Holidays in Vermont

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There are times when simplicity makes a bold statement. We invite you to pare back your table. Let the rich tones of the wood surface create a backdrop for candlelight, glassware and our warm Belmont dinnerware with its interesting crackle glaze (we’ve used ivory, but the Celadon is also a natural for the holidays).

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Then, before your friends or family arrive, take some time outdoors.  Gather up some natural elements such as evergreens to style your hurricane, or red berries to adorn your napkins, tied with twine. Here we’ve used Hipericum berries, but you could snip winter berries from the woods, or rosehip berries if you live near the coast. Finally, eucalyptus is a foliage abundantly available at this time of year. We tied bits of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus with our red berries, but another favorite of mine is Seeded Eucalyptus.

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This simple Vermont style is punctuated with some holiday sparkle from stainless serveware. Fill a Georg Jensen pitcher with water, or serve salad from one of our hammered bowls for a natural, textured look.

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Special enough to celebrate, but simple enough to leave the focus on those with whom you gather. Christmas, Vermont style.

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Gathering Time: Thanksgiving Table

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This Thanksgiving we set a table where luxurious solid linens and flora and fauna of the region set a backdrop for textural dinnerware and candlelight.

 

 

Our new Echo Lake Hurricanes create a harvest centerpiece. Strands of glass wrap around the hurricane, reflecting candlelight with a romantic flicker, while pears, rosemary and Amaranth flowers are intertwined.

 

 

Place settings are set with our milky glazed Burlington dinnerware, rustic Woodbury Graphite flatware and Woodstock Red Wine glasses. Finally, solid washed linen napkins in a warm “Ashes of Roses” color, play off similar tones in the Amaranth and Red Anjou pears.

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The table could also be set with the Moss glazed Burlington dinnerware, and the solid linens come in several warm and cool tones to choose from. Either way, simple elements mixed with the festive hurricanes create a warm and luxurious table around which to gather.

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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Crystalline Bud Vases: Contour, Modern, Curio, and Facet

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.

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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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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.