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Our New Woodbury Photo Blocks

August 8th, 2011

For years, our customers have requested we add picture frames to our product line. We initially responded with traditional style frames in various materials like horn and wood. Our customers replied, “Those are nice, but we wanted a Simon Pearce designed picture frame of glass”. The question remained––how to go about designing a frame that would meet our high standard of design, and delight our customers?

Product Designer, James Zilian


Enter designer, James Zilian.


James joined Simon Pearce seven years ago, relocating from Boston to Vermont with his wife, Zoe. The couple met Simon while displaying their own handmade line of lamps and vessels designed by James at an industry event. With an interest in expanding his lighting business, Simon asked James to come aboard in product development. In addition to lighting, James started the Brookfield and Barre lines, and among others, working alongside Simon Pearce.


A few years ago, James was mulling over how to approach developing a picture frame when he noticed a Simon Pearce block of glass on his desk in front of some odds and ends. He pushed it aside against a wall and a photo of his family happened to be behind it. Simple and clean, the glass slightly magnified and framed the picture beautifully. The Woodbury Photo Block was born.


When reflecting on the process of designing our new Woodbury Photo Blocks, he describes the mass and clarity of the glass block, “we were serious about the materials we used”. In addition to the thick glass with natural nuances on the sides, he designed a metal stand with a low profile. Unlike most picture frames that utilize cut glass, this piece is created from a mold that was hand carved from our expert mold maker/engineer, Jan Mollmark.


Sketch of the Photo Block Design

In an original sketch, shown here, the base extended back along the bottom edge. Ultimately, this became the single leg of the final design. James feels, “the focus is on the glass and lends itself to creating a sense that the glass is floating”. The result is to celebrate the image while enjoying a piece that will stand the test of time.

The Photo Blocks are ideal as a housewarming or wedding gift, especially with a personalized engraved message that can be cherished for a lifetime.  Our custom engraving creates a frosted effect that is uncluttered and, therefore, does not detract from the image being displayed.


When asked why he decided to work with Simon Pearce, though James’ response was all encompassing, it is reflected perfectly in the creation of the Woodbury Photo Block. He feels connected to the concept of a utility based object, a focus of Simon’s, that can elevate personal experiences. And, we agree. Our version of a picture frame, the Woodbury Photo Block, has all of the elements to be an enduring addition to our line of products.

Woodbury Photo Block 2″ square – $75
Woodbury Photo Block 5″ square – $165
Woodbury Photo Block 4×6 Horizontal – $150
Woodbury Photo Block 4×6 Vertical – $150
Woodbury Photo Block 3.5″ square – $125


Woodbury Photo Blocks

Woodbury Photo Blocks

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14 Responses to “Our New Woodbury Photo Blocks”

  1. Sue Patrick says:

    I do not see a way to order the block that does not have a dark frame around it. Do I understand that there are two versions — just back and block and with frame?

  2. Simon Pearce says:

    Hello Sue,

    There are five sizes available of our new Woodbury Photo Block and one style. The block of glass and streamlined back is the frame itself. We offer a custom gift box with each frame that has a foam inset (Is that what seemed confusing?) See the new photo above also. Thank you for your question!

  3. elizabeth wulkan says:

    what are the prices, and dimensions?

  4. Kate says:

    Let’s say you purchase the Landscape 4×6… Would it be possible to purchase just the backing of the portrait 4×6 so you could swith to a different picture without having to buy a whole other frame? 

    • Simon Pearce says:

      Hello Kate,
      Great question! We will pass this suggestion along to our product designers. Right now, two backs with one glass block are not available. You may want to take a look at the 5″ square Woodbury Photo Block. With a small trim to the photo edges, you would have the flexibility you are looking for in orientation. Thanks!

  5. kay mellor says:

    these frames are indeed just smashing! But $75 for a 2 inch square one
    and so on up in size and price is prohibitive for many of us who would love to have a grouping of them ( or even 2 )

    • Simon Pearce says:

      Thanks for your feedback! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for an upcoming photo contest — Best Summer Moment — in which the prizes are Woodbury Photo Blocks! It should be fun!

  6. lisa says:

    I saw these frames in person for the first time yesterday at their Quechee showroom and they are just beautiful! A stunning reflection of the artistry and craftsmanship that you expect from Simon Pearce. I just love them.

  7. papadick58 says:

    I am confused by Kate’s comment re the frame can only be used for one photo – she indicates that once a picture is put into the frame it is there for ever and can never be changed. Is that the case – and if so why???

    • Simon Pearce says:

      Hello – Thanks for your question! Actually, the photos can be quickly and easily changed in the frame since the glass sits on the stand. Kate’s question was referring to the back stand which determines if the Photo Block is horizontal or vertical. One 4×6 frame can not be used in both ways, you should select either a horizontal or vertical orientation when you purchase a Photo Block! Let us know if you have any other questions!

  8. Jen says:

    I would like to know where the writing goes if you actually personalize the block. Do you have a picture you could send which displays that?

    • Simon Pearce says:

      Generally, the photo blocks are engraved on the bottom corner. However, if you need something different/special, give our Customer Care Center a call at 800.774.5277.

  9. Li Carruth says:

    Hi, I was just reading your wonderful blog and I must say it is very well made. Lots of great content and I would definitely recommend it to my friends. Keep up the good work.

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