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.

 

Spring Tablescapes

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As days grow longer and dappled sunlight casts its playful shadows through our windows, we set our tables with Burlington Cloud dinnerware and exclusive Watercolor Floral print table linens (napkin, runner, tablecloth).

From Spring holiday tables to Mother’s Day brunch and all the casual family weekend lunches in between, the wavy and organic silhouette of the Burlington dinnerware melds with natural elements for the table, while the versatile floral print linens can be styled with cool or warm toned floral and centerpiece accents*.

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*It should be noted that linen is the ideal sustainable fabric. Far less water and pesticides are used to grow flax, from which linen is woven, and no parts of the flax plant are wasted (also yielding linseed oil, twines and ropes)

The “must have” new hand blown glass star of our Spring tablescape is the Addison Basket. Fill it with eggs or a May Day plant and offer it as a hostess gift, or set multiples down your table for a festive centerpiece. This year we are offering hand carved marble eggs as well, to fill the basket with, or to lay along your tablescape.

Two new light and fanciful elements for the Spring table are Horn Handled flatware and a napkin folded “nest”.  The flatware is crafted in France. The horn pattern (made from acrylic) is hand finished and each piece of the set has a unique and gorgeous design.  We fashioned the napkin “nest” by rolling and coiling our napkin just so, to cradle a marble or real egg .*

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*We’ve used the iconic blue egg from the Araucana chickens, that we hunt down at local markets here in Vermont, but you could paint a wood egg as well.

The finishing glass touches to our Spring table begin with Woodstock tumblers. We love our small tumblers with the rounded silhouettes because they can work as stemless wine tumblers, cocktail glasses, or a simple water glass. This Woodstock (and that of the Apprentice glass) silhouette is fuller, shorter, and more casual, while the elegant Hampton Stemless Tumbler, with its thinner and slightly tapered, taller shape, offers a more refined option.

Our favorite new candlelight option is the Bristol Small Hurricane with its lower profile and angular shape. It brings a modern and fresh element to the table.

As Spring progresses and the peonies blossom, consider adding our new Engraved Floral Addison Vase, engraved with spring blossoms, to your spring table or windowsill. The engraved design adds texture and the tapered opening holds delicate blossoms or greenery alike. It is fast becoming a Spring favorite of our customers.

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For fuller and larger Spring gatherings, consider adding these three customer favorites:

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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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.

PURE Middlebury Bowl

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.

The PURE Water Vase

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Looking over the rushing waterfall in Quechee; you are immediately enamored with the forces of nature, and the way the sunlight hits the turbulent water.

We wanted to capture this experience in an Art glass piece. Something more expressive than our typically functional items. First, some sketches of the waterfall and got ideas down on paper; then we quickly went to work with the master glassblowers to find ways to achieve the effects that look like water.

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The pieces are first created with a large bubble captured in the base which takes a high level of skill. The glassblowers then wrap molten glass around the shape, and form the strands of glass into the wavy effects. The visual texture of water flowing over the falls then starts to appear in the glass.

We ultimately arrived at the dramatic ‘water vase’ by observing the turbulent water flow, and crafting that moment into a glass vessel that only a master glassblower can finesse.

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Simon Pearce PURE Water Vase