Thursday, July 30, 2009

Good Things Come in Small Packages

In today's world of imports and mass production, it's refreshing to see artisans who can make a living doing what they love. At The Hardware Hut, we love to support "The Little Guy" as long as they can produce quality product and stand behind it.

We distribute for some manufacturers on our site, that do just that. Each of these brands are made by Artists either as a full time business or in their spare time and the entire company is run by them and or family/friends. When you order items by them, you're getting an individual miniature work of art.

I'll start with Earth To Peter, ETP is run by a man named Peter Conley who personally designs each piece and fabricates each one. ETP hardware is designed in a manner that embraces the beauty in imperfection and the grace of age. ETP hardware is made from solid pewter that's poured into a mold and every single piece is hand finished before it ships out.

Earth To Peter Hardware

Next up is Roscoe's Expressions, this is a company that uses unfinished wooden knob bases, and hand paints every single item. All of the designs are original to the owner and her daughter. Because every piece is painted as they are ordered, the design will be the same on all of the items but the colors slightly vary from one piece to the next. Roscoe's Expressions is a company that is run solely as a hobby and done for the love of painting.

Roscoes Expressions Hardware

Keeping along the lines of fun, whimsical, and unique is a company called Stuck Up Knob Company, this little establishment is run by one woman. Each piece is made from ceramic, the glaze is hand painted on the individual items, and fired at the time of order. Ann over at Stuck Up Knob does it all; not only is she the designer of the hardware, she's the artist who glazes, fires, and finishes them, but she also runs the office and ships the product. Talk about Superwoman!

Stuck Up Knob Hardware

Another colorful company that we carry is called Sietto, the name Sietto is a combination of two Italian words "Solido" meaning solid and "Schietto" meaning straightforward. I think that's fitting name, considering the product. When an order is placed with Sietto they cut the sheets of glass, fire them in a 1500 degree kiln that fuses the layers together, and affix them to their three base choices. There are a number of different styles and textures to choose from in this line so if you're looking to add some personality to your room, this line has it!

Sietto Hardware

Last but certainly not least, is a company called Bright and Thorpe. Bright and Thorpe are based out of Hawaii (lucky ducks!) This is one of the more expensive lines that we carry, but to see these items in person you can tell why. I once spoke to the owner about why her products cost so much and I got a pretty good explanation. She comes up with the designs and takes them locally to a mold maker; the molds that she uses deteriorate slightly over time and lose some of the detail so she makes molds more often than most companies. The mold making process is pretty expensive. Gail at Bright and Thorpe started out as a jewelry maker and needed some hardware for her own home, she decided to make them herself and Bright and Thorpe was born. Each piece has such intricate detail that they truly do look like pieces of jewelry.

Bright and Thorpe Hardware

As with all handmade products there will be variances from piece to piece and typically there is a longer lead time than most companies, but we all know Rome wasn't built in one day. The outcome can be so much more rewarding than having the same items as everyone else. Purchasing from small companies such as these can even help stimulate our economy.

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