It has to look like GLASS to be good

I walked through a craft store recently, and noticed how few things that looked like glass really were glass. They had plastic tumblers in a design made classic by the glass manufacturers who developed it. They had plastic picture frames and business card holders with “Glasstique” in the brand name. Things made of glass are beautiful, they are valued, but these days many things that look like glass are not glass. In the entire store I found two glass items that were really made of glass — glass beads for decoration and glass buttons made by glass artists.

When I meet people for the first time and they hear that I do something that is about glass, they always have wonderful glass-related stories to tell. They talk about a glass dish that their grandmother had, or beautiful goblets they used in a restaurant. Many have seen some of the documentaries shown on television about how glass is made and artistic glass. Glass is a material that we see as beautiful.

When Arizona tea first introduced tea in blue, green and white bottles, I saw the empty bottles used in so many offices as vases, pencil holders and decorative items. Today many of these bottles use decorative appliques to get the effect of colored glass with clear glass.

I am told that beer packaged in non-glass containers tastes differently than the same beer in glass bottles. There are bottle plants owned by beer manufacturers and wine makers now, a testament to the value of glass as a packaging material. Fruit sold in glass jars and tomato sauces of many flavors in glass jars have a higher perceived value than the same products in non-glass containers.

A friend recently brought me a Bawls Guarana bottle, which has a pattern of “bumps” on the bottle (the company says the bumps keep the bottle from slipping out of your hand). The Bawls bottles are blue, brown and white. Once again an innovative company has found a way to make a special impression with glass containers!

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