Eric Cortina Header

      It’s exciting to see one’s dreams become reality.  That’s the case for Eric Cortina, visual director for Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar, California.  Surrounded by holiday ornaments throughout the year as well as traveling to Europe in conjunction with his career, Eric developed an appreciation for glass ornaments. 
      Coupled with his background in design and enthusiasm for vintage prints and postcards, Eric began sketching out concepts.  “I found out that being a novice can have advantages,” he laughed.  “I didn’t know what ‘couldn’t’ be done and wasn’t hesitant to propose new ideas.”  The fruit of his inspiration and labor is an imaginative 14-piece collection that will be sold exclusively through Roger’s Gardens this fall.  Individual ornaments will range in price from $30-60.

Eric Cortina Harlequin Ornamnet       The inaugural styles include a trio of ornaments inspired by the Nutcracker Suite — Royal Nutcracker, Harlequin and Ballerina.  “I’m fascinated by the paper theaters that were popular inn the 1900s”, Eric explained.  Drawing inspiration from the theater characters, he designed two colorations of the harlequin: one in bright purple, green and white, the second in a black and white pattern.  The Royal Nutcracker stands at attention in his regally trimmed coat and lacquered boots.  Drawing upon Degas’ depictions, the Ballerina poses at rest with stars sparkling on the ball upon which she stands.
      Eric’s Santas are not the jolly and fat variety popularized in the 1950s.  Instead, they possess a serene and elegant mystique that one might find on a vintage European postcard.  Santa Claus on Ball, done in both red and black colorations, stands tall upon a snow-covered blue ball.  He’s traditionally dressed replete with a pack filled with vintage toys and a Christmas pine.  St. Nicholas portrays the bishop in his red robe with blue miter hat.  He stands before a shimmering green pine capped with a shiny gold star.  The base has been cover with a mixture of crushed glass and mirror, creating a textured but snowy effect. Take One Santa is Eric’s personal favorite.  “I patterned the design after an old Victorian image.  It’s created from three separate molds,” he noted.  Designed for viewing from all sides, Santa’s pack bears an invitation just too good to be true —“Take One”.  A child stretches on tip top, hoping to reach a much hoped-for toy.  The snowy base of this tableau was also finished with the crushed glass mixture.
      A delicate wren perks over her eggs in Bird in Nest.  This piece has incredibly carved detailing, holly and berry decoration and iridescent mica-like glitter.  Eric adapted a candle clip to hold this glass nest on the holiday tree.
      The two angels in the collection both have a soft, vintage appearance. Little Cherub, patterned after a Victorian angel, is painted in a satin-finish ecru and shaded to give it a stained, antique feel. Joyeaux Noel Angel, another multiple mold creation, is equally monochromatic.  Her gown is a buttery ecru accented with gold stars that are carved into the mold.  She holds a banner before her proclaiming “Joyeaux Noel”, “Merry Christmas in French.  Madonna and Child, inspired by a terra cotta statue, is also finished in subtle earth tones that enhance the ethereal effect of the aura surrounding Mary’s head.
      All Eric Cortina designs are finished with a bronze “EC” hang charm and packaged in an elegant ecru box.  While designed by Eric, here in the United States, the ornaments themselves are handcrafted in Poland.  Look for EC Designs at Roger’s Gardens this September.


Roger’s Gardens