Artistry, concentration, and the hand all contribute to the remarkable objects we turn out at our pottery workshop everyday. The challenge of building things from the ground up, with earthy clay takes a blend of virtuosity, muscle memory and a keen eye to what looks balanced and well proportioned.
Our latest artistic creation from the pottery is our Beachstone collection. The inspiration comes from the natural elements here in Vermont. Along the shore of Lake Champlain, particularity in the area of Shelburne farms, there are beach stones and rock formations that are made of 450-million-year-old, Iberville Shale.
The stones have beautiful graphic striations and veins of the mineral calcite, that inspired the sedimentary effects we wanted to capture in our clay. By experimenting with different colors of clay pushed together; we created the effect we wanted to achieve.
Jeff, our master potter, has a great deal of experience with unique techniques and has perfected marbling the clay and throwing forms on the Potter’s wheel that reveal the graphic striated layers of clay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Upon, studying the water flowing over the waterfall at the mill and the ice that forms in the winter, we came up with these natural textures to capture in glass.
The glass blowers use fine strands of molten glass that are quickly wrapped around these cylindrical shapes to create a watery and icy effect.
As a beautiful series of winter hurricanes, the candlelight glows through the finer wrap texture in a way that is visually stunning.
We started with initial drawings but also worked closely with the glassblowing team, to arrive at the optimal amount of textural coverage. Each vessel turns out unique, and we embrace the irregularity that comes from the process of making them.
Perfectly, imperfect is a key characteristic of Echo Lake, and a hallmark of our ethos.
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!