Industrial designer Timothy Daw and mixologist Ethan Terry have been part of the San Francisco dining industry for many years and they've noticed a problem—beautifully crafted glass bottles were being disposed of by the thousands. They couldn't let this waste continue so they started Reclamation Etchworks—a venture to create modern day, luxury spirit decanters from upcycled bottles collected from local San Francisco bars & restaurants.
Even before they met, Ethan had been storing away a private collection of his favorite empty vessels while Tim had been exploring potential opportunities of a local workshop collective and creative hotbed called TechShopSF. Once introduced through a mutual friend, the boys combined their efforts to reintroduce a prestigious product of the past—reinvigorated with new technology, and inspired by today's burgeoning cocktail culture.
With Ethan's roots deep in the bartending field, the two were able to rally a community of bar professionals to salvage discarded bottles from out of the waste stream. Led by industry giants like Foreign Cinema and Bourbon & Branch to new sensations like Corner Store and Trick Dog, they've begun to amass an inventory of five very specific and beautiful bottles. They've even created collection bins from reclaimed milk crates with etched face plates displaying pick up and contact information.
After stripping the labels and sanitizing the bottles, the duo employs a laser etching technique to permanently engrave their original Art Deco & Nouveau stylized label designs. The designs are inspired by today’s cocktail revolution but reference the golden era of the cocktail.
We had the pleasure of seeing these beauties up close and personal here in the Dwell office and the quality of craftmanship was a marvel. With the latest craze in home bar carts and artisanal cocktails, not to mention the recent release of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, we think these Art Deco etched decanters are the perfect addition to any established home bar or a great foundation for starting a proper collection.
The Reclamation Etchworks project has gone live with the help of many friends and family members but through their Kickstarter campaign, the pair hope to crowd-source the funds necessary to purchase their own laser etching machine in order to increase both the quantity and the types of products they'd like to offer. They are essentially offering the decanter sets as rewards for less than the price they'll be selling on their online store.
We here at Dwell love to champion the makers of this world and especially ones making a difference through design, so we think Reclamation Etchworks is well on it's way to becoming a truly great sustainable product design business.
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