Make good decisions
School starts today for most of our Cape Cod kids, which makes us think of putting little people on a big yellow bus - kissing them and telling them to make good decisions in front of all their friends.
They'll thank us someday.
It also makes us think of the world we're making for them, and the decisions we make ourselves. One decision we make pretty routinely is to seek out beautiful things made in the United States by people who have similar ideas about how the world should be.
Fire and Light is one of those businesses. They originally formed as a partnership between the Arcata Community Recycling Center in Humboldt County, California, and a group of local investors who wanted to develop an innovative plan for using crushed, recycled glass. They decided on a distinctive line of colored glass dinnerware, created by melting crushed glass in furnaces, adding pigment, and pressing the molten glass into bowls, plates, and glasses.
The first glass products were poured and pressed from the Fire & Light furnaces in December, 1995, and the world became a bit more luminous.
John and Natali McClurg purchased the company in 1999, continuing the enlightened practices of their founders as well as finding new ways to incorporate recycling into the production process, like using recycled beer kegs from local microbreweries as vats to cool ladles.
We also love Provence Platters, made from reclaimed wine barrels. Australian Marketing + Design reclaims wine barrels, giving them a second life as bowls and platters bearing authentic cooper's marks. Surfaces are smoothed and finished with layers of food-safe, organic beeswax. They come as round platters (below) and long, curved platters. They're repurposed, but haven't had their former life polished out of them. Each one is different.
American Stonecraft works with 72 working farms across New England, using stones cleared from fields. Their team of artisans uses custom diamond hand tools to slice, sculpt, and polish farm-gathered fieldstones, turning them into food-safe slabs and "bowlders," absorbent coasters, and stain resistant trivets. Each piece pays tribute to the farmer, with the origin noted on the back.
These artisans make us want to chose products that are easy on the earth and made to last. All good decisions.
So happy first day of school, everyone! Go out there and make your kids proud.