Simon Pearce Summer Photo Shoot

Just before the big tourist rush hit Cape Cod on the Fourth, a group of us made our way to Massachusetts for an on-location shoot for our summer campaigns.

The week was full of long workdays unpacking products, beachcombing for props, scheduling shoots around the tides, and chasing the most beautiful lighting (often quite early in the morning – and with plenty of Beanstock coffee to fuel our efforts) – followed by short-but-sweet evenings sharing grilled pizza and ideas for how to best show our customers how much we love doing what we do.

Together, we came up with new ways to show the beauty of our handmade glass and pottery, in settings that bring forth the strong influence nature has on our designs – like showing the rugged New England spirit of our Bristol Hurricane standing up to the waves of the mighty Atlantic or our Revere Hurricane serving as illumination for the perfect summer view.

And we welcomed our newest colleague into the mix: Victoria (also known as @daisy_roots_ ) who created visuals for our retail stores for over five years, and is now bringing her incredible eye to our digital marketing efforts. We’re thrilled to have her on the team!

We hope you love the images we captured as much as we do – and that they inspire you to enjoy every moment of your summer. Check out the homepage to see our photos in action!

The story (and many uses) of our Glass Baskets

When it comes to ideating new concepts in design, Simon and Pia are a dream team. The original glass basket was Pia’s idea, which was brought to life using the clean lines of Simon’s Addison Collection. We launched this first version in March 2018 and it quickly became a spring classic.

Two years later, we took the same simple shape and applied the wrapped-glass effect of Echo Lake for a texture that nods to a natural woven basket. Like all Echo Lake pieces, it’s made by master glassblowers nimbly wrapping a fine strand of molten glass around the silhouette. With both baskets, the handle takes some skill to apply, with a race against time and gravity to prevent it from flopping.

 

As whimsical as it is, this sweet design has inspired a surprising number of uses: A vessel for pretty pastilles or cheeseboard crackers, an unexpected planter, a flower girl wedding accessory… Surely we’ll think of more as the years go on. 

We like to think of our glass baskets as future heirlooms, darling markers of the start of spring, and unique vessels to fill and leave on a doorstep as a May Day tradition. How will you use yours?

New Designs for Winter Solstice

With Winter Solstice upon us, we take every opportunity to enjoy the wintery wonderland as a source for new inspiration. A steady flow of ideas come from reflecting on this season, taking cues from nature for new evergreen trees, frosty decorative objects, and essentials to gather around the table. We transform what we see and experience into new glass objects to bring home and enjoy everyday. Our handcrafted glass is magical as it starts as a molten material that takes it’s form from the finesse and skill of the master glassblowers.

The organic shaped Burlington Collection’s plates and bowls have unique reactive effects in the glazing that are both casual and elegant. It can be paired with any of our glassware and flatware lines, but here we have it featured with our new Benson Tumbler and Warren Flatware.

The Benson tumbler evolved from the geometric design concept originating with the martini glass and it is universally useful for a variety of occasions. The Spruce tree is now offered in a new mini version that is a great gift or a nice addition to any beloved glass forest. Building upon our natural theme the potters created a great line of marbled clay vessels that are very unique centerpiece bowls and vases called Beachstone.

The new warren flatware is inspired by a teardrop shape, similar to the lamp in our lighting line. The streamlined flatware is 18/10 stainless steel that is cast and forged by skilled craftsman. Partnering with Bertozzi, we created new linen patterns for this winter. Our favorite is the naturally beautiful Ponderosa design with oversized pine needles in both a napkin and a runner. Another new addition is the shape of our classic evergreen trees as a beeswax candle in ivory, red and green. Lastly, a useful item for entertaining is the elemental Soapstone Chiller that can keep you wine cool or double as a mini ice bucket. Consider some of these new additions as part of your holiday celebrations as we officially head into winter.

Adding Shine with New Handcrafted Hammered Bowls

We recently introduced two new exclusive designs for artisanal hammered stainless steel serving bowls. They are the perfect accessory for outdoor entertaining this summer. The silhouette is inspired by the metal vessels employed for scales you will find in general stores throughout New England, typically used for weighing provisions. The overall fluid form also takes its cues from the organic design direction used with a variety of our marble and wood accessories.

Stainless steel has long been an essential element to how we set the table, and it adds a bit of shine and reflection to the overall tabletop landscape.  From a practical and aesthetic perspective, Simon has been a fan of the high quality handcrafted hammered metal we offer.
The stainless steel bowls have a few distinct advantages for serving due to the fact that it is easy to clean, very durable and malleable enough to create unique shapes.
bowl as wine chiller
The Medium Bowl used as a Champagne Chiller

The medium bowl is specifically designed and scaled to double as a chiller to hold a wine or champagne bottle on its side resting in ice.  The spout rim of the bowl holds the neck of the bottle. The delightful small bowl can be a nut, dip, or appetizer serving bowl to accessorize a bar or for entertaining around a table.

Adding shine with new handcrafted hammered bowls.  Stainless steel bowl used as a wine chiller.
Stainless Steel Bowl as a Wine Chiller

Visit us to find these great new bowls at our retail stores and on our website.

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.

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