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The Art of Glassblowing: Simon Pearce

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.
 

Blown glass sailboats by Simon Pearce

Blown glass sailboats by Simon Pearce

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.
 

Glassblower at work in the Simon Pearce factory.

Glassblower at work in the Simon Pearce factory.

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.
 

Hartland Glass Bowl

Hartland Glass Bowl

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.
 

Stratton Wine Glass

Stratton Wine Glass

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.
 

Woodbury Dinnerware in Moss

Woodbury Dinnerware in Moss

Barre Dinnerware in Alabaster

Barre Dinnerware in Alabaster

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.

See the whole Simon Pearce collection.

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Your Favorites: Simplicity Colored Stemware

We just love the five jewel-toned colors in the new Varga Simplicity stemware. Amber, Cobalt, Sky Blue, Raspberry, and Green are each so rich and lovely, we can’t choose a favorite. Wouldn’t they look fun scattered across a table set with white linen and china? Read more

Affordable New Stemware from Varga Art Crystal

Varga Art Crystal is well known for their superb craftsmanship and distinguished artistry. Their methods have been passed down through four generations, reaching perfection in the design and hand crafting of crystal art. Their crystal stemware is skillfully and creatively crafted, entirely by hand. Found in museums; Varga crystal pieces are collected by royalty and celebrities around the world.
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Give the Gift of Fine Crystal this Holiday Season, From $88

Fine crystal makes a wonderful gift for anyone on your list – from newlyweds to hostesses to grandparents. Crystal vases, bowls, and candle holders are beautiful on display and easy to enjoy year-round.

Full-lead crystal pieces (those containing 24% of more lead) are exceptionally brilliant and extremely resilient, so crystal stemware will have very thin (but very strong) rims.  And don’t forget: true crystal pieces produce a beautiful tinkling sound when lightly tapped, so they’re very handy when you’re ready to make a toast.
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Cooking with Incanto and Sandra Lee

We love Incanto White dinnerware from Vietri. It’s glamorous enough for a Kardashian family dinner. But it’s also right at home at…well, home. Incanto makes a lovely display on the shelves in the background of this episode of Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. Read more