Arc International, Unknown Craftsman/Woman

Saladier 100, Cosmos collection. China, 2008
tempered glass
Unknown craftsman/woman
bracelet. Ecuador, 2006


A very ordinary glass bowl and a very common souvenir gift. Both objects are meant to be reproduced; the first one in an industrial context, by using technologies of mass production; the second one in a craft context, by hand. Neutrality and lack of character could define these two almost invisible objects of everyday life, but nevertheless these two particular samples are special: they are the result of an accident, of a mistake. Despite of being faulty products they have not been discarded; in short they have become RARE.

ARC international is a world leader producer of tableware. The fame of its tempered glass items responds to their shock- and heat-resistance. But here it seems that a failure during the process of tempering has created a singular exemplar. Our bowl has a random, beautiful pattern of delicate lines that curl and break over the slightly deformed surface. Surprisingly, the faulty bowl has skipped several quality controls and has made it to the shelves of a department store.

The textile bracelet, a souvenir from Ecuador, is made by hand and contains a
spelling mistake in the country’s name. Unlike than the faulty bowl, which was not possible to detect at first glance, as it was packed, the faulty bracelet was openly displayed in a crafts market. The mistake could be read as an accidental projection of better horizons for Ecuadorian crafts economy: EEUADOR could stand for EU, European Union, or for the EEUU (the USA in Spanish).

Both objects make explicit skill deficits as a result of a lack of personal involvement and a lack of concern with quality in their production. Nevertheless, the accidental “one-offs” could become collector’s items...

Mònica Gaspar

Unknown craftsman/woman, Ecuador.
Arc International (since 1825) is a French manufacturer and distributor of household goods.




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