast becoming a Spring favorite of our customers.

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For fuller and larger Spring gatherings, consider adding these three customer favorites:

Designer James Murray featured in Surface Magazine

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James Murray pictured above, full article in Surface Magazine here.

“Whether ideating biomorphic chandeliers or sleek barware sets, the glassblowing aficionado searches for exciting new ways to honor Simon Pearce’s ethos of combining character with function.” -Ryan Waddoups

Some of the featured Simon Pearce products below.

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“I’m most excited about Alpine, my soapstone and glass barware collection. The soapstone elements can be frozen, and once chilled, can keep drinks cold. It’s been well-received and demonstrates how uniting different materials can be a great source for new design concepts.” -James Murray

As the weather turns warmer, and we look for ways to stay cool, sipping chilled drinks can do the trick.  Ice is the usual cooling element, but if you don’t want to water down your drink we propose using frozen soapstone, paired with our handcrafted glass as an optimal way for tasting drinks, particularly bourbon.

The Alpine Collection was also featured on this blog here and on our website here.

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“The Vine chandelier is a new direction for Simon Pearce—we can combine glass in near-limitless combinations with metal for lighting.”

In partnership with the Modern American Blacksmiths of nearby Hubbardton Forge, this handcrafted light fixture is designed to illuminate your dining table, kitchen island or entryway in beautiful hand-forged metal and handblown glass.

The Vine Chandelier was also featured on this blog here and on our website here.

Future development in streamlined, glass-handled bar tools, prototypes shown above, also mentioned in the article.

Check out the full article in Surface Magazine here.

Spring Blossoms in our Revere Bowl

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In Vermont we are still many weeks away from seeing green in the landscape and unlike more southern locations, we are not yet enjoying sprouting bulbs outside. While we await the coming of Spring, instead, we can create small Spring “gardens” in our clear glass.

While you could create the feeling of Spring in any of our glass bowls, our Revere Bowl has the perfect shape, with its wider flat interior base, straighter sides, and flared rim. Here we offer a step by step process to create your own Spring Garden indoors, while you await the real thing.

Our stylist, Victoria Maiolo, will demonstrate the steps.

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1. Purchase some forced flower bulbs from your local nursery or grocery store, such as tulips, hyacinth or daffodils. Ideally the flowers have not yet bloomed- as shown in our photos here. Lay down some newspaper and remove the bulbs from the pot, separating each bulb (it’s okay to break some of the roots that are entwined). If needed, you can rinse the bulbs with water to remove dirt from the bulbs.

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2. Gather enough small stones or gravel to cover the bottom of the bowl, and begin to arrange the bulls on top of the stones/gravel. To help keep them in their spots, add additional stones/gravel in between the bulbs. Add just enough water to come to the top edge of the stones/gravel. The bulbs will sit on top of the water. The roots can extend into the water but the bulbs should not be submerged in the water.

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3. Add pieces of moss in and around the bulbs and take care to add all round the sides so that the moss is seen through the sides of the bowl (green sheet moss as shown here, or neutral colored Spanish moss will work).

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4. Once all is in place and you are happy w/the arrangement and the bulbs are secure, cut short pieces of pussy willow and stick in and around the arrangement. These should reach through the gravel below, so they can absorb water. You could also use Forsythia or other blooming branches such as Quince or Cherry blossoms.

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5. Check the water in the bowl periodically, and keep the stones wet, but again, do not over-water the bowl, or the bulbs will rot. Use minimal water; just enough to keep them going. Keep out of direct sunlight to maximize the life of the arrangement and keep the bulbs from blooming too quickly.

Note: Revere Bowl M was used in these photos.

Shaping the Wine Tasting Experience

Introducing the Vintner Collection

 

“We set out to build a glass line with characteristics that are designed for the serious wine taster.” -JM

Last May, Jay Benson, Dana Sabatino, and James Murray ventured on a trip to the California wine country to visit tasting rooms and meet with wine producers we are considering for partnerships. Being inspired, we came back to Vermont and created new stemware to appeal to people serious about wine tasting, and lovers of thin, hand-blown glass that enhances the tasting experience, without having a glass that overtakes the wine, in weight and physicality.

 

The pulled-stem technique that we use, results in a thinner, more lightweight stem and bowl typical of a classic Sommelier’s glass.  The thin stem and base offer functionality and grace.

 

The line was designed with modern proportions, taking cues from our Bristol red wine glass in form.  The glasses are generously scaled to show off the wines within.

There are many options of wine tasting glasses by European makers that are machine made, and have a seam on the stem.  The Vintner Collection from Simon Pearce does not have seams because we hand-craft each glass.

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The thin bowl of the glass is designed to have a lot of volume, and room for air to circulate with the wine, and yet not be heavy. Ripple lines of our handcrafted process still appear in the bowl of our glass, different from machine made glass by other wine tasting glass companies in the industry. Our bowl shapes are ideal, and relate to how quickly  we want the wine to pass into the taster’s mouth, which effects the experience and flavor.

 

An additional benefit of the thin base, is that it is easy to swirl the wine while holding the foot, during a wine tasting.

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The Vintner Collection is sure to please anyone looking for the “whole wine tasting experience”, with the refined balance of the preferred wine in a high quality hand-crafted glass.

The Waterbury Collection

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In design, we continue to be inspired by the natural surroundings here in Vermont. The immersion in Nature easily influences our perspective on developing objects, as the natural elements are filled with interesting forms, textures and colors.  When we consider a new glass line, we strive to capture the artistry that comes from the handmade formation of glass, and the impressions that Nature makes on us.  Fluid and malleable glass is almost unlimited in the possibilities of what can be achieved, and we impose our ideas and reflections on it.

While hiking the Waterbury Trail, we happened upon a small waterfall, and were stuck by how the element of water is always a delight for sense of sight, sound and touch. We also ventured to nearby Moss Glenn Falls for a more dramatic experience.  We  wanted to capture the essence of water flowing and the swirling textures that occur in a new glass.  We started R&D of the glasses based on sketches, but looked to the glassblowers to turn out each glass with a unique interpretation of the watery impression.  Each glass captures a moment in time, with an artistic gesture.

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The collection started with a tumbler, and then we scaled the same design up to a hurricane shape, which looks incredible with candlelight going through the swirling effects.

To compliment the tumbler, we created a carafe with a simple elegant form that lends itself to the layering process of gathers to create optic effects.

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Thinking about lighting, and the interaction with gathered glass effects, Simon created the Waterbury lamp in two sizes, to compliment the collection.  As the glassblowers work with these voluminous shapes, the layered effects of the double-gathered glass give a feeling of water movement that is visually stunning.  The lamps come to life when you see the light going through the glass, much like the dynamic impression from the streams and waterfalls of Vermont.

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Holiday Decorating

Hygge Holiday 

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At Simon Pearce we are embracing the Swedish lifestyle of Hygge (“hoo-gah”) by creating warm and cozy moments where our handcrafted glass and pottery are at the center. Styling our extra large hurricanes with multiple candles and some seasonal fill such as pine cones, sugar (as snow) or bits of nature we gather creates a centerpiece for a hygge atmosphere where candlelight is central.  We include Crystalline teardrop vases in candent with our alabaster and selenite votive holders, and we have the perfect mix of subtle and soft textures and colors.

Holiday Centerpiece

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Create a centerpiece with our new Echo Lake Bowl. With the same light reflecting qualities that inspired our Echo Lake Hurricanes, the texture of this bowl can either illuminate or subtly reflect the contents of the centerpiece. 

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Here we show natural elements on their own and illuminated by string lights, as well as cranberries floating in water, illuminated by our floating candles. The shape of the bowl also makes it a natural for serving trifle desserts or other holiday food you wish to highlight.

Small Touches 

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Some of the finest details can make the most memorable moments for friends and family over the holidays. In our stores, the customers’ faces light up when they see our 1” glass ice cubes wrapped like presents with ⅛” red ribbon and placed around our glass Christmas trees. Groupings can adorn the table or mantle in this way.

Recently, we added a place card holder, created from our ice cube molds. Try wrapping the cardholder with red ribbon around the sides and add a name card for each place setting, or simply wrap a cube for each guest, or both!

Crystalline Ornaments

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The allure of our subtly textured crystalline inspired our potters to try the mysterious glaze techniques on something our customers love, ornaments. The small round porcelain shape our potters create has the perfect contour for the glaze crystals because it is all about timing and shape with our crystalline glaze. As the ornaments are slowly cooled, and then held at a certain temperature, the liquid glaze becomes more like molasses. Only certain components of the glaze move around within the liquid and form crystals, their size determined by the amount of time they remain in this state. It is the magic and unpredictability of this process that creates the beautiful surface of our crystalline.

Holiday Floral

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The Silver Lake Bowl has a wonderful icy texture that hides the stems of beautiful greenery and florals that you might gather outside your home. What we love about this bowl is how it makes floral arranging for the holidays so simple. Skip the florist, in favor of gathering greens and berries left on branches, while you walk the dog, or stroll with a friend, then bring them inside and arrange with ease, as the tapered base holds the stems in place for you. Flower arranging, Vermont style.

Illuminate the Holidays

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Our LED bases have illuminated our glass evergreens for years, but more recently we are enamored with silver strands of tiny LED lights. A 30 ft. plug in strand with a blank leader works well for creating mantle and centerpiece displays or to decorate your Christmas tree. The shorter 15 ft. strand has a battery pack for use in other, more precarious situations, such as inside one of our hurricanes in place of a candle, for coffee table vignettes or even around place settings at a holiday table, with the battery pack hidden under a table runner. It’s even possible to use these strands to adorn branches with hanging glass ornaments over your dining table for the ultimate holiday atmosphere.

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Shimmering Trees

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Building upon the much loved Echo Lake design, that is inspired by the ice formations occuring over the waterfall at the Mill, we attempted the same technique on a few tree shapes and were excited about the result.

 

 

These eye catching wintery trees are the perfect balance of classic & contemporary design and make a statement for any centerpiece.  The perfectly imperfect strands of molten glass are finely wrapped around each tree form to create this shimmering effect.

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Echo Lake Trees: 8″, 10″, 14″

Celebrate the season, by creating a cluster or even a forest of mixed trees, for a grand tablescape, or mantle display that will be a delight through the winter months.

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Throughout the wintry months in Vermont, we take photos of the different states of water and ice over the waterfall, for design inspiration.