Do you believe in magic?
I found magic (or should I say, it found me) at a glassworks factory in rural Vermont.
My friends, Brad and Linda, insisted I find my way to the Simon Pearce Glassworks in Quechee, VT., certain I would love the place. They were right. It had all the right components to make me swoon... cool industrial architecture in an old converted mill, beautiful river setting, artists making exquisite glassware, a farm-to-table restaurant and a wonderful shop. All that, and a little something extra that made my heart really happy.
It wasn’t the setting that made it magical, though that was pretty darn impressive. The mill sits on the confluence of two rivers and the resulting waterfall drives the hydroelectric. Standing on the outer deck, the sound and power of the waterfall destroys mind chatter and the water flow is mesmerizing. Inside, huge windows let in tons of natural light. It’s especially striking in the lower level glass studio, where the teams of glass blowers build the daily product.
The overall space design, also spot on. I love it when someone gets is absolutely right. Since the real star here are the clear glass vessels and simplicity reigns. The architecture is pared down to the essentials. Brick, wood, glass and steel. One of my favorite details was the exposed ends on the floating staircase. Each tread was a thick and sturdy, showing off its tree rings and wear from countless feet.
Other than the glassware, the only 'decoration' was collections of wooden glass forming molds, puzzle-pieced together into large wall displays.
The glassware itself, gorgeous. Watching is move from molten fiery red to it an icy finish, well, that just makes my heart skip. (Lucky me, I now own a piece.)
So in a place where all the components are unquestionably cool, where lives the magic? And in my quest to trigger my inner awe, why is it that I sometimes catch a glimpse of the magic and other times, I’m completely undone? What makes this place so special?
It struck me that at Simon Pearce, you can actually feel the clean crisp energy of passion at play. They create and sell glass, beautifully. Everything single thing and everyone supports that and the vibe is unapologetically proud. It's pure delight and reminds me that I want that in my life, every day.
Living in delight ... to me, that's magic.