While I’ve been fortunate to find quality components around which to create my functional work (e.g., salt & pepper mills and coffee grinders), it irks me that, in many cases, it’s impossible to find domestically manufactured equivalents that meet my needs. In partial response, I have, over the past year, started making my own salt shaker tops, which are far superior to the steel imports used previously – and begun using Ruth Niles’ USA-made kitchen-grade stainless steel bottle stoppers rather than chrome-plated imports. But that’s not enough.
Yes, domestically manufactured components MIGHT be more expensive, but I firmly believe my patrons (who, on average, are very discerning) are willing to pay the added cost for a quality, 100% American-made, product.
Understand: I have no issues with competition from foreign manufacturers making an honest living with quality products. That’s not the point. Competition is the engine that drives improvement, making life better for all. But it’s no secret that this country has exported thousands of manufacturing jobs overseas over the past decade (and perhaps longer) that will never return. But in so-doing, we have mortgaged our livelihoods – and, more importantly, the livelihoods of our children and their children to the whims of persons who might not have our country’s best interests at heart.
That said: I’m asking – no, issuing a challenge to – all my colleagues in the Fine Crafts Business to buy and use domestically sourced/