So much more than ornaments… The Eric Cortina Collection

You know those unique and beautiful ornaments you always treasured as you decorated your Christmas tree as a child? The ones that always stood out because they were a bit different, and maybe super fragile… Well, we’re here to share the Eric Cornina Collection of exquisite holiday ornaments with you, in hopes they will become those special pieces your family treasures and looks forward to enjoying every Christmas season, if not year round!

We reached out to *the* Eric behind the Eric Cortina Collection and asked him a bit about his one-of-a-kind ornament designs, and all that goes into being a creator of such prized pieces, which are so much more than simple Christmas tree adornments. Here’s what he had to share:

Eric Cortina Studio

How did you decide to design Christmas ornaments?
I had been traveling to Germany during the Christmas fair as buyer for Rogers Gardens and started suggesting designs and colorations to the factories I had been working with.  One year a customer requested an ornament with holly on it, so when I was in Germany the next year I designed an ornament just for her. It was Roger’s best selling design the following season. The factories suggested I should design a collection…so I followed their advice.  My goal was to create unique ornaments with a design driven approach.
Bird In Nest
Do you have a favorite ornament you’ve created?
I think every new design is my favorite.  I believe this might be true with every designer, what you are currently working on has your attention and is your favorite.  Looking back, I would have to say the “Bird in Nest” because it was the first design I created for my collection and it incorporated a multi mold concept which was new for the industry.
Liquor Decanters
Can you share just a bit about your design process – from inspiration, to determining materials, colors, textures, etc.?
My inspiration comes from looking at the things around me every day.  I look at what I find interesting, what I see trending in design and what I think my clients would find intriguing.  I also look back on the past year to see what ornaments sold the best, and then try to evolve the collection from that point. I always try to push what the design can be by adding new techniques and materials. 
royal crown finial
What’s the most unique holiday ornament you’ve ever designed?
I would have to say the Crown Finial, which is constructed from five molds joined together to create the crown tree topper.  The factory actually went to the local University math department to figure out the dimensions for the design.  Glass shrinks when it cools, so the factory found that the crown initially would crack from the cooling process.  The math department figured out the correct proportions for the design to work and it is still one of our most iconic ornaments. 
Paris hot air balloon
What are some of the more unique ways you’ve seen people using your ornaments for the holidays?
Ornaments are not just for trees! People are decorating their chandeliers with them, placing them on book shelves and also displaying them under glass domes as pieces of art.  Many people will purchase an ornament because it reminds them of an event or a moment from their life, and some will keep those ornaments displayed all year round.
boston terrier ornament
Do you ever think of specific people when designing an ornament? Perhaps a friend, family member, or even a celebrity?
I definitely design not only from my own interests but also for people I know.  Every ornament has a personal story, or is designed with a friend in mind.  A best friend’s cat, a new born baby and even a coworker who loves flamingos have inspired some of my designs.
Gold Beaded Ship
What kind of traditions do you and your family recognize when it comes to ornaments?
I can remember our ornaments more than any other objects from my childhood.  I was not raised in a wealthy family, but I thought our two boxes of ornaments were the most beautiful possession we had.  I think many people don’t realize the impact the holidays have on children and how keeping those traditions alive for the future is so important.
If these ornaments, and Eric’s story, don’t inspire you to get to decorating your Christmas tree, we don’t know what will! We invite you to visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom and see these fabulous little works of art for yourself. We guarantee, you’ll find something perfect for yourself and quite possibly as a gift as well!
Thank you so much to Eric for sharing the secrets to his ornament designs, and why they mean so much to him.

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