Tis the Season: Evergreens

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The Simon Pearce Vermont Evergreens have become iconic symbols that truly emphasize our brand originality and authenticity.

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They remain a true reflection of the design influences that surround us in our beautiful Vermont setting. Our crystal clear glass formula along with the hand-tooled forms capture the magic of a tree as if it were made of ice.

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They create conversation and certainly stimulates the imagination. No two are alike. As with trees in the natural world, the subtle differences give them a unique personality.

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Make a Magical Arrangement

It’s desirable to have them in groups which might inspire years of collecting and growing a forest. We refer to them as “investment” pieces that can be used and reused every year as seasonal decor items, as well as the fact that they can stay out all year long.

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A new textural addition to any forest is the Snowy Branch Evergreens which are lightly dusted in white powder on the branches. This gives the impression of freshly fallen snow on our iconic trees. Enjoy the season!

Watch the video below.

 

The Bristol Collection

The Bristol Collection originates from studying the “Golden Section” Proportions found in nature. Yet, no matter how refined the design or how forward-looking the concept, hand-crafting is required.

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For the Bristol Collection, James Murray, Simon Pearce’s VP of Design, began with ideas for a flute and a tumbler that he carefully rendered on paper. After making numerous revisions, the process of manufacturing began, which required blowing, shaping, sculpting, cutting, trimming, molding, and cooling in our workshops, of Vermont and Maryland.

“For the Bristol Collection, we use old-world techniques and real, basic tools to make something that is decidedly modern,” says James.

Visitors to our workshops can witness the process.

The Crystalline Collection

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In a Parisian pottery factory of the late 1800’s, two chemists made a mistake, causing colorful glaze crystals to form on the outside of their pots. The results were, at once, striking and hard to control. The potters at Simon Pearce have revisited this technique to create one of a kind, decorative vessels.

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PURE Crystalline Rose Teardrop Vase (Large and Small)

The time intensive and expensive process fell out of favor with the large pottery factories, but in the 1920’s, a resurgence in the production of this glaze technique occurred (due to independent potters setting up their own studios and producing pottery separate from large production).

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Matt McFarland with the “Jade” glaze he developed.

Matt McFarland developed the glazes and the technique to allow the glazes to run down the entire ceramic form. The crystals are formed by a combination of added ingredients (mostly zinc oxide and silica) to float around on the glaze and cool slowly. The size of the crystals is determined by how long the minerals remain on the molasses-like glaze before it drops in temperature.

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Mike Trempe throwing a Crystalline Teardrop Vase (Large).

Only some shapes will adequately “hold” this type of glaze. The shape needs to orient itself in a way so, when the glaze is applied to the top rim of the vessel, the crystals form at the desired place on the piece. For this reason, many of the vessels are bulbous (that Mike Trempe throws), with a very narrow neck. Historically, this is known to create the most dramatic and aesthetically pleasing results.

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Matt McFarland was instrumental in the first full line of crystalline products being launched at Simon Pearce, in the Spring of 2014. The introduction of these pieces brought a sparkle of color into the company owned stores. Today, the Simon Pearce crystalline assortment includes over a dozen different shapes in five different colors.

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The story of crystalline is the story of how research into the history of the medium can inspire masters to create a new standard of excellence.

The PURE Collection

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The Simon Pearce PURE Collection evolved from our artistic objects that are produced against the chance of failure, where the risk in making unique vessels becomes an expression of virtuosity, something alive and happening in the moment of creation.

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PURE Gray Providence Centerpiece

The contemporary design and fine craftsmanship inherent in PURE forms are appreciated by discerning connoisseurs and customers looking for one-of-a-kind gifts.

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PURE Crystalline Cobalt Platter

PURE is the vehicle for ongoing experimentation and the way in which the artisan can push the materials to express new forms and sublime textures. The same artisans who make our core glass and pottery products also make PURE vessels, which underscores the talent within our teams for stretching beyond our current production capabilities and discovering new ideas that come out of the process.

Each design in the PURE Collection is more than its aesthetic creation; it is a way to explore new forms and ways of making. Each piece captures a special moment of perfection with an uniqueness that can only be made with the human hand.

This is why we call it PURE.

Belmont 25th Anniversary

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Functionality and beauty have always been the core criteria of Simon’s design philosophy. The Belmont collection has stood the test of time, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It is a unique style of dinnerware that bridges the gap between a classic and causal aesthetic, that remains true to our brand heritage.

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It’s origins are from a passion for hand thrown pottery.  A blend of earthy materials and old world process that are also known for their durability. The central swirl motif on the plates accentuates the centrifugal movement of how the pieces are thrown on the wheel.

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Crackle glazes are enjoying a resurgence of interest, particularly with younger customers that appreciate handcrafted excellence,  and want to personalize their tabletop with a mix and match of pottery. Belmont comes in two crackle finishes, ivory and celadon, that work great together when layered in a place-setting.

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Commemorating the 25th anniversary, we launched a new centerpiece bowl magnificently scaled as both a functional and decorative piece.  The voluminous bowls express the simple richness of the Belmont pottery.

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Autumn Cider Recipes

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Chai Cider Bourbon Sour

In a shaker with ice:
1 ¾ oz Bulleit Bourbon
2 oz Chai Cider
½ oz Maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon wedge

Shake, pour into Ascutney Whiskey.
Garnish with dried apple slice.

Cider gathering@2x

Chai Cider (yields one gallon)

16 cups cider
16 cinnamon sticks
2 Tbl green cardamom pods
6 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
8” piece of ginger root sliced

Combine all ingredients, cover, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, steep for up to 6 hours but not less than 4 hours.
Strain, refrigerate. Use Ascutney Glass Pitcher to serve.

Design Matters

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Growing up in a family of artisans, where aesthetics and attention to detail is a part of everyday life, each piece carries a story from the design origin to the act of handcrafting these artifacts. We’ve built success in designing and producing exceptional handmade glass and pottery for over 40 years.

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Design explores directions that stretch out the imagination and yet remain true to the brand heritage.  We push boundaries to express new forms and textures in our materials; the artisans have a muscle memory for making our products that typically bring new ideas back through a Simon Pearce lens.  We search for character, and then blend that with function, to turn out something that is beautiful.

We strive to inspire with handcrafted excellence. This is what we do every day…

Designing the Pure Oxide Rim Bowl

“When I set out to design this bowl, I wanted its form to lift off the table surface, have side walls that created plenty of volume, and be useful as a salad bowl—or be just a beautiful centerpiece, that could stand on its own.” —James Murray

 

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PURE Oxide-Rim Bowl

 

Today, with so many expectations of total perfection, most people typically look to objects or technology to represent it. In contrast to that philosophy, in our design work at Simon Pearce, we look to project character and uniqueness—a bit of artistic imperfection—as real expressions. It is this very quality that evokes our love and connection to the work.”

Master potter Mike Trempe throws these bowls on a potter’s wheel. To intentionally allow the mark of the potter to be a visible part of the design, we deliberately leave Mike’s throw lines on the bowl’s sidewalls. Master potter Matt McFarland created the glaze by applying an oxide effect on the rim of the bowl that blends into our signature white glaze. The result is a reactive interplay of textures, colors, and form that is unique to every bowl, surprising us in every rendition of this design.

Stratton, Redesigned

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Simon Pearce Stratton Collection

Stratton truly expresses the art of glass making. The technique of putting air into the glass and twisting it through the stem takes exceptional skill and harkens back to old-world handcrafting techniques.

The air twist concept has existed all the way back to the Georgian times and Simon has a few fine examples in his personal collection.

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Stratton Red Wine Glass, Stratton White Wine Glass

Simon carefully evaluated each of the pieces and recently spent time with the glassblowing team in Quechee to reimagine the Stratton design.  The result is a more refined and singular approach to the stemware collection.  The air twist now has a consistent look, and the proportions of the glasses are updated to the right capacities for
today’s connoisseur.

Enjoy these works of art every day…

Watch the making of a Simon Pearce Stratton Wine Glass.

The Ludlow Collection

 

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Simon Pearce Ludlow Collection

 

Simon Pearce is about revealing the inherent beauty of the glass…and handcrafting it to a natural outcome. As a counterpoint to mass production and mechanized perfection, we make things with time-honored traditional methods.

Glass and wood have had a long standing relationship from the ancient technique of using wooden mould to form the glass designs. The wood moulds don’t last forever, and we typically only get between 50-200 items from a mould, so we recreate them constantly. We do this all in-house, and behind the scenes a lot of our tooling is made In our own shop. I was inspired to bring the wood and glass back together as a final design, and explored their relationship in forms.

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Simon and I refined the shapes that would best compliment each other in glass and wood. The design process took about three months using geometry and proper proportions as the guiding direction. Some of the forms were mocked up in alternative materials like foam before going to a prototyping stage….we then worked with the moulds department to make the first samples. We then spent about 6-8 weeks perfecting the items.

 

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Simon Pearce Ludlow Whiskey Glass Set

 

Walnut was chosen because of the richness in grain, and the beautiful tonality of this hard wood. The mid tone of the walnut also contrasts nicely with our brilliant glass. The ludlow collection now has about 12 items, all built to last, with handcrafted excellence. A recent addition to the line is the signature pitcher with the same modern profile as the whole collection. A great addition to any home, the Ludlow items are geared towards casual entertaining for gatherings and celebrations with family and friends.

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