J is for Japan (AtoZ 2016)

Japan is where it all began.

A Japanese company, Aida Chemical Industries, were the first to introduce metal clay to the public in the 1990s and they hold the patent for metal clay. They also make Art Clay, the brand of metal clay that I use.

A cool fact that I didn’t know until I went to their website: Art Clay isn’t their main product. Their main business is as an industrial waste handling company, reclaiming silver and other metals from other industries and then refining it to be reused. I love that they take what others would consider scrap and make it usable again. Art Clay is just one of the uses for that reclaimed material.

Where it began is also where it has ended up: the last time that I ordered clay, I had to order it from Japan since the prices elsewhere had jumped up. I’d love to support a local business, but there isn’t one. There are a few Canadian ones, which is where I’ve gotten my clay previously, but when it costs 50% more to shop Canadian … it’s hard to stomach. So, last time I opted to wait longer while it flew here to get a significantly lower price. I’m now debating whether I order again from Japan before the prices creep up even more or wait to see if the dollar rebounds at all and makes it easier to order from a Canadian site.

Do you shop locally (or nationally) if you can? Or are you a savvy international shopper?


    1. You would think that Canada would be large enough to find what you want, but it really sometimes feels like we so tiny! Even Amazon sometimes isn’t a great deal – an item will be $40-50 on amazon.ca and $15 on amazon.com. Even with the exchange rate, there shouldn’t be that much of a difference! But, I did find the Japanese store through the Amazone marketplace, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

    1. For me, sometimes it’s just easier to order online. It sounds odd, but with two young children, I don’t get much time to myself or time to shop until they’re in bed. And, that’s not really a reasonable time to get out shopping in person!

      But, with some of my local stores closing, I’ve started shopping locally when I can. I appeal to my impatient side and tell myself that by shopping locally I can get it faster, so it’s worth paying a bit more or going through the slight inconvenience of finding the time to get there in person. :D But, I do know that it would be really silly to pay a huge amount more for the same product.

    1. That’s it exactly – there isn’t just one answer. Sometimes it makes sense to show support for local business, but other times it just really isn’t. It’s that grey area that makes it hard to judge sometimes.

  1. While I would love to shop more locally, I have to point out that I am a bit of a hypocrite in this division. I’d like to think that once I make real money (if that ever happens), I would support local businesses more often instead of researching cheaper options online! And, I want to become a volunteer for many of the great causes and I would want to donate heaps amount of money to organizations I care about! Hmmmm…

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

    1. That is an interesting point that you bring up – sometimes spending money locally means that you have less money to share locally if it costs you more to shop locally. Many of the times that I don’t shop locally it’s because I can’t find what I’m looking for locally. But there are certainly other times that I know I could find what I want locally, but choose to buy online because of convenience or price.

  2. How lovely that metal clay is a reclaimed-waste product! Hurrah for Aida. And it makes it so much more attractive to buy jewelry that way. As for local-vs-international shopping, here in Curaçao we get little choice. Being an island, most everything is imported already, and on top of that there’s little variety. For a long, long time, Curaçaoans have been making a shopping trip abroad, either to the US or to Holland (we’re part of the Dutch kingdom), at least once a year. People order furniture from the US or Colombia; small boats dock in every morning bringing fresh produce from Venezuela. Until very recently, no vegetables were grown here. That’s beginning to change, though, and in a very positive way: organic farms have started springing up, and with the global pendulum swinging towards veganism, more and more people are considering local options before buying foreign. Interesting times on the island of Curaçao ;)

    Thanks for the visit over at Life In Dogs, Tracy. Loved your comment :)

    1. I know, isn’t that neat that it’s really a byproduct of other things. :) I guess I shouldn’t really complain about a lack of options. Although Canada doesn’t have the variety of the US, most things can be ordered from there without too much effort. Sometimes it’s just as fast to ship something from the US as it is to ship within Canada (and sometimes the same cost to ship from the US).

      That’s great that Curaçao is starting to develop organic farms! The idea of community gardens has started springing up in a few places around here. But it is sad to see the farmland going away in favour of development. Particularly when it’s just for strip malls :(

  3. I try to shop local/nationally where I can, but also have to shop according to price or availability so that means international on some things.

    Jewellery tends to be more internationally, than local if TB but I make an effort to do local when I can, but the price difference can be huge.

    Supplies wise it’s working out mostly local/national which is great! I’m lucky where I live on suppliers for glass.

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. I do find it hard to shop locally for Trollbeads these days. I only have one dealer left, and I don’t think she’s ordered any new stock in at least twp years! But, I am getting quite good at finding things internationally, I guess.

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