Awards in Design

Pratt Fashion Visionary Award

As part of a larger design community, Simon Pearce has cultivated relationships with several higher education institutions, and promoted the awareness of handcrafted Design and the cultural impact it has on our lives. An example of this, is Pratt Institute’s Fashion Visionary award, which is a glass object designed and handmade here at Simon Pearce to celebrate the accomplishments of a designer in the Fashion Industry. The development of the award changes from year to year, with new forms being explored in R&D, that can express the nuances of fashion in glass.

Our most recent creation started with a hand rendering, and was the result of working with riverstone shapes in glass, applied around the form of a modern vessel.  The organic characteristics of the hand formed stone shapes, show off the quality of the glass, particularly with the way light refracts through them.

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 This year, the award was given to Kerby Jean-Raymond, for his notable achievements in Fashion Design as creative director at Pyer Moss.

A prior award design that we provided, took inspiration from a twist of fabric pulled around a shape. The Initial sketches lead to building an armature, that Jan Mollmark masterfully assembled with a wood buck, that he used to locate exactly where the steel wire needed to be to create the creases in the glass form.

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The result was an alluring vessel with curving surfaces of glass, that are accentuated by the creases that form the twisting look of a flowing dress.

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Rose Byrne presenting the award to Francisco Costa

Past recipients for this glass award have been,

Gabriela Hearst, Created her own brand of luxury ready to wear and accessories, and is well respected for her commitment to quality, sustainability, and social activism.

Francisco Costa, Creative director of women’s Calvin Klein collections.

Fern Mallis, Fashion Industry Lifetime Achievement Award from Pratt Institute – presented to her by designer Calvin Klein.

 

 

Finding the Twist

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“Like anything we create, the ideas go through phases of distillation until we happen upon something we love.”  -James Murray

The simplicity of the Woodbury line, finds it hallmark characteristics in the pursuit of trying to produce an object that is geometric, yet handmade.   The brilliant glass of the original Woodbury vase appears to be rectangular but have soft surface changes and a gentle radius that forms at the rim.

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Simon started the vase design back in 1990, and it has proved to be a favorite, and is an icon within our collection.  The original intent of the Woodbury line was to form squares and rectangles in glass that bring some beauty and pragmatism to everyday life.  On the glassblowing floor, while making these items he discovered that the glass flows in it’s own way to form more humanistic surfaces and curves.

Blog post on the full Woodbury glass line here.

In our design studio, we explore ways to continue these concepts of working with geometry and organic soft execution in glass.  While experimenting with ways to re-interpret the rectangular vase, we did some bristol paper models, creasing the center, and adding water to it to soften the paper in the center to form a twist.  The result was intriguing, and so some renderings of the idea followed to further investigate what the effect could be.

We thought this had potential and brought the concept to the glassblowers, who then spent some time trying to capture the nuances of this idea. They ultimately found that heating the center with a torch made the vessel more malleable and they were able to achieve a light gestural twist effect that we loved.

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A visual benefit of the fluid twist in the vase, is that it obscures the stems and branches of flowers, while marrying nicely with the artistry of arranging flowers.

Find the Woodbury Twist vase in the website store here.

 

The Waterbury Collection

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In design, we continue to be inspired by the natural surroundings here in Vermont. The immersion in Nature easily influences our perspective on developing objects, as the natural elements are filled with interesting forms, textures and colors.  When we consider a new glass line, we strive to capture the artistry that comes from the handmade formation of glass, and the impressions that Nature makes on us.  Fluid and malleable glass is almost unlimited in the possibilities of what can be achieved, and we impose our ideas and reflections on it.

While hiking the Waterbury Trail, we happened upon a small waterfall, and were stuck by how the element of water is always a delight for sense of sight, sound and touch. We also ventured to nearby Moss Glenn Falls for a more dramatic experience.  We  wanted to capture the essence of water flowing and the swirling textures that occur in a new glass.  We started R&D of the glasses based on sketches, but looked to the glassblowers to turn out each glass with a unique interpretation of the watery impression.  Each glass captures a moment in time, with an artistic gesture.

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The collection started with a tumbler, and then we scaled the same design up to a hurricane shape, which looks incredible with candlelight going through the swirling effects.

To compliment the tumbler, we created a carafe with a simple elegant form that lends itself to the layering process of gathers to create optic effects.

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Thinking about lighting, and the interaction with gathered glass effects, Simon created the Waterbury lamp in two sizes, to compliment the collection.  As the glassblowers work with these voluminous shapes, the layered effects of the double-gathered glass give a feeling of water movement that is visually stunning.  The lamps come to life when you see the light going through the glass, much like the dynamic impression from the streams and waterfalls of Vermont.

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Shimmering Trees

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Building upon the much loved Echo Lake design, that is inspired by the ice formations occuring over the waterfall at the Mill, we attempted the same technique on a few tree shapes and were excited about the result.

 

 

These eye catching wintery trees are the perfect balance of classic & contemporary design and make a statement for any centerpiece.  The perfectly imperfect strands of molten glass are finely wrapped around each tree form to create this shimmering effect.

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Echo Lake Trees: 8″, 10″, 14″

Celebrate the season, by creating a cluster or even a forest of mixed trees, for a grand tablescape, or mantle display that will be a delight through the winter months.

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Throughout the wintry months in Vermont, we take photos of the different states of water and ice over the waterfall, for design inspiration.

Elegant Designs & Enduring Connections

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From Left to Right: Jay Benson, James Lawless, Corin Mellor, & Simon Pearce

On a cool November day, we were pleased to host Corin Mellor and James Lawless, from the David Mellor company.  They made the trip from England, driving up from Boston, to visit our flagship Mill in Quechee to provide some product background about their flatware, and reconnect over lunch with Simon.  Corin is the son of master metalworker, designer & retailer David Mellor. Today, Corin carries on the tradition started by his father as the creative director, and leads the company’s design efforts with new creations, and curation of what they sell in their stores.  Corin, and James Lawless (sales manager), had lunch with Simon and Jay, to hear stories from Simon, of the enduring connection between David Mellor and Simon.  Both went to the Royal College of Art, and both had the same interest in functional and beautiful design. When David Mellor opened his first shop on Sloane Square in London, it was a destination for design and offered Simon’s glasses that he produced in Ireland.  With their connection, Simon also carried David Mellor flatware in his shop. Simon’s penchant for making glass was an influence on David, and they both were part of a maker’s movement that was happening, at the time.

 

David Mellor was from Sheffield, which was a center for flatware and metal work.  He was first trained as a silversmith, and specialized in metalwork but also designed beyond flatware, pursuing a variety of industrial design opportunities such as home accessories and even street furniture. He was a pioneer of modern design in England, and is famous for his flatware which won numerous design awards with Pride being one of the most highly regarded patterns.

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Paris 5-Piece Flatware Setting

The Paris pattern was created in 1993, and originally intended for the The Silver Trust in England, it is now a highly popular design for us, and has an incredible finish.

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Pride 5-Piece Flatware Setting

Pride is a modern classic and yet has some design cues that originate from Georgian proportioning; a very similar origin to the classic influences on Simon’s first glass designs.  Pride was designed in 1953, and was first created in silver with a bone handle for the knife, but was later redesigned in stainless steel. This beautiful flatware set exudes all the hallmarks of elegant design, with simplicity as the primary characteristic.  Corin explained the progression of making the flatware and how the buffing and finishing requires many steps.

 

The philosophy behind the Pride pattern is synonymous with what we stand for at Simon Pearce. The flatware pattern compliments the timeless quality of our glassware and dinnerware, and has been with us for decades. While style and tastes come and go, these designs stand the test of time.

Summer Indigos for the Table

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Whether you take in summer days by the ocean, in the mountains, or on the deck, let our collection of wavy glass, matte white ceramics, light wood accents and cool indigo blues offer relief from the heat.

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The Waterbury Tumbler, with its wavy texture, is, no doubt, the showstopper of this table. Glassblowers add the waves of glass to the tumblers as they blow and shape them, making each one unique.

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The table’s palette is set with floral patterned, organic cotton table linens. The pattern is created with wood block printing and natural indigo dye. Atop this, we layer our matte white Westport Dinnerware with Andrew Pearce’s 7” plates of cherry wood, and our Indigo colored, marble glazed appetizer plates (shown below). Round, chunky woven placemats set the stage for this layered look, and we are excited to offer teak flatware, the perfect outdoor or back porch choice; simple in silhouette and lightweight.

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We like to include beautiful serveware to use at the table when designing at Simon Pearce. The modern feel of the Indigo Marble serving bowl and platter, as well as the Alabaster Barre Pottery pitcher (shown at the top), are perfect choices for summer entertaining alfresco.

Every Dog has its Year

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The all-new sculpted glass dog is close to the heart of many of us here at Simon Pearce. Dogs are intelligent, loyal companions that are with us through thick and thin. They are treated like a member of the family, and a few of us bring our dogs to work, which adds another dimension to the workplace.  To commemorate this special relationship, we set out to create the ideal interpretation of the quintessential dog that relates to our methods of making glass. The design started with some sketches, and we had a Labrador Retriever pose as our model.  After several drawings and iterations in clay, we landed on the character we wanted to capture in glass. The final design stays true to our ethos of beauty and simplicity.

 

 

With 2018 being the ‘year of the dog’ (according to the Chinese Zodiac); we couldn’t think of a better time to start crafting these in our hot-shop, and make them available for the glass enthusiast.   Our brilliant glass shows off the exquisite surfaces and contours of the shape.

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The iconic glass dog is a joy to have and to hold.

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Fire & Ice: Alpine Soapstone

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As the weather turns warmer, and we look for ways to stay cool, sipping chilled drinks can do the trick.  Ice is the usual cooling element, but if you don’t want to water down your drink we propose using frozen soapstone, paired with our handcrafted glass as an optimal way for tasting drinks, particularly bourbon.

With the popularity of our Ludlow collection, we thought the soapstone could take the place of the wood, and once we tested some samples of this new combination we were delighted to find the stone truly chilled the glass. Take it from the freezer, and it can cool your drink in about 8-10 minutes, and conversely, can be used for warming drinks as well.

Throughout New England, soapstone is a common material found on kitchen counter-tops, which are known for their durability, smooth touch, and low porosity.  This ancient natural stone, is the result of volcanic geological formations from long ago. It’s most notable properties are that it can stay cold or hot for a long time. The material is very unique for its workable characteristics, and can be sculpted as the Inuit would, and also made it into a variety of functional designs.  We named it Alpine after the northern ridges we have here in Vermont and New England.

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Experience how this unique stone can chill your drink as it cradles the glass. 

Whiskey Glass / Whiskey Glass Set / Wine Chiller

See the feature in the New York Times: here

Set the Table: Soft Fusion

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Our glass and dinnerware share the table with a lively floral print and flatware that is elegant and artful. These are some of the ways we bring new and unique styling options forward each season.

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This Spring our “go to” table linen fabric, 100% linen, sets the stage. Whether they are used pressed or left as is for their stonewashed beauty, the brilliantly colored runner and napkins set a luxurious backdrop for our crisp Cavendish dinnerware.  The possibilities are endless, with four plate sizes, three bowls and two mug sizes to choose from. It takes on a new personality when set with the show stopping Vivianna flatware by Georg Jensen. Designed mid-century, by Swedish jewelry designer Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, the flatware adorns the table much like a piece of jewelry, adding a captivating element with its beautiful curves.

 

Pairing well with the Vivianna flatware, is our Hampton stemware. It is the most delicate of our hand blown stemware, and includes the newly launched Stemless Wine Tumbler (its end use versatile), shown here alongside the Red Wine Glass. Hampton’s design is classic, yet what sets it apart is its thin, fire polished opening, sure to enhance the wine tasting experience.

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Cast a final spell of Spring over the table with stems of the airy Jasmine plant or a row of Simon Pearce bud vases. Either will lure your guests closer to the new season.

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Vine Chandelier

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An eye-catching beacon in our retail locations, by popular demand, Simon Pearce now offers the Vine Chandelier for the home.

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Design of the chandelier was inspired by clusters of grapes growing from vines in the South of France.

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Head of Design & Product Development James Murray collaborated with Hubbardton Forge to create the now-iconic chandelier silhouette that lights the Simon Pearce Bar at
Quechee and our Portland location.

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In partnership with the Modern American Blacksmiths of nearby Hubbardton Forge,
this handcrafted light fixture is designed to illuminate your dining table, kitchen island
or entryway in beautiful hand-forged metal and handblown glass.

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Each glass globe is handcrafted by our master glassblowers, thus creating a truly unique and one-of-a-kind piece.

Edit: You can buy it here.