Artistry, concentration, and the hand all contribute to the remarkable objects we turn out at our pottery workshop everyday. The challenge of building things from the ground up, with earthy clay takes a blend of virtuosity, muscle memory and a keen eye to what looks balanced and well proportioned.
Our latest artistic creation from the pottery is our Beachstone collection. The inspiration comes from the natural elements here in Vermont. Along the shore of Lake Champlain, particularity in the area of Shelburne farms, there are beach stones and rock formations that are made of 450-million-year-old, Iberville Shale.
The stones have beautiful graphic striations and veins of the mineral calcite, that inspired the sedimentary effects we wanted to capture in our clay. By experimenting with different colors of clay pushed together; we created the effect we wanted to achieve.
Jeff, our master potter, has a great deal of experience with unique techniques and has perfected marbling the clay and throwing forms on the Potter’s wheel that reveal the graphic striated layers of clay.
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 Bowlhas 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Commemorating the 25th anniversary, we launched a new Centerpiece Bowlmagnificently scaled as both a functional and decorative piece. The voluminous bowls express the simple richness of the Belmont pottery.
The Woodbury Collection, with its recognizable characteristics of simple, rectilinear forms; has become a favorite. Now, the first bowl has reached its 25th anniversary. Although the designs originated as a pursuit of geometry; they turned out with natural variances that are a result of the handmade process.
Working on the concept, Simon originally wanted to get a vessel that was a sharper version of a square bowl, not looking for a machined look, but a natural rendition of a square bowl. Wood moulds were created and the R&D process was underway; but while doing a trial he found that the glass material had a mind of its own. The raw molten glass would not confirm to the sharp corners of the mould, and would turn out softer and more organic. The top rim of the walls were another unexpected outcome, they would naturally flare to create an arched detail on all four sides. This became a hallmark look for the Woodbury Bowl, and shows us how you can have a natural outcome from the craft of making glass.
Essential to the Simon Pearce line; and an aesthetic synonymous with the brand, the unique Woodbury bowl is a balance between a ideal concept and a sensitivity to what the material can do.
The bowl doubles as a great centerpiece and a useful item for everyday serving. It illustrates the qualities of our glass in its broad wall surfaces, and unique outline.