When I was young, I remember going to the county fair and watching the glassblower create tiny, beautiful animal sculptures. He would deftly take a shapeless lump of molten glass and turn it into a prancing horse or a graceful swan. The process seemed quite magical.
This video from the Simon Pearce Company brought back that memory for me. At Simon Pearce, they create beautiful blown glass stemware, bowls, and other products for the home. All of their products are created from blown glass and finished by hand. Unlike other glass makers, who use factories full of machinery, Simon Pearce continues to use the traditional methods. All of their products are made in America.
Simon Pearce opened his first glassblowing shop in 1971 in Kilkenny, Ireland. 10 years later, the factory was moved to Quechee, Vermont, where it remains today. The Ottauquechee River provides clean, hydroelectric power for the facility. Simon Pearce has expanded with two other factories in Vermont and Maryland.
Although they make it look easy, glassblowing is a difficult art to master. The material is unforgiving – mistakes usually mean the artist must start over on a new piece. An apprentice glassblower studies under a master for a period of 2-5 years. During this time, the apprentice learns the traditional methods and skills, as well as developing their own unique signature. This gives each piece of glass its own distinct character.
In addition to glass, they also make pottery. Like his father, Simon Pearce was a potter before he began working with glass. The company carries on this tradition as well, creating beautiful, durable pottery dinnerware that is lead-free and safe for use in the dishwasher and microwave.
Simon Pearce glassware and pottery is an affordable, everyday luxury. It’s made to be beautiful as well as functional. The pieces are meant to be used and enjoyed every day, and will last long enough to be passed down to future generations.