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Bringing Transparency to the Dinner Table

Bringing Transparency to the Dinner Table

I guess the closest thing I have to a family heirloom  is a gorgeous, ruby red punch bowl that  I use now as a fruit bowl.  I value the gem-like qualities of the bowl the same way I would if it were a real ruby, say, in a super-sized cocktail ring that was left to me.

Red glass dinner bowl
Glow of real ruby stones may have nothing on my bowl. Photo by Vivian Lingard

The punch bowl was part of a set, but the only pieces left include three small, round  plates. Even a cracker looks elegant against this rich red background. These plates are probably the reason I love glass dinnerware, whether it is crystal clear or  in deep gemstone  colors. But I knew there wasn’t much of a chance of easily finding a modern, glass dinnerware set in deep colors.

Gleaming Ball of Cobalt

So imagine my excitement  when I walked into a Walmart store and  saw a jewel-of-a bowl in shiny cobalt blue. The bowls, which can be used for cereal or soup, are made by Anchor Hocking. I picked up four to buy, but I didn’t stop there. On Anchorhocking’s website, there was an entire 18-piece  dinnerware set selling at a big discount.  I  ordered it. Walmart also has sets online.

An 18-piece presence cobalt dinnerware set, which  sells for $29.99, reduced  from $78, at‎
An 18-piece presence cobalt blue dinnerware set sells for $29.99, reduced from $78, at‎

The great thing about glass dinnerware is it’s very cheap.  The ones we’ve seen in 18-, 20,- or 24-pieces are all under  $60. For that low price, you can set a beautifully inviting table. And since the glass dishes are muted–even the cobalt blue set is unassuming–they won’t clash with any dinnerware you might add from a non-glass set.

Glass Dinnerware on a Budget

blue glass dinnerware
Another  blue dinnerware set in Anchor Hocking’s collections is  the 24-piece Rio Coastal Blue, selling on its site for $49, reduced from $158.

Squaring It Off

The glass dinnerware collections seem to all have room for the square-shape, which adds an artsy look to the dinner table. Libby, also a large American glassmaker, has a clear, square set that looks like a flat sculpture.

square gglass dinnerware
Square simplicity is the best way to describe these pieces that are part of a Libbey 12-piece dinnerware set, sold by Target for $29.99.

Here’s an idea: If you take pieces from the cobalt blue set, add clear glass pieces (they would be a good stand-in for white) and mix them with any non-glass red dinnerware, the presentation would work for celebrating the summer holidays.

What ideas do you have for using glass dinnerware sets?

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