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.
Looking back on 2020, we had the pleasure of working with a group of design students from Pratt Institute to interpret our brand and design intent through their eyes.
The collaboration started with conversations with Constantin Boym the chair of the Industrial Design department at Pratt, about how we could continue to build on the relationship between the two organizations. We wanted to focus on exploring the growing connection between product design and the handmade. The next step to getting this started was to partner with Dana D’Amico the professor of the special projects class, to create a design brief. Looking through the lens of the Simon Pearce ethos, the students would investigate form and function that would be appealing to a younger demographic.
Research started before the pandemic early in 2020, and we were able to have the Pratt class leave Brooklyn and make the trip up to Vermont and visit our facilities to learn first hand about our processes for making glass and ceramics.
We gave the students a tour and introduction to the brand at our flagship Mill location, and then visited many of the facilities of our Windsor location for an in depth explanation of how we make things. Matt McFarland and Neil Cockwill gave insights into our unique processes, and requirements to make an object into something we can produce. This input is crucial for students to understand in order to resolve a design concept so it can be made by master glassblowers or potters. Over the many months that followed, we transitioned the classroom to working virtually online with video conferencing.
The students had to quickly adapting to working from home, and were extremely resourceful with continuing to experiment with concepts off campus. As we did our virtual review of the class progress, the students revealed many very poetic refections on the natural landscape and rituals of use. This exploration lead to some very creative vessel concepts for glass and ceramics that they could see incorporating into their lives.
“These students really worked hard through a challenging semester and were very excited to share their work”, a quote from Dana. The concepts were refined into a final presentation that would be reviewed by a panel of judges.
In addition to Dana and myself, we were fortunate to have an amazing panel formed from New York museums. We were joined by Yao-Fen You, Senior Curator + Head of Product Design and Decorative Arts at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and Elizabeth St. George, Curator at the Brooklyn Museum. With the virtual final review, each student gave a concise overview of their semester work. After much consideration, the panel selected the work of Stephanie Chen for her nicely resolved reference to ice formations at the Mill in connection with the rise in whiskey+bourbon drinking.
Stephanie’s study of the waterfall influenced the tactile experience of the glass in the hand, and considering amber drinks like whiskey all played into how this concept came together.
We were delighted to see all the students hard work pushed through these very thoughtful concepts and look forward to future collaborations. We love to explore concepts for the home and build relationships with students. To further delve into exploring this potential we provide internships over the summer months so students can be engaged with all elements of creating and developing new products.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
“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
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.