Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friends of Glass

When David was a young boy, he remembers his mother putting away leftovers in a serving bowl. If there was not a matching lid, a dinner-plate was used to cover the food contained while stored in the refrigerator. It was a time when the milkman left milk on the porch in thick glass bottles and condiments, foods and beverages were packaged in glass. If you were thirsty, you had a “glass” of water. Even small children learned to drink from glassware, there were no sippy cups.

As the years rolled by, David Leonhardt began to pursue his interest in lampworking glass. His hobby soon became his profession and his passion. The beauty of the glass caught his attention at a time when glass products were quickly being replaced with more and more plastic. After 10 years, he changed careers to business accounting only to find, seven years later, that a purposeful change of location led him right back to his craft as a lampworker.

“I started doing some work for a local glass shop in town and noticed that the owner had glass drinking straws for sale,” states David in his website. “I had never heard of these before and I am always intrigued by something made out of glass that I hadn’t thought of. I was struck by the unique elegance in such a simple item.”

“I immediately recognized that here was a partial solution to our “plastics problem”. So, I created the GlassDharma line of glass drinking straws and the GlassDharma website to contribute one solution to the overabundance of single use plastics in our society.”

The quest to formulate the most durable glass products possible led David straight to the technical support staff at Corning, Inc. where he found answers, backed by science, to the “art” of the annealing process.

Baffled by the variety of answers he had received from other lampworkers about the annealing process, David implemented what he learned from Corning, Inc. and subsequently developed an annealing process, “which has been one of the cornerstones of our Company’s success”. Simply by focusing on durability.

Did you know GlassDharma Straws are guaranteed for life against breakage?! Also the taste of drinking though glass straws versus reusable straws made from other materials has been a big convincing factor to those who have tried GlassDharma glass straws for the first time. They are easy to clean, suitable for hot and cold beverages, and have a smooth feel to your lips thanks to their fire-polished finish.

David Leonhardt and Gail Johnson, owners of GlassDharma since 2007 are committed to the environmental mission behind the manufacturing and sales of their products. Each time someone chooses to reuse their glass straw, one more single-use plastic straw is not made. As one takes a baby step by applying this idea to one small, ordinary item, it ignites the spiraling thought process… and the idea of choosing to re-use takes on an application to bigger things.

Note for the Editor of "Blog in a Bottle":
 "David and his wife, Gail are also ambassadors of Friends of Glass who help us spread the positive word. We couldn’t be any prouder."

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