The cost of cheap, Panama Pottery closes after 99 years
Panama Pottery has been operating out of Sacramento for the last 99 years but is now closing. As one of
the last pottery makers in the area the current owners cited State regulations and the box stores for their demise. According to The Sacramento Bee, the current owner, Carol Honda says she …”got roped in by its charm. There are kilns as big as rooms and mounds of shards that tempt you to dig deep for a piece of the place’s 99-year history.” Unfortunately, after buying the facility the owners we’re informed by CAl OSHA (California Occupational Safety and Health Administration) that “expensive renovations (we’re) needed to continue running the factory”. In addition customers said they could buy similar products at Home Depot and Costco at lower prices. According to Honda, “the pots that we were making didn’t work any different than the ones coming from Mexico and China, and they cost twice as much. In addition she adds “‘foreign companies”‘ buy the clay from Lincoln, CA. They ship it to Mexico, make a pot and ship it back to us for cheaper than we could manufacture it.’”
How is it that the clay which is local, can be shipped to another country and made into pots cheaper than we can do it here? Do people realize that this kind of stuff is why we are losing our place as “makers”, and have become a country of “users”. Do the customers who say they can buy stuff cheaper at Home Depot or Costco realize what they are responsible for? Yes, where you do your shopping does make a difference. Instead of always looking for the “cheapest” stuff maybe we could look at the big picture once and awhile?