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Find Your Way To Vermont For Quintessential New England Glass Factory

Take an autumnal journey north to see the fascinating process of glassware being made, entirely by hand. The Simon Pearce Glass Factory, located in a historic, converted woolen mill, in Quechee, Vt., shows visitors the creativity of this clear-cut art.  

"The first step that we do is get a 'gather' of glass out of the furnace," explains says Product Manager Bill Browne, a Connecticut native.  "It's about 2,000 degrees.  Then, we bring it to the bench and pass it through a wooden tool we call a block." 

The blowers breathe life into the glass before setting it in a mold and adding frills, such as stems and collars. 

"Definitely very original, like nothing we've ever seen before," says Matthew Palumbo of New York. 

Visitors watch from the sidelines of the workshop, which has reopened after suffering severe damage during the floods of Hurricane Irene.  Four hundred "practical heirlooms" are created here every day.
    

The site also offers a retail shop, featuring custom pottery and holiday items, as well as a gourmet restaurant, overlooking a covered bridge and the gorgeous Ottauquechee River. 

Browne never tires of this quintessential "New England" tableau:  "The foliage, the farms and the craftsmanship.  This place is such a wonderful destination for your family."
     The glass demonstrations are offered daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Quechee facility, about a 2.5 hour drive from Hartford.  Click here to check out the Simon Pearce website for more information.

     Simon Pearce, an actual glass blower from Ireland, will be appearing at events in his Connecticut stores Friday Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Greenwich, and on Saturday Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Westport.
    

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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