But this story actually begins 2 generations ago….
The Family History: Andrew’s story begins when his grandfather, Philip Pearce, moved his family to Ireland in the 1950’s and began working as a potter. This turned into Shanagarry Pottery, which he crafted by hand from locally sourced clay. Philip’s sons, Simon and Stephen, helped their father by digging clay. This began a strong family tradition of hand crafting housewares, with old world style and care, and embracing the hard work that comes with that.
Simon Pearce, Andrew’s father, influenced by his own father’s business, found himself drawn to various glass makers throughout Europe. In the 1980’s, Simon moved with his wife, Pia, to the United States to grow their glass blowing business. They found their iconic mill building in Vermont, and moved in to set up a new glass blowing studio as well as make a home in the same building. Their first of 4 sons was soon born, Andrew. Andrew was involved in the business from an early age, particularly drawn to the innovative way their business would design everything, from the glassware to the machinery used for production. More on Simon.
Steven Pearce, Andrew’s uncle, stayed in Ireland and worked for Shanagarry Pottery, continuing the tradition for a second generation with his own signature pottery. They are still in business today, using the same locally sourced clay and traditional methods.
From a young age, Andrew was raised in a creative environment that is an important part of the Pearce family tradition. He was encouraged by his parents to pursue his passions. After working alongside his father in the glass business for ten years, Andrew decided on a new path: “I wanted to do my own thing, I needed to make something with my hands, and I liked building machines. I wanted to try something that hadn’t been done before, and I knew I wanted to live in Vermont.” Andrew worked closely with a few New England woodworkers, learning along the way, and discovered his love for the craft of making wooden bowls.
Andrew’s wife Christy was pivotal in getting the business up and running. Together they started on a small scale, slowly adding a wood working staff and eventually expanding to a larger building. In the beginning Andrew focused on bowls, and then adding cutting boards and other home decor. Andrew designed, built, or modified the vast majority of the equipment and machinery. As always, the Andrew Pearce process is focused on minimizing our impact on the environment. Our team takes the extra steps to sustainably source trees, produce as little wood waste as possible, and plant one tree for every tree we use annually. More about the Process and Sustainability