Flowers and wine–what a dreamy combination. Meredith Gordon, a new maker to our assortment, has brought the two together in the form of her floral glassware, and we couldn’t be more excited. Growing up as a navy dependent, Meredith has seen all kinds of buds and blooms from different corners of the world, and she uses her natural talent for painting to give them new life through her stemless (well, sort of) glasses.
Each of the products we offer has a story behind it, and we value those stories. We’re always eager to introduce you to our inspiring, independent makers as we welcome them to our uncommon family. Read on to meet Meredith and learn how being called “Arty” in school as a kid turned into a lifelong proclivity for creative pursuits.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist/maker?
My nickname in high school was “Arty” because I drew for the newspaper and yearbook, but I didn’t know of anyone making a career in art, so I never thought I could be an artist. I was very uninterested in any of the more conventional careers my friends were going to college to study, so I bounced around a few different jobs until eventually it started to become clearer and clearer to me that my path was going to be a creative one.
What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist/maker?
The most exciting thing is always the “last exciting thing” that happened on my path to becoming a professional artist. Meaning, I thought it was amazing when the first store owner agreed to carry my glassware; then I thought it was beyond fantastic when a magazine article published a little piece about me and my glasses; and now Uncommon Goods choosing my glassware to be part of their selection of products has me extremely excited!
How did you get the idea to start your business, and how has it grown?
I was newly freelancing as a decorative painter for a special event in a prestigious Boston department store and was asked to paint wine glasses. As they were drying on a table, people were approaching me and asking to purchase them. The glasses were supposed to be a free gift when customers made a fragrance purchase, but so many people were interested in buying them that I realized there may be a market for them. Fortunately, it was at a time when getting a website up and running was a pretty easy feat for the novice entrepreneur, so I was up and running in a week. Four years later, a selection of my glasses are in five retail locations and my website continues to grow, as does my selection of products that I offer.
I read on your website that flowers have always been a constant in your artistic work – from cake decorating, to interior design, to your beautiful glassware. Why do you think flowers have been such a big inspiration for you?
I have just always gravitated to flowers–in my personal clothing, on the fabrics in my home–I’m kind of a romantic at heart and they have always held a beauty and mystique for me. I am truly passionate about how unique and perfect each different variety of flower is, and the range of colors that they come in. Having lived on two tropical islands and both coasts of the U.S., the flower selection around me changed quite frequently, so I was able to experience even more varieties than I would have if I had lived in Plymouth all my life.
Each of your glasses is truly a work of art. Can you fill us in on the process of making them, from start to finish?
The process of making a glass is one of several steps or layers building the flower as I go, using the “One Stroke” technique of painting. After a flower is done, I go over each stroke once more with a clear sealer and then allow it to dry before baking it to cure the paint to its durable finish.
Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near as you work? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
I don’t keep any trinkets nearby, but music is a definite requirement when I am painting. When the music is right, it’s as if the creative juices from the singer/songwriter spill out from the song and flow around me, helping my strokes become more fluid and graceful. It really gets me into a zone of mindless creativity.
What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
I absolutely adore quotes and keep them all over my house in the form of magazine clippings and wooden signs. I even wear three inscribed bracelets with different quotes on them. Some of my favorites are: “Not all who wander are lost,” and “The Universe rewards action.”