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.

 

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 Woodbury Collection

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The Woodbury Collection, with its recognizable characteristics of simple, rectilinear forms; has become a favorite. Now, the first bowl has reached its 25th anniversary. Although the designs originated as a pursuit of geometry; they turned out with natural variances that are a result of the handmade process.

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Working on the concept, Simon originally wanted to get a vessel that was a sharper version of a square bowl, not looking for a machined look, but a natural rendition of a square bowl. Wood moulds were created and the R&D process was underway; but while doing a trial he found that the glass material had a mind of its own. The raw molten glass would not confirm to the sharp corners of the mould, and would turn out softer and more organic. The top rim of the walls were another unexpected outcome, they would naturally flare to create an arched detail on all four sides. This became a hallmark look for the Woodbury Bowl, and shows us how you can have a natural outcome from the craft of making glass.

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Essential to the Simon Pearce line; and an aesthetic synonymous with the brand, the unique Woodbury bowl is a balance between a ideal concept and a sensitivity to what the material can do.

The bowl doubles as a great centerpiece and a useful item for everyday serving. It illustrates the qualities of our glass in its broad wall surfaces, and unique outline.

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Watch the Woodbury Bowl being made: