The Honey Grapefruit Martini

As summer solstice approaches we’ve made the shift to outdoor entertaining. The Honey Grapefruit Martini is a seasonal favorite at our restaurant in the Mill. This refreshing drink is ideally served in a chilled Benson Martini glass which is the perfect combination of form and function. The base of the glass fits well in the hand, while the cone shape of the bowl is the right capacity to sip this summer cocktail. As the weather warms up, and if you have the opportunity to dine at our restaurant, select this wonderful cocktail off our menu, or if you are at home try our recipe.

Honey Grapefruit Martini    

2 oz. Barr Hill Gin

1 oz. Honey+Lime+Grapefruit Mix* (see below)

Fresh Herb Sprig

Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker. Shake well and strain into a chilled Benson or Ascutney Martini glass. Garnish with a herb sprig such as thyme.

 *Honey Lime Grapefruit Juice Mix

1 part Hot Water

2 parts Honey

2 parts Lime Juice

5 parts Grapefruit Juice

Mix hot water and honey until honey is dissolved. Then add lime juice and grapefruit juice and mix well.

The Benson Martini Glass

Explore our drinkware assortment online, or visit our Mill in Quechee Vermont, to experience the many dimensions of Simon Pearce.

The Waterfall at the Simon Pearce Mill

Every Dog has it’s Day

As a tribute to dogs and the role they play in family life, we’ve introduced a new glass dog each year and for 2021 our latest creation is Derby. This new silhouette features the classic characteristics of a smaller breed dog inspired by pugs, bulldogs, and boxers.

The steps we went through to create Derby, started with renderings to explore variations and interpretations that can ultimately be made out of glass. From the hand renderings we pick a path to then sculpt in clay to establish a few three dimensional models. As the models emerge, we pick out the best features and elements to finalize into one ideal model.

Once we make a metal mold from the clay model, we can start forming Derby with some trials on the glass blowing floor. The glass blowers can make adjustments with tools while the glass is hot, and use a torch to smooth out the surfaces. We evaluate the first round of samples and make any other edits to the details, to get the final result we are after.

Derby follows the same design and development path we took with our existing line of pets including the iconic dog, the puppy, and a puppy ornament. These beloved animals are a striking reminder in glass of our essential connection to the natural world. Following our tradition of using local names from the countryside, Derby takes it’s name after a wonderful Northern Vermont town.

Please visit our Website or stores to explore these great gifts for any dog lover, to have as a keepsake, a paper weight, or a decor tribute to a favorite pet.

Enjoy a Negroni Sbagliato in the Vintner Flute

End the week, with a refreshing drink we serve at our restaurant in the Simon Pearce mill located in idyllic Vermont. If you are inspired to kick off a happy hour and want to try the Negroni Sbagliato recipe at home we provide that in this post. The Vintner Flute is a beautiful glass with a new contemporary profile that isn’t as narrow or tall as traditional flutes which makes it perfect for light cocktails and anything sparkling. The refined elegance is a result of our master glassblowers pulling the stem from a fluid gather of glass.

Negroni Sbagliato Recipe

1 oz. Campari

1 oz. Cinzano Sweet Vermouth

Prosecco

Add Campari and Cinzano to a Vintner Flute glass with light ice. Top with prosecco. Small orange garnish.

Visiting our website to browse the full range of stemware options or visit any of our stores.

Through the Eyes of Design Students

Looking back on 2020, we had the pleasure of working with a group of design students from Pratt Institute to interpret our brand and design intent through their eyes.

The collaboration started with conversations with Constantin Boym the chair of the Industrial Design department at Pratt, about how we could continue to build on the relationship between the two organizations. We wanted to focus on exploring the growing connection between product design and the handmade. The next step to getting this started was to partner with Dana D’Amico the professor of the special projects class, to create a design brief. Looking through the lens of the Simon Pearce ethos, the students would investigate form and function that would be appealing to a younger demographic.

Research started before the pandemic early in 2020, and we were able to have the Pratt class leave Brooklyn and make the trip up to Vermont and visit our facilities to learn first hand about our processes for making glass and ceramics.

We gave the students a tour and introduction to the brand at our flagship Mill location, and then visited many of the facilities of our Windsor location for an in depth explanation of how we make things. Matt McFarland and Neil Cockwill gave insights into our unique processes, and requirements to make an object into something we can produce. This input is crucial for students to understand in order to resolve a design concept so it can be made by master glassblowers or potters. Over the many months that followed, we transitioned the classroom to working virtually online with video conferencing.

The students had to quickly adapting to working from home, and were extremely resourceful with continuing to experiment with concepts off campus. As we did our virtual review of the class progress, the students revealed many very poetic refections on the natural landscape and rituals of use. This exploration lead to some very creative vessel concepts for glass and ceramics that they could see incorporating into their lives.

“These students really worked hard through a challenging semester and were very excited to share their work”, a quote from Dana. The concepts were refined into a final presentation that would be reviewed by a panel of judges.

In addition to Dana and myself, we were fortunate to have an amazing panel formed from New York museums. We were joined by Yao-Fen You, Senior Curator + Head of Product Design and Decorative Arts at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and Elizabeth St. George, Curator at the Brooklyn Museum. With the virtual final review, each student gave a concise overview of their semester work. After much consideration, the panel selected the work of Stephanie Chen for her nicely resolved reference to ice formations at the Mill in connection with the rise in whiskey+bourbon drinking.

Stephanie’s study of the waterfall influenced the tactile experience of the glass in the hand, and considering amber drinks like whiskey all played into how this concept came together.

We were delighted to see all the students hard work pushed through these very thoughtful concepts and look forward to future collaborations. We love to explore concepts for the home and build relationships with students. To further delve into exploring this potential we provide internships over the summer months so students can be engaged with all elements of creating and developing new products.

Benson Martini with the Vermont Ginger Cosmo


Design Highlights

While homebound for Winter Solstice you can enjoy shorter days, and longer nights mixing unique drinks in our handmade glasses. The Benson martini glass was created to inspire and enhance the experience of drinking cocktails from a unique barware vessel. The shape takes it’s cues from an appreciation for the proportioning of geometric elements. We feature this glass at our restaurant in combination with the Vermont Ginger Cosmo cocktail found on our menu. The glass makes a great gift for anyone on your list who would like to mix this wonderful cosmo at home.

Recipe for the Vermont Ginger Cosmo featured at our Restaurant at the Mill:

1 ½ oz. Silo Vodka

1 ¼ oz. Putney Simply Ginger liqueur

¼ oz. Cranberry Juice

Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake well. Strain into a chilled Benson Martini glass. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger on the rim. 

The design evolved from a few drawings that explored the combination of the sphere and cone shape. We then perfected the proportions working with the glassblowers to create a beautifully balanced glass.

Warm Up with a Hog Toddy

You can taste autumn in a glass with the Hog Toddy recipe. If your ready for happy hour, or coming in from a trail hike, this warming drink is simply spiced hot cider with a splash of rye whiskey. Perfect for chilly days, mixing the richness of fresh apples, with rye whiskey from the Vermont maker Whistle Pig. The amber color of the drink is best experienced in an ideal glass like the Windsor Tankard or Ascutney Mug.

Here is the recipe served at our Restaurant:

Hog Toddy

1 oz Whistle Pig Rye

3 oz hot mulled cider

Orange wedge

Add Whistle Pig to an Ascutney Mug, or the slightly larger Windsor Tankard, top with mulled cider, and garnish with orange wedge.

Harvest Moon: a seasonal favorite

Ascutney Double Old-Fashioned with the Harvest Moon Cocktail

Enjoy the Fall season with one of our classic cocktails that we serve at the Simon Pearce restaurant in Vermont. Heighten the experience of the Harvest Moon drink with our handcrafted Ascutney Whiskey or Double Old Fashioned glass. This is a great recipe to try at home while observing the seasonal transition, or queuing up a virtual happy hour with family or friends. For the perfect virtual gifting and entertaining solutions, you can find our range of glasses on our website.

Here is the recipe

Harvest Moon

2 oz. Sauza Conmemorativo

3/4 oz. Lime Juice

1/2 oz Spiced Syrup Mix*

Few Dashes of Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake well. Pour into an Ascutney DOF or Whiskey glass.

Lime wedge garnish.

*Spiced Simple Syrup:

1 Cups Water

1 Cups Sugar

3 Whole Allspice Berries

3 Whole Cloves

1 large cinnamon stick

1 1-inch Pieces of Ginger, peeled and chopped

Make simple syrup and add all spices. Let steep for one hour and then strain out all the spices to your preference.

Making of the Caledonia Chandeliers

Fascinated with the visual effects of light passing through glass, we continue to experiment with the near limitless possibilities of this concept. While creating new lighting pieces we craft glass as a vessel for emitting light, and utilize metal elements for support. These ideas are realized in the new one-of-a-kind design chandeliers that are now available from Simon Pearce this Fall. The designs take their inspiration from scenic drives through the Caledonia countryside admiring the twilight glow of towns and the interplay of light and shadow during the wintery months. 

Caledonia 6 globe chandelier
Caledonia 6 globe chandelier

The county is part of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, with rural terrain and farms mixed with the old world charm of New England towns. Many of the towns have an emerging craft revival with interesting makers of all kinds, and great food.  We all love the comforting old world glimmer of vintage street lights and shop windows in the rural settings, and thought we could capture this aura with our handmade glass globes.


Building upon this inspiration, we started our unique process with some drawings and refined them over time, to interpret the essence of this concept in a simple way. We then worked with Jan Mollmark, our masterful engineer who is fantastic with metal to iterate on building our first prototype in-house.  We used the prototype as a lighting element of our Portland Maine store, and received many inquiries if we would sell it.


When we considered bringing this design to the market beyond our prototype construction, we turned to our partners at Hubbardton Forge, who are known for hand-forged metal. Their expertise in fabrication of lighting elements helped us to refine the armatures for a 3 globe, and 6 globe version of our new chandelier.  They also have telescoping capability for hanging the lighting so we employed that into the design, allowing customers to raise or lower the chandeliers to the desired heights from a rod.
The two elegant Caledonia Chandeliers show off first and foremost our handmade glass, and the fine metal work achieved by collaborating with another great Vermont maker like Hubbardton Forge.

The modern American blacksmiths of nearby Hubbardton Forge transform their raw material with heat, force and skill much like what we do with the glass at Simon Pearce.

Our master glassblowers capture this old-world glimmer in each handblown glass globe, morphing the raw molten glass into these magical forms. Both chandeliers will cast an inviting glow upon your dining table, kitchen island or entryway. With our commitment to quality and craftsmanship, each piece is made to order.

The chandeliers are available in three different finishes of Black, Dark Smoke, Natural Iron. Visit our website to learn more. Browse our full range of lighting concepts to illuminate your interior as the days grow shorter.

caledonia 3 globe chandelier
Caledonia 3 globe chandelier

Autumn Harvest Season is Here

Fall has arrived in Vermont. The season is in full swing for pumpkin picking while enjoying the colors of the leaves that are rapidly changing, and foraging at the local farmer’s markets. With swift Autumnal transition, the Maple leaves are particularly colorful this year and we all yearn for some change in scenery. At Simon Pearce, we are very busy creating the handcrafted glass favorites of the season like our varieties of pumpkins, acorns and other beautiful handcrafted objects.

The inspiration:

Staying true to our design theme of being inspired by Nature, our artful pumpkins with the curly stems are derived from our quest to capture the nuances of how they truly grow. The classic and iconic simple stem pumpkins returned this Fall with many other new arrivals that will delight anyone that wants to bring some harvest vibe into their home.

We have all spent so much time sheltering at home, that many of us have started to redefine how we live in it. We are rethinking how we utilize the rooms, their function and what we put in them. With the arrival of Fall, we can spend a little time roaming and wandering at shops and markets with the opportunity to search for those ideal artifacts to bring back into our lives. It is about an appreciation of design, fresh seasonal icons and craftsmanship that clearly meet our new psychological needs for repurposing the home.

The Pumpkin available in small, medium and large.

The appealing character:

The pumpkin designs are a refined combination of structural optic details, curvy shapes and an overall softness that makes you want to pick them up. This results from the hand involved in everything we do to create Pumpkins that are naturally appealing.

The pumpkins make great decor gifts, for those that appreciate the unique characteristics of handmade glass. Come and pick through our latest batch of pumpkins from any of our shops or at our flagship mill. Find the perfect shapes that speak to you.

For the virtual experience, visit our website: Simon Pearce.

The Mill at Sunset

Long Summer Days

At Simon Pearce, we take our design inspiration from Nature with all that New England has to offer, from the rolling terrain to the lakes, rivers and waterfalls.  We cherish time outside, a walk in the woods, or time spent at the waterside this time of the year which infuses our design thinking.

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As summer sets in and the days blend together, we strive to regain some sense of normalcy and a chance to relax and to recharge.  The long days of sunshine offer time to focus on comfort, warmth, and familiarity.  We rediscover ways to enjoy sunsets and the evening outdoors while we savour summer drinks or wine out of our favorite glasses.  Taking a break allows us to gain the sense of enlightenment that comes from being out in Nature whether by land or sea.

Vintner & Marble

With change in our everyday routines we seek ways to live with a new approach, and try to surround ourselves with beautiful things that give us joy.  We’ve been adding to our Vintner wine tasting collection, with the new Coupe and Tulip wine. The Vintner glasses, with their stunning good looks and refined function are an opportunity to upgrade your wine tasting experience.   We’ve also added the new material combination of glass and marble to the wine tasting story.  The marble forms are inspired by a visit to the recreated atelier of Brancusi at the Pompidou Center in Paris.  An artist of the early 20th Century he was known for simplicity, elemental shapes, and a liberal use of material which are ideas that are true to our design approach.

Brancusi's Atelier
Brancusi’s Atelier

The design process started with small clay sketches, and hand renderings to evolve the aesthetic of the group. The marble items center around wine & cheese serving, with future designs in the queue to round out the concept.  The smooth simplicity of the marble designs marry perfectly with the elegant outlines of our Vintner Collection.

The marble is another way for us to bring a new earthy material into the mix of our brand expression.  The latest introductions are the Marble Chiller and the Vintner Wine Decanter.

 

Woodbury Phone Holder

While sheltering at home, the effort to reinvent the home office became paramount for many of us.  Looking at the desktop landscape, we quickly realized we needed something to hold our phone or tablet, while video conferencing, and came up with the Woodbury Phone Holder to compliment our other items in the collection.  Having the appearance of being sculpted from a block of ice, our proportions are scaled to work with most phones and smaller tablets.   The clear solid base is an exceptional design for anyone looking for a crafted technology solution for the office or even the kitchen while following recipes.

Romance Heart Vase

The sculptural outcome of finessing a unique form with our talented glassblowers, the Romance Heart Vase is a work of art in glass.  It started out as renderings on paper, and then went to interpretation by our master glassblowers, with each one capturing a special moment of expression with the human hand.  The versatility of the fluid shape performs perfectly as a vase with summer blooms and also as a decor object that can stand on its own.  A great gift for any occasion or for someone special to give a heart to.

Shell Platter

An iconic item for this summer entertaining, is the new organic shell platter.  The new design takes it’s natural inspiration from ancient fossil spirals revealed in stones of the Isle La Motte, here in Vermont.  The concept was translated into a textured shell, starting with hand sculpting the design into plaster and then a metal mold to cast the glass platter.  It’s a versatile object with plenty of surface for serving, and a visual delight when sun shines through it.

For the latest summer offerings visit our website and stores.

Our stores are open exhibiting some of the best collections in glass, pottery, and accessories, with a focus on summer seasonal entertaining at home.  Shop by appointment, to be immersed in the assortments of beautifully crafted wares to uplift your everyday experience.

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Summer Blues on Display in the Mill Retail Shop

Shop our stores:

https://www.simonpearce.com/our-stores#shop-by-appointment