As we placed an order for Murano glass products that are running out of stock we decided to try some new items. We perused our very many pictures of the vast number of creations by Imperio Rossi and Mario Costantini and ran into a few things that we really liked. In fact, we had already noted that we really liked these items, we just always had to narrow down our choices to what would most likely sell. This time, we were after something that was not as common and would inspire the admirer.
What we decided to choose this time was a set of fruit. These fruits are so attractive and realistic that they remind me of a still life painting, only achieved using a completely different medium: glass. Just like a painting these fruits can evoke different emotions and thoughts. I personally like to gaze at things and let them talk to me. I find the experience very peaceful and inspiring. I think of many things: the artisans, the process of creation, the care for the details. Having seen how other items are made, I know that every ridge, wave, and angle is not accidental: it was likely meant to be there. Also, I look at the details as they now rest, waiting to be noticed. This fruit can get pretty philosophical with me as it never rots, it is extremely fragile, beautiful, but it can’t be had. It also makes me wonder if climate change is threatening these fruits; it makes me recall the best tasting versions I had at one farm or another.
Then, ultimately I just appreciate the beauty of these fruits standing close together. Doing absolutely nothing, yet elevating the tone of the whole room. I will never stop loving authentic Murano glass!
Volkswagen was recently exposed for having its cake and eating it too.
In Italy we say: “occhio non vede, cuore non duole”, which, loosely translated, means: “what you don’t know won’t hurt your feelings”.
It often seems to me that this is the road-map that business follows to profits. Some say: “that is the way the world works,” but I believe that there are plenty of people in business who do not sell their soul to profits and are still able to “make” it. In some cases, they do extremely well because they have figured out how to provide something that people really want.
Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware) said the Romans, so this must have been a problem for some time. With globalization came an opportunity to operate under a cloak of mystery. So how is the buyer going to be able to beware? How do we know whether the label is true or not? Should I not buy the $3 t-shirt because it was probably made by kids who sleep on the factory floor? Does the Mazda in my garage that gets good gas mileage have software installed that achieves good gas mileage by blowing past emissions standards? The answer is common: “we don’t know! And we can’t possibly know.”
Thankfully someone exposed Volkswagen.
In my line of business cheaper imitations abound. We try to warn and educate customers by posting on our web site about cheaper imitations:
Hidden cost resulting from lack of durability not included.
Hidden cost of using lower quality materials not included.
Hidden cost of poorer craftsmanship not included.
Hidden cost of using underpaid workers not included.
Hidden cost of the environmental impact of manufacturing products in less-regulated countries not included.
Hidden cost of using production methods that are harmful to humans and the environment not included.
Hidden cost of losing generations-old traditions in craftsmanship not included.
Hidden cost of contributing to the use-and-dispose culture not included.
We really try to vet our artisans. I found that the best method is to ask the right questions and let time verify the answers. There is a lot you can learn from people over the years. That’s why we now take a long time before adding a new artisan. There has been a situation where we later realized that what appeared authentic actually was not, and we dropped those products. So we learn from our mistakes.
My question to you is: where do you stand on this issue? Are we crazy to want to tell our customers exactly who it is that made what we offer and how?