Take a break from the summer heat of July, with a wonderful chilled cocktail in the Woodbury Bourbon glass. We recently extended the infamous Woodbury collection with this smaller cousin of the Woodbury Double Old Fashioned. The barware design characteristics are distinctly different from most other lines with the hallmark chilled textures, round to square detail and the heavy base. This bourbon glass is the perfect size for sipping bourbon, enjoying a mixed cocktail or simply as a juice glass. It was originally drawn up while traveling in Paris where Simon and Jay Benson started brainstormed new ideas for drinking glasses.
The Blackberry Bourbon Sour; featured at our restaurant, and you can try it at home with this recipe:
As summer solstice approaches we’ve made the shift to outdoor entertaining. The Honey Grapefruit Martini is a seasonal favorite at our restaurant in the Mill. This refreshing drink is ideally served in a chilled Benson Martini glass which is the perfect combination of form and function. The base of the glass fits well in the hand, while the cone shape of the bowl is the right capacity to sip this summer cocktail. As the weather warms up, and if you have the opportunity to dine at our restaurant, select this wonderful cocktail off our menu, or if you are at home try our recipe.
Honey Grapefruit Martini
2 oz. Barr Hill Gin
1 oz. Honey+Lime+Grapefruit Mix* (see below)
Fresh Herb Sprig
Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker. Shake well and strain into a chilledBenson orAscutney Martini glass. Garnish with a herb sprig such as thyme.
*Honey Lime Grapefruit Juice Mix
1 part Hot Water
2 parts Honey
2 parts Lime Juice
5 parts Grapefruit Juice
Mix hot water and honey until honey is dissolved. Then add lime juice and grapefruit juice and mix well.
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.
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
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.
While homebound for Winter Solstice you can enjoy shorter days, and longer nights mixing unique drinks in our handmade glasses. The Benson martini glass was created to inspire and enhance the experience of drinking cocktails from a unique barware vessel. The shape takes it’s cues from an appreciation for the proportioning of geometric elements. We feature this glass at our restaurant in combination with the Vermont Ginger Cosmo cocktail found on our menu. The glass makes a great gift for anyone on your list who would like to mix this wonderful cosmo at home.
Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake well. Strain into a chilledBenson Martini glass. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger on the rim.
The design evolved from a few drawings that explored the combination of the sphere and cone shape. We then perfected the proportions working with the glassblowers to create a beautifully balanced glass.
You can taste autumn in a glass with the Hog Toddy recipe. If your ready for happy hour, or coming in from a trail hike, this warming drink is simply spiced hot cider with a splash of rye whiskey. Perfect for chilly days, mixing the richness of fresh apples, with rye whiskey from the Vermont maker Whistle Pig. The amber color of the drink is best experienced in an ideal glass like the Windsor Tankard or Ascutney Mug.
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.
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.