Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Field Trip



Last week my daughter, granddaughter and Barb's daughter were all on vacation so we took the opportunity to get together and take a field trip. One of my favorite places to visit has always been Simon Pearce Glass in Windsor Vermont, and since Deb and Sarah love to go there too and Barb and Breanna had never been there, we decided it was the perfect choice.


All their glass is handblown by a small group of artisans and they have a balcony that goes out over the work area so that you can watch them do their magic. Glassblowing is a delicate dance and a cooperative effort as elegant pieces are blown, molded, rolled and joined together, each person knowing exactly what steps to take as component parts are assembled to create a work of art.





Above are pictures of their showroom.





This is an overview of the front half of the work area. You can see the almost white hot fire in the openings of their secondary ovens, the ones they use to keep reheating the glass as they shape and mold, like the man below.










This is a photograph of their main oven. It heats and melts all necessary ingredients, making the molten glass ready for the glassblowers. It is from this oven that each artisan removes hot orange glass with his or her glassblowing tube. Their judgment for knowing how much glass is needed for a particular project seems infallible.



To the right of the oven in this picture, you can see one of their artisans working with the superheated material, rolling and blowing the glass, coaxing it into elegant shapes. On the floor are troughs of running water. They place wooden molds in these troughs and, for some pieces, blow glass into the mold.

Unfortunately, when we arrived, many of the artisans were at lunch and the work area was rather quiet, and a few of our pictures didn't come out. I'm sorry to have missed one in particular; it was a photo of the sweeping, curved handle of a pitcher being attached to the pitcher with delicacy and perfection.

A simple wineglass can cost from $58 to $108, so as beautiful as I think the work done here is, I will never be able to set a table with Simon Pearce glass. But, some years ago, I did treat myself to a brandy snifter and three glass ice cubes. From the seconds table.



13 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Pricey stuff. It seems like a fine outing though.

8:56 AM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

This is so cool! I'll probably never get there in real life

2:21 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

so thanks for the trip!

(Sorry, I was interrupted in the middle there. Had to go put a play shirt on a grandkid--after he already spilled something horrible on his good shirt--nothing like closing the barn door after the ... well, you know how it is.)

2:25 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

What a fun day out! OUT being the operative word. ;)

That's pretty costly but I'd rather watch than buy anyway. I'm like a bull in a china shop.

XXOO

2:35 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Oh the lovely glow around those furnaces! If you're like me, Pam - you've got a serious case of cabin fever and that looks like a wonderful place to explore. Thanks for the vicarious outing :0)

7:07 PM  
Blogger Mama P said...

Pam, I wonder if you could get any on Ebay? What is your favorite type of glass?

10:38 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Pam--a great field trip. Thanks for the report. It looks like a thoroughly modern facility.
Wow--those are some pricey pieces. Well, you can always look and enjoy the beauty in the showroom.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Crayons said...

Wow, this post tells me something about you that I didn't know -- and I feel like I know a lot from having read you for two years. I like the enthusiasm and fresh eagerness in the writing and photos. I've never seen glass being created. This intrigues me.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I've seen glass blown before, but nothing of this magnitude. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

big hugs,
laurie

11:50 PM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

What a fascinating experience. I love watching people who are experts in their craft. Such talent, patience and steady hands! The showroom looks lovely and I could lose myself for hours there. What a very interesting trip you had.

2:23 AM  
Blogger joared said...

What an interesting experience. Really like your photos. We have a working glass blower a short distance from my home who allows people to observe him where he's practiced his craft for many years now. My family has enjoyed watching him as do I.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

I've always been mesmerized while watching artisans blow glass into marvelous shapes. I have a small cobalt blue glass perfume holder in the shape of a pear...with the stem as the stopper. I watched it being blown but (since it was over $100) didn't dream of owning it. My sister and a friend chipped in and bought it for me as a surprise many years ago and I have it on a window sill. It constantly reminds me of that wonderful day.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Pam -

Just dropping by to send sunny hugs and let you know I'm thinking of you:0)

9:51 AM  

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