For the past few days, I have been engaged in a rather frustrating email correspondence with Replacements.com. They are a very cool company because one of the things they do is cut the handle off of a knife or whatever and attach it to pieces that aren't normally available in your flatware pattern. For instance, I have a punch ladle and I'm about to order a wedding cake knife and server (the actual set from our wedding is God knows where, it might have gotten lost in Hurricane Katrina, actually).
Anyway. I decided that I want two child-sized place settings. Oneida, apparently, makes a five-o-clock teaspoon in my pattern, which is a smaller spoon intended for pre-dinner tea or whatever, which can also double as a child-sized spoon. They also make a demitasse spoon, which is approximately toddler-sized. They don't, however, make forks in either size, nor do they make a smaller knife (except for the butter knife, the blade of which is not an appropriate shape to use for cutting food).
Knowing as I do, however, that Replacements.com cuts the handles off of things and attaches them to other things, and knowing also that they make several different kinds of forks (such as ice cream forks aka sporks, oyster forks, pastry forks, etc - presumably by cutting up spoons, I don't own any of these pieces so I can't say for sure), I sent them an email to ask if they could possibly make a couple of sets of child-sized forks and knives for me. They responded that Oneida never made a child-sized set in my pattern, and since they are not a manufacturer, they cannot make one for me.
I, in turn, responded that I knew that Oneida had never made a child-sized set in my pattern, but I was confused, because they "hand craft" pieces all the time (I cited my punch ladle as an example) and what I was really asking was whether or not they take special requests for which pieces to hand craft. They responded that the punch ladle had been made by cutting the handle off of a place knife (um, duh, an idiot could see that) and Oneida never made a child-sized set so they can't make one for me.
I could very easily have responded that there is a child-sized spoon available and they could take the handle from a child-sized spoon and put a fork on it...or they could even just cut the bowl of the spoon into tines...but I'm tired of my comments and requests zooming right over their heads.
So instead, I wrote an email to Oneida and asked if they have any plans to make a child-sized set in the Aquarius or Satin Aquarius pattern. I figure, they have been selling three different versions of this pattern (Aquarius, Satin Aquarius [which I have] and Golden Aquarius) for at least 6 years (I registered in late '01 - early '02), so it must be pretty popular. I cannot possibly be the only person who'd like a child set in the Aquarius pattern.
So if you found me through a random act of Google while searching for a child-sized place setting of your Oneida Aquarius flatware - do me a favor and write to Oneida, too. If enough of us show interest, maybe they'll actually listen. I mean, after all, they make Satin Aquarius steak knives now. That has to mean that they listen to requests, right?
(Here's a picture of the pattern for reference.)
ETA: This was the response from Oneida: "We've had some discussions on offering children flatware to the Pattern for a Lifetime Program. At this time, there is no short term plan. I will pass your comments on to our marketing staff for review." So I'm going to expand my request: if you have any pattern that is part of the Patterns for the Lifetime Program, and you'd like a place setting for your child, please write to Oneida and let them know. They won't know we want it unless we let them know.
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