Meet Pierre, Niche's Head Gaffer! New to the area, he has settled in quickly here, and we are so glad that he's a member of our team. Read his employee spotlight to learn more about his role at Niche and how he accidentally stumbled into the art of glass-blowing.
What drew you to Niche?
I began noticing Niche lighting a few years ago via Instagram. I was drawn to the simple but beautiful designs and colors. In my work, I strive to create simple and beautiful designs as well. That is why I was so thrilled and excited to begin working here.
As one of the glass blowers at Niche, what does your day-to-day look like?
First, I greet my wonderful team! Heather and Lukas do what every team leader could ever hope for: they work incredibly hard and are always there at the drop of a hat. After greeting them, I turn on the color box, the re-heating chambers, make some coffee, and get to work! Heather, begins by picking up color and applying that to a bubble on the end of a 5-foot blow pipe, just like they did thousands of years ago! Then we work as a team with molds, heat, and hands to create beautiful lighting!
Tell us a little about your background as a glass-blower. What made you pursue that path?
I began glass-blowing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. One day, I was working on an abstract painting and decide to take a break by walking down to the craft department. I found myself wandering into the glass studio — and from there, the rest is history! Internships, classes, residencies and professional studio assistant jobs have propelled me to the position I am in currently. I was never a perfect student, but when I found glass, all of that changed. My realization for the love of making glass into objects excelled. I couldn’t see my life without glass after that.
Before you came to work at Niche what kind of glass pieces were you making? Do you find time to create outside of Niche?
Before I came to Niche, I was creating barware and tableware meaning, vases, decanters, cups, and vazes (those are fancier then vases, and more expensive). I was selling glass at shows and setting up my work at one of the biggest outdoor markets in Capital Hill, Washington, D.C. while working in four different glass studios. I continue to work on my artwork at local glass studios and etch on glass in my backyard.
What do you feel is the most important quality as a business in the design community?
I feel the most important quality as a business in the design community is continuing to put out new colors and shapes, presenting at prestigious shows all over the country, and going to design conferences and meetings. But one of the most important things — and something that I believe Niche already does — is work as a team.
What is your favorite spot in the Hudson Valley? Why?
My favorite spot in the Hudson Valley is a little slice of heaven right when you get out of Beacon and you are heading towards Cold Spring. It’s a place called the Disc Golf course. Yep, that’s right! I love it, but more importantly, there’s a great community in Beacon, and I have made some wonderful friends here already.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy drawing on cups with a Dremel — currently I’m working on some dinosaur drawings — and most of the dinos are riding skateboards! I like to go to Quinn’s in Beacon and The Wherehouse in Newburgh. I also love hiking and visiting my wife in D.C. on the weekends.
What is your favorite Niche pendant shape and color combination? Why? Is you favorite Niche design also your favorite to make? Why?
My favorite Niche pendant light is one that we are prototyping right now. I think it looks great in Gray — you'll just have to keep an eye out when we release it. My other favorite design is the Aurora, and I like the team work that is involved in making the Stamen.
What elements and objects in the design world inspire you the most?
I am inspired by other glass workers who are also my friends and peers. For example, just the other day I saw some beautiful vazes a friend of mine made. I got excited and it made me want to push my practice further. As I walk into the glass studio every morning, I am very proud of what I do and believe in the design that we create as a team.