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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inspiration for the Shell
Shell Platter Metal Mold
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.
With current events impacting us all so deeply, we collectively discover ways within ourselves to embrace the unexpected. We find comfort and positive support through togetherness. We explore a new path forward and enrich our lives while sheltering at home. We find more meaning in gatherings especially around the table whether at home or virtually.
We yearn for a warm cozy atmosphere and strive to cultivate a sense of safety and serenity taking hints from the danish concept of Hygge. Well being is key, while optimism and finding balance in our lives helps uplift us throughout each day. A new normal evolves, and a homebound routine incorporates virtual meetings with colleagues, while the home office becomes a dynamic hub of activity.
We seek interaction and connection with family and friends to compare notes on ways to feel good, be healthy, share recipes and stay nourished. As we navigate these times a new appreciation for the things around us emerges as we curate a sense of what we want in our home environment. While embracing the change we can still celebrate life’s holidays, birthdays, milestones, and make things work for us at home. Entertaining can be a source of joy by sharing botanical drinks, creating craft beer tastings, wine & cheese, or sending invites to a virtual happy hour.
Look for What Speaks to You
Throughout our Simon Pearce line, we have many of the quintessential handmade elements available to make those home moments special. Our drinkware collections contain a fine selection of beautiful and functional items you can use to curate your home. Having the time to pay attention to details, you can appreciate the nuances of the handmade.
At Simon Pearce, we have adapted to the new paradigm and are continuing to practice our craft. Our ethos of ‘handmade quality’ drives us forward and everything we make is a unique expression of humanity.
Puppy on the Glass Floor
The hand is involved in every step of bringing each object to life. We hand draw, and model concepts, like the dog and the new puppy then work out the details on the glass floor with the expertise of our glassblowers. Each object is a combination of the hand of the maker, the form, the fine quality of the material, and that is blended with our distinct ‘point of view’ about design.
Hand Thrown Pottery
These elements cannot be separated. Our passion for handmade excellence permeates everyone in the company with ‘purpose’. We love to share what we create, because we are confident it will make these times spent at home, that much better.
Bristol Red Wine & Decanter
To see the latest items for sheltering at home please visit our website.
If you need a break from cooking in your kitchen, and you are in the Upper Valley, the Simon Pearce Restaurant has a new menu with delightful dishes of ready to heat dinner. Jerod Rockwell is running the kitchen for take out which can be picked up with curbside service.
While the late winter skies delay the day’s light after sunrise, start your morning slowly, lighting a Simon Pearce Bristol Hurricane in the small sizeby your side. Create a sanctuary to set the day’s intentions.
As the day winds down, and the sun sets, you can surround yourself with our new Waterbury Tea lights, with their wavy surface that creates flickering candlelight.
Come in from the cold and create warmth at your table this holiday season with our new candlelight designs. The Engraved Aspen Forest Hurricane brings a new feel to our assortment with its engraved art. The engraving lends itself to wintery themes and the candlelight reflects between the branches. It’s a simple silhouette with a unique touch.
Another way to incorporate candlelight is to place one of our many tea lights at each place setting. Every guest can enjoy their own candlelight gift to take home at the end of the evening. The Echo Lake Tealight is a new treasure with strands of molten glass that wrap around, creating shimmering light. We’ve placed one atop our red napkins, with a clever fold that holds evergreen sprigs. The KP Love Your Brain Snowball Tealight * adds whimsy with its shape and texture of a freshly formed snowball and would also add a festive flare at place settings.
* 20% of proceeds from this item fund Kevin and Adam Pearce’s LoveYourBrain Foundation, and its mission to promote holistic healing for those affected by traumatic brain injury.
Down the center of the table, we begin with our customer favorite, theScandinavian White & Natural Runner. Any of our candlelight vessels will captivate with their handcrafted shapes, weighty presence, and unique surface treatments. To create a centerpiece of candlelight, nestle tea lights and hurricanes of various sizes amongst seasonal flora. In Vermont, it is red-berried branches and various evergreen sprigs that we can bring inside. Eucalyptus would add another interesting shape and hue. Shown here also, is our Alabaster Votive with a milky marbled surface that plays off our clear glass and adds dimension. The final accent is our twinkle string lightsset in and amongst the greens and candlelight. Read on to learn about the new hurricane and tree collection that is quickly becoming a new favorite.
In Northern Vermont, the Long Trail winds around the edges of Sterling Pond, whose icy waters inspired our Sterling Pond Collection. Small crystals of glass encase the simple soft hurricane shapes, creating beautiful candlelight flickerings. The same crystals cover our conical shaped trees for the ultimate winter wonderland forest.
The beauty of the Sterling Pond Trees is the many ways in which they can be lit. We love the way the twinkle string lights (also available in battery-powered) create a glow when placed inside each tree or amongst a grouping. They can also fit over our mini LED light (an alternative to placing on top of our larger LED base). These 6, 8 and 12 inch trees create the perfect trio to use on your table. They can be moved to the sideboard or window sill when more space is needed at the table.
For place settings, consider adding pieces from our Barre dinnerware in the satiny Alabaster glaze, perfect for this crisp table setting. Framing the settings here is our new Charlotte flatware. We love the textured handles with their simple, geometric shape and the perfect balance of the pieces when we hold them.
* linen is a 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 (yielding linseed oil, twines, and ropes)
Our partnership with Celina Mancurti to design holiday linens has led to a favorite motif, the evergreen, and we offer it in a variety of colors, shown here in white on red. Also, Andrew Pearce wood side plates are shown layered here in cherry wood, for a light and crisp holiday setting.
The tablescape is inspiring and inviting. Your guests are about to arrive and you have chosen your wines for the evening. The recently launched Vintner stemware is our choice for the table this season. Its bowl and stem are shaped and pulled from one gather of molten glass, creating a beautiful angled shape with a lightweight feel in the hand. These are the characteristics of a great wine tasting glass, ready for an evening of friends and festive times.
Nature uses force to script matter, and we do the same to manipulate raw molten glass. We draw out of our methods of making glass, the elements that have distinct character, and the artistic imperfections that come from the hand, to realize designs, that are ‘real’ expressions. With the ‘Elements’ development, we saw an opportunity to focus on the connection between design and science, using the forms to represent the various states of matter. We interpreted these natural elements that surround us in New England, with seven one of a kind, sculptural pieces. Three of which are featured in the Montshire Science Museum, from September 2019 to March 2020. It is an opportunity for the public and for children to experience how glass is a transformation from sand to the transparent material we are all familiar with, but in new forms.
We believe that our craftsmen have captured a sense of wonder and beauty portraying natural elements in glass and by pushing glass to its aesthetic and technical limits. These shapes show a mastery of light through glass and brings us at Simon Pearce to the forefront of creativity and innovation, through a design collaboration with master glassblowers.
Photo Credit: Montshire Museum of Science
The partnership with the Montshire Museum of Science started when Marcos Stafne and his team came to our facility in Windsor, Vermont, to discuss ideas around how the two upper valley organizations can cross-pollinate concepts and create something unique for people to experience. They liked the Elements prototypes and were intrigued with the science behind glassmaking, and brought these two concepts together for an exhibit at the museum. Sherlock and Katie, who create the exhibitions, evolved a wonderful way to interpret the glass Elements, revealing the process, and the science.
From the Montshire press release;
“For this collaborative exhibition, the Montshire partnered with Simon Pearce, a Vermont-based company specializing in handcrafted glass with a creative philosophy rooted in functional, sophisticated design. The Montshire Exhibits team worked closely with James Murray, Simon Pearce’s Vice President of Design, to create a beautiful experience in which science meets design.”
All seven elements we prototyped are described below:
Fire is the element that transforms the other elements. Glassblowers also need fire to create the glass itself. They capture the gesture and movement of flames in glass. The item is sculpted with the energy and flair of a burning flame. Each piece turns out entirely unique and can be illuminated on a LED base.
The glassblowers who worked on this piece are Dwight Yoder, Dave Osburn and Steve White.
Water covers seventy-five percent of the earth’s surface. This design was specifically inspired by the rushing waterfall at the Mill. The glassblowers captured the expressive ebb and flow of water that changes throughout the seasons. It is a very difficult design to make and only a few Simon Pearce glassblowers are able to make it. The development of this water vessel, and wrap technique led us to offer other lines using the wrap concept, such as the Waterbury and Echo Lake collections.
The glassblowers who worked on this piece are Mike Cushing, Mark Williams, Jason Tucker and Ray Thorburn.
You can find the separate blog post on this design here.
Wood is a pervasive element in New England, and is revered for the seasonal activity from chopping/limbing trees for firewood to handcrafting it into familiar objects. Here ‘wood’ is represented as a branch with truncated limbs, and a sandblasted hollow core. It is another difficult piece to craft, few glassblowers can capture the exact gesture and form. Wood is one of the five Chinese elements. Each piece can stand on a LED base.
The glassblowers who worked on this piece are Jesse McComas and Anthony Wroton.
Infinite space is the mother of the other elements. It represents the void, or emptiness that is necessary to approach a higher spiritual being. It is the gesture of a figure eight and is a free-form sculpture, with subtle surfaces and requires a high degree of skill to get the symmetry right. Each piece can be illuminated on an LED base.
The glassblowers who worked on this piece are Jason Cole and Jeremy Bastille.
Earth element is about structure and foundation; in nature it represents all that is solid and nourishing, which also speaks to global environmental issues. The design intent is to represent the whole globe and the topography of total earth, and also the swirling dynamics of mixing of elements, which has been captured in the glass.
The glassblowers who worked on this piece are Mike Cushing, Mark Williams, Jason Tucker, Ray Thorburn, and Chris Rogstad.
Air is a freeing and opportunistic element. The form represents the swirling forces of wind, similar to the aerial view of cloud formations of the weather, while also having an open center for a connection with infinite space. In glass, flat disks can be difficult to achieve when compared to shapes with more mass and volume, so this shows the control and skill the glassblower. This piece is displayed in a specially crafted metal stand made by Jan Mollmark.
The glassblowers who worked on this piece are Perry Schwab and Ryan Adams.
Metal represents both rigidity and flexibility; being a protective element it is strong but very adaptive to change. Metals are found in nature and in man-made structures, such as suspension bridges and other feats of engineering. The sculpture was created in clear glass with an infusion of silver leaf, to further highlight the connection to the metal element. It can be illuminated on a LED base.
The glassblowers who worked on this piece are Jake Cole and Jeremy Bastille.
Every September, the European home design industry returns from their summer break in August to present the best of their new creations at the International Maison Objet show in Paris. The market is focused on home decor, interior design, and lifestyle concepts, with a very inspiring combination of innovation and new talent throughout the halls.
bowl rendering in chalk
Simon, Jay and I traveled across the Atlantic to walk the market, meet with some of our partners, and find new resources or makers we can potentially work with on products. The show also gives an opportunity to spend time discussing, brainstorming and sketching out our approach to design for the next season. We debate over what can be integrated into our product categories, what new ideas we can bring into existing collections, and where we could layer on new decor concepts.
“The market gives you a perspective on what is happening in the world with design, and home furnishings, and we distill what makes sense for our line, whether we are buying or designing”, says Simon. Maison Objet also gives us a sense of what direction glass is heading in, and in a world with the majority of the glass being machine made, we find we are well differentiated with the ‘hand’ being the core value of what we do. We further defined our design mission while traveling. We monitor what is happening in the market but take a great deal of inspiration from nature, and we blend that with our humanistic approach to design and making things. To capture the essence of our designs, we use a reductive approach of taking away that which isn’t needed to arrive at refined simplicity. The intent of the designs is to amplify the handmade aspect of our products, resulting in objects that are a joy to live with at home.
One takeaway from the show was a growing interest in the handmade with small batch production, and a traceability story about the materials. We found a few other European glass makers, that Simon truly enjoyed talking with, from building furnaces to raw materials used. Glass has also become quite pervasive, as a material of choice for designers.
During the market, all across Paris, the whole city was celebrating ‘Design Week’, with interior design events and companies launching their latest products in their retail outposts.
We had the opportunity to meet with our Italian linen partners, Bertozzi, and reviewed several new designs that they worked on with us, and also some new offerings they created. Their hand block printed patterns are one of Simon’s favorites. While travelling through Morocco Simon discovered Bertozzi linens at one of the hotels he was staying at. When Simon returned from the trip, we pursued the company and since developed a great partnership with them as they have a similar ethos, with the handmade approach to their products.
New concepts from the trip will appear in our Fall Holiday season of 2020.
There is a change in the air that heralds the coming of Fall. It is a transitional feeling, where the long heat filled days of summer give way to earlier sunsets and brisker mornings. We settle into rhythms back at home as summer’s adventures begin to wane. For this transitional time period we’ve paired patterned glassware, reminiscent of summer’s waves, with hand painted linens and warm wood accents for simple casual dining. Take it outside while you still can!
Andrew Pearce’s warm cherry wood bowls and plates are a great way to change up outdoor dining. They are unbreakable, sustainable, and their oil sealed surfaces can hold any food you serve. Just stack them up and clean them gently at the end of the meal. We have some beautiful wood chargers and teak handled flatware to complete the layered setting of warm woods. The chargers are particularly beautiful in that the maker discovered a way to cure them without cracking.
The hand painted linens we feature are a recent discovery of Simon’s. He was drawn to the intention of these makers and the authentic beauty of their product.
Bertozzi Linens is an established family run business in Northern Italy, where solar power and other sustainable practices drive their business. Since 1920, the company has hand-carved thousands of peartree wooden block stamps. Their linens are then hand painted with proprietary dyes based on natural indigo based ingredients, and they use a unique process to steam these dyes into the linen fibers, which lends a superior product with vibrant hues that are resistant to fading. All their linen is certified from Europe, field to fabric and their production is Oeko Tex Certified.
Links to the Simon Pearce website for Bertozzi napkin and runner.
A final touch to our early Fall soiree is our collection of hand blown glass pumpkins. We have added an artistic flare to them this season, creating curly glass stems, each one unique, so you can choose from our glass patch of pumpkins, much as you would in the pumpkin field.
We take crafting glasses seriously at Simon Pearce; and our focus is matched with all the great crafted breweries in the state of Vermont.
Each year we design new concepts that we add to our line of barware, to keep up with the evolution of beer making and tasting. Our silhouettes are carefully formed with the finesse of our glassblowers.
In addition to many iconic beer glasses, some of our stemmed lines that are geared towards wine actually make great beer glasses.
Mick Maguire, our head of technology at Simon Pearce has lent his expertise in brews and tested many of our glasses to find some perfect pairings. He has experimented with prototypes of our new Vintner pulled-stem line, and discovered that they lend themselves perfectly to particular types of beer.
“The form of any vessel effects the drinking experience, not just in a tactile manner. An angular body where the base is wider than the neck will have the effect of concentrating the aroma of the beer helping your nose appreciate the full spectrum of the flavor and will also help preserve the head. This is particularly pronounced with ‘bigger’ beers like bourbon barrel aged stouts and double IPA where it will really bring out the white oak of one and citrus of the other. This means that our Vintner line has ideal candidates for truly appreciating the flavor and nuance of complex craft brews. The Snifter will easily hold a full pour and sits very pleasingly in the hand.”
“For a lighter beer such as a Kolsh or Pilsner, the flute shape of the Ascutney Pint, or the Norwich tall beaker, lend a traditional German feel which brings out the brightness of these nicely.”
“But my go to everyday summer beer glass is the Woodstock Balloon, perfect for sitting round a campfire, it’s robust design makes it very durable and pleasantly weighty, while at the same time it’s oversized bowl allows the nose to enter the glass as you drink, giving a truly full sensory experience.”
“The bottom line is any beverage that has care put into its creation, will taste better in one of our handcrafted glasses, I’d encourage everybody to experiment to see the differences brought about by form, regardless of how a glass is labelled.” -M. Maguire
You can try our glasses out with great beer served at our bar in the Mill. Visit us and experience the difference handcrafted glass makes.
We recently had the pleasure of joining forces with Opus One Winery and Twins Farms, to provide a beautiful Vermont based dining event for guests at the Twin Farms. The aim of our efforts, was to bring people together for an elevated experience around the dining table, with the combination of great food, amazing wine, and handcrafted excellence in glass.
This dinner event, at Twin Farms, featured seven courses, by guest Chef Sarah Steffan, of Blackberry Farm, and Nathan Rich, of Twin Farms. France Posener, who is from Opus One, told amazing vineyard tales of the company history, it’s evolution, and gave an in depth background on the wines being tasted. To compliment the theme of the evening, each couple attending the event received a Bristol Wine Decanter from Simon Pearce.
The decanter, is a special glass vessel for us, which started out much like the Bristol Tumbler adhering to proportions from the golden section ratios found in nature. Simon brings a keen eye to proportioning, and attention to detail that is a hallmark of our design philosophy. We carry these values through every new design, and it is innate to this modern decanter.
We blend distinctive form with function. The character of the design first started with renderings on paper while considering the right capacity for a bottle of wine, and creating the proper amount of interior surface area for the wine to decant. Through the sampling process, we tested them and made revisions, before the process of manufacturing began, right here at our workshops, in Vermont.
With our trip to Napa last spring, we set out to form relationships with companies like Opus One, and cultivating a deeper connection with handcrafted American wine.
Our first collaborative dining and wine tasting experience around the table was at Ocean House, an amazing destination in Rhode Island. The culinary expertise for the food was a combination of Twin Farms with Ocean House, and France Posener eloquently spoke about the Opus One wine being served, and I gave the guests insights about the design and making of our Barre Pitcher which we featured that evening.
The Barre Pitcher is a contemporary fluid form that is a joy to use, and is reminiscent of the silhouette of an Egret.