Acclaimed Chicago designer Felicia Ferrone crafts an artful drinking vessel that fuses function and high design.

The limited-edition glass is available through July. PHOTO COURTESY OF FFERRONE

The limited-edition glass is available through July.

When pouring a glass of premium Scotch whisky like Mortlach, equally important as the quality of the spirit is the vessel from which it is experienced. So when the iconic Diageo-owned brand sought an artist to honor its 150-year history, Chicago designer Felicia Ferrone, whose glassware and furniture is included in the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection, was a natural fit. After earning a degree in architecture and later working in Milan, Italy, the founder and design director of Fferrone Design returned to the U.S. with a belief that “all aspects of design are interdependent and nothing exists in a vacuum but always in relation to the environment, objects and systems that surround it.”

This idea is realized in the Cowie Collection (an homage to George Cowie and his son Alexander, Mortlach’s pioneer makers), handcrafted without a mold by master craftsmen in the Czech Republic. Two cylinders intersect, allowing you to savor the color of the whiskey with your eyes and the aromas that open up as the spirit interacts against both walls of the glass while swirling. “This glass—with essentially a void in the middle—strikes that balance of something audacious yet functional. It’s unconventional in its expectations and challenges the archetype of a glass,” she says, adding, “It was an amazing experience given the freedom [Mortlach] gave me to explore a design that was so audacious.”