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These are answers to some of the commonly asked questions we receive. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for here, please email us at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to get you the information you need.
You may also find answers by using our chat feature, or leave us your email address so that we can respond to your question – just click on the chat icon on the bottom right corner of your browser.
Where is AEfolio located, and where are the products made?
AEfolio is headquartered in Hong Kong, and team members are in Hong Kong and the United States. We partner with a Shanghai-based glass workshop that creates the hand blown and cast glass product we sell. They are one of the few workshops in the world with the expertise and equipment to produce both blown and cast glass, so we are honored to work with them.
What efforts are AEfolio taking to be environmentally friendly?
We’re committed to working in a way that promotes the health and safety of people and the planet. It’s important to us that the workshops we partner with share these values.
We’re working with our partner glassblowing workshop to transform waste glass material left over from their production process into a line of beautiful recycled glass tableware. They use an efficient furnace design that improves energy efficiency, and also lower the temperature of the furnaces at night to save energy. The workshop is also one of the few facilities in China that has undergone a rigorous certification process to do acid etching for glass: a technique that creates beautifully intricate textured patterns. After the acid is used, it undergoes a neutralization process and is collected by the Environmental Protection Administration to ensure that it is inert and will not harm the environment.
To pack and ship products to customers, we use recyclable and compostable materials – tissue paper, packing paper, and starch peanuts – in an effort to minimize the use of single-use plastics.
What types of products does AEfolio offer?
AEfolio is a home decor company that focuses on beautiful handmade objects for living. Our flagship collection features hand blown glass vases, sculptures and lighting. We partner with architects and designers through our custom design program to bring their creative visions to life for the spaces and experiences they create. Every product is made-to-order or produced in small runs to honor the scale of artisan production and to ensure that it meets our high bar for quality.
We’re excited to expand our collections in 2022 with the introduction of new vase, sculpture and lighting designs as well as a tabletop category!
Are all products handmade?
Yes! Each design in our collection is made-to-order by skilled artisans, using the highest-quality raw materials. The designs exemplify the unique and beautiful character of hand blown glass and are truly works of art.
|Products & Offerings|
What is Blowing & Casting Glass?
Most of our product collection consists of hand blown glass. Blowing glass involves blowing air into molten glass through a long metal pipe, creating a void within the glass. This technique is used to create hollow objects like vases, bowls and lighting. Several experienced glassblowers – each playing a different role – work in unison to craft each piece. It’s a beautiful process to watch, and the resulting pieces capture the movement and energy of their choreography.
Casting glass involves pouring molten glass into a mold, where it cools and solidifies over the course of days or weeks. This process is normally used to create solid objects that may have intricate details on the outside. Depending on the type of casting process used, a mold may be used multiple times to create a limited edition set, or destroyed after the first use in the case of a single-edition art piece. We are proud to feature a small collection of cast glass sculptures on our website.
To create products for the AEfolio collection, we partner with a glassblowing workshop that is one of the few in the world with expertise and equipment to support both blowing and casting processes for glass.
What kind of glass does AEfolio use?
There are lots of different types of glass and infinite ‘recipes’ for making glass! For example, the glass used for windows, wine bottles, lighting, and eyeglasses are all very different. The main ingredients in glass are silicon dioxide (like pure sand), soda and lime. Small amounts of other materials like metals and oxides are added to change the characteristics and color of the glass, affecting its aesthetics and functional properties.
At AEfolio, we consider each product in our collection a piece of art, so it’s important to use high-quality raw materials that enhance the clarity and color in the glass. Currently, the best raw materials for glassblowing come from the United States and the EU; we source from both regions to ensure that our materials meet rigorous certifications and purity standards. This enables our products to achieve crystal-like quality.
All of the handblown glass we offer is made with lead-free glass. The small collection of cast glass sculptures contains lead, which enhances the brilliance and clarity of the glass, as well as lowers the melting point to enable fine details in the cast piece. The lead is chemically and physically bound in the glass so there are no health issues in handling the glass.
Are the colors painted on the glass?
The colors you see in our products are inherent to the glass, and never painted on. The magic of color in glass is as much an art as it is a science: small amounts of minerals and oxides are added in varying amounts and proportions to affect the wavelengths of light – and thus the color – you see in the piece. Sometimes the colors even look different depending on the lighting source in the room. But, that’s why we love glass – it’s predictable in some ways but variable in others, and that leaves room for experimentation and discovery. It takes a lot of knowledge and testing (and trial and error) to develop beautiful and vibrant colors that are suitable for glassblowing, and a lot of skill to work with the ingredients (and very hot glass) to execute a color vision!
Why do products have a size variation?
Each piece will have some variation in size, color, and pattern that is inherent to handmade products. We feel that this unique character gives life to each piece of art that is truly one of a kind. Rest assured that the variation in aesthetic does not impact the overall function or quality of the piece; we take pride in ensuring that each piece meets our high standards before it is shipped to the customer.
Do you have a corporate gifting program?
Yes! Handblown glass is a very special gift. Our gifting options include – but are not limited to – product customization options, wooden or bamboo gift boxes, handwritten thank you cards, and more. Let us know what you envision and we’ll do what we can to make it happen for your employees, clients, or guests.
|Orders & Shipping|
I don’t live in Hong Kong. Do you offer overseas shipping?
Yes, we ship all over the world. Shipping times are as follows:
To Asia: 1-8 business days via SF Express
To Other Countries: 4-12 business days via FedEx or DHL
Please note that quoted shipping costs are based on destination, product dimensions and weight. For more information, please see our Shipping & Returns page.
How long will it take to receive my order?
The estimated production time for handblown glass pieces is 20 business days.
Some of the cast glass pieces we offer are truly one of a kind – once they’re sold, they cannot be produced again. This will be mentioned in the product copy. However, we are able to take made-to-order requests for a limited set of cast glass designs. The estimated production time for these cast glass pieces can be 25 days or more; timing will be determined on a case by case basis.
Please note that the estimated transit time to the destination may be 1-12 days, depending on the region. This is in addition to the production time quoted for our made-to-order products. However, there may be delays in international shipments due to the pandemic; we will do our best to let you know when we are aware of delays.
Why don’t products ship immediately?
Our handblown and cast glass is made-to-order at an artisan workshop, and each piece goes through a multi-step process that includes an annealing process that requires days – and sometimes weeks – to ensure that the piece can cool slowly without experiencing a temperature shock.
When we receive your order, it goes into the production queue which is currently ~20 business days for handblown glass. Once the piece has been made, it is carefully inspected before it is packed for a safe journey to its new home.
What is your return policy?
Because each product is made-to-order, all sales are final. Note that there will be slight variations in the color, pattern and size of each product due to its handmade nature. As long as the variation is within our expected parameters, we do not refund for a change of mind.
Please inspect the product upon receipt and let us know within 24 hours if a product is faulty or or has been damaged in transit. We will work with you to have the product replaced or refunded. For more details about our refund policy and process, please click here.
Is the lighting compatible with the voltage and plug shape in my country?
We currently offer two options for wiring:
- Type A Plug (North America 120V)
- Type G Plug (Hong Kong 220V)
Let us know if you require a plug type that is not listed here.
Does the lighting come with local installation service?
For lighting designs that require professional installation (e.g. needs to be hardwired), we can offer installation services in China and Hong Kong for an additional fee. We can provide an installation quote based on the needs of the project. Customers outside of China and Hong Kong will need to work with their own professional installer who can reference our installation specifications.
Does the lighting come with bulbs? If so, what type of bulbs are provided?
All lighting products come with bulbs; most are LEDs in the 4000-6000K temperature range unless otherwise specified in the product description. Clients who are ordering custom lighting can specify bulbs and color temperature.
|Custom Orders (Lighting & Decor)|
What is the Custom Lighting Program?
Our custom lighting program is offered to clients in the design, architecture and construction trades. We love bringing creative visions to life and have executed many innovative lighting designs for commercial and hospitality projects as well as private residences. Please see our Custom Lighting Gallery for examples of past projects.
Is there a minimum order requirement for custom lighting projects?
There is currently no minimum order requirement for custom lighting projects. Please note that custom orders will be individually quoted based on the design and scope of the project.
Do you offer a trade discount?
Yes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our trade discount.
What information do you need from me to create an initial quote?
It’s helpful to have as much information as possible about your vision and project to ensure that our quote is accurate, but if you don’t have all of the answers, we’ll work with you to get them!
This is the type of information that is most helpful in obtaining an accurate quote:
- Mood board / reference images
- Layout plan of the site, if applicable
- Elevation plan of the site, if applicable
- CAD drawing of the custom lighting
- Design/specification of the lighting – eg. dimmable, voltage, light intensity
- Project schedule
- Budget of the lighting
- Installation by us or by customer’s contractor
What is the general process for a custom lighting project, from beginning to end?
The process will vary based on the design, needs and scope of each project, and we’ll make sure to guide you through every step of the way and collaborate with you and your stakeholders (contractors, designers, etc.) to ensure the success of the project.
Here’s a quick overview of the process:
- Client shares initial information about the project. This can be a mood board, drawings, notes, reference images, etc.
- AEfolio sends a preliminary proposal
- Client shares feedback and further clarifications and specifications
- AEfolio sends final proposal with price for client’s approval
- Sign sales contract; 40% of cost due as deposit, production scheduled
- Production of the custom lighting
- Order delivered; 40% of cost due
- Lighting installation
- Client signs acceptance to the lighting; balance of the project due
Is there a fee for sampling? e.g. if I’m looking for a custom color/effect and would like to see physical samples of the color/effect before committing to the custom order.
If samples are requested or required for a custom project, a sample fee (and a mold fee if applicable) will be incurred. Depending on the complexity of the design and the order volume, a percentage of the sampling cost may potentially be deducted from the cost of the final order.
How long will it take to deliver a custom lighting design?
The timing will vary based on the design, needs and scope of each project. In general, simpler projects can take a month to complete, whereas complex projects can take up to a year.
Do you offer installation services for custom lighting?
Yes – for lighting designs that require professional installation, we can offer installation services in China and Hong Kong for an additional fee. We can provide an installation quote based on the needs of the project.
I’m not in Hong Kong, can I still order custom lighting?
Yes – we can fabricate the lighting based on your specifications and have it shipped to you. Please note that we do not offer installation services for locations outside of Hong Kong and China, but will provide installation specifications for your installer.
Can I order a custom product (non-lighting)? How do I place a custom made order?
Yes! As each piece is made to order, there are opportunities for customizing an existing design (e.g. via color and size) or bringing a new design to life. Please send an email to email@example.com with more information about what you’re looking for, including:
- Your name and contact information
- Description of your project, and/ or the product you are hoping to customize
- A drawing or visual reference of your design vision, including approximate size and quantity
- Timing for your project
- Approximate budget
We will review your notes within 3 business days. We’ll make sure to guide you through every step of the process to realize your vision.
|Care & Use|
How do I clean my handblown glass product?
- Wash or wipe by hand by using a non-abrasive cleaner in warm water. It is suggested to cushion the sink or work surface with a towel or rubber mat
- Do not wash with extremes of temperature
- Avoid pouring hot water into the product
- If stains appear on the vessel, gently rub with half a lemon, wash with vinegar, or soak the interior with powdered dentifrice dissolved in lukewarm water
- In areas with very hard water and high mineral content, distilled water will help prevent staining
- Dust with a soft, lint-free cloth dampened in a mild ammonia solution to avoid scratching
How do I display or store my handblown glass product?
- Do not expose to rapid temperature changes or extremes of temperature
- Do not place in microwave, oven, dishwasher or freezer
- Avoid placing in direct sunlight
- Avoid contact with hard or abrasive materials
- Avoid direct contact with table or desk while moving the product; carefully lift and set the product into place, do not drag it across a surface.