Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Faun

Making Eco / Environmentally Friendly Product

Recommended Posts

I would like to know how to work as eco-friendly as possible in the studio.

 

I'm looking for information on what materials to avoid or what brands to use. Or maybe how to find out how the raw materials are manufactured.

 

Tips on articles, books and links on this subject are most apreciated.

 

Thanks in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to know how to work as eco-friendly as possible in the studio.

 

I'm looking for information on what materials to avoid or what brands to use. Or maybe how to find out how the raw materials are manufactured.

 

Tips on articles, books and links on this subject are most apreciated.

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

Most potters try to be as ecological as possible by recycling clay, buying equipment used and using things from Mother nature for design and textures. I personally am very conservative with water in my studio and mix the left overs on like test glazes together. Last spring I was testing Cone 6 Celadons for a exterior wall fountain, the mix bucket glaze had the craze free surface I was looking for. I know I can't mix it again but It was one time project for me and it work well. The most important message I got in school is to think about the piece that you are about to fire. Is it up to your standards, once it's fired it's in this world forever, do you want people to see your name on it or should it be turned back to clay. I hope the views on ecology from an old hippie potter helps. Denice (Wichita, KS)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Denise...recycle water and clay as much as possible. I throw next to my plaster wedging table...all goo from hands, water bucket rim etc. go onto the plaster and are used again immediately. Lowering you temperatures from 10 to 6 saves lots of energy. Fire full loads in your kiln. Make sure your kiln is well insulated as well as your studio. Mixing your own clay saves on shipping water in premixed clay. Using locally dug clay is even more ecological. No shipping.

These are no always the most practical way to go. Maybe order supplies with other local potters to save on shipping..saves energy.

Localize as much as possible ..i.e. if you are in a good location, share shipping of supplies, use local suppliers, and sell locally.

Marcia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

This whole subject is very complex. There are a lot of "feel good" answers, but getting to meat of the issue is far harder. What most potters do in the studio is "small potatoes" compared to other aspects of their lives. What potter's first should do is look at the physical size and constucton of their homes, the mileage that their cars get, how they heat/cool their homes and studios, and other such issues. These things FAR outweigh the impacts of most studio operations. Particularly if you are not a pretty full time potter.

 

I did a presentation at NCECA a number of years ago (Portland), and in part of it I looked at the energy consumption/pollution created by a potter's kiln. Compared to the other stuff going on in the world........ while they LOOK really bad when they are siting there glowing away...... our kilns are not all that awful when it comes to eneergy consumption. Comparing them to stuff like automobiles and aircraft puts things into perspective very quickly.

 

One thing to think about is that periodic kilns are highly inefficient in their use of energy. The smaller the kiln the more inefficient it is. You want to save energy consumption and improve greenhouse gas emissions? Go "back in time" to the Japanese pottery village getting together to fire one big noborigama kiln every so often. The noborigama kiln is the precursor to the modern continuous tunnel kiln which is the efficient hallmark of ceramic industry. They were/are very efficient in the use of heat energy. Instead of moving the wares through the heat zone, the potters moved the heat zone through th wares, re-using a huge amount of energy.

 

Big communal kilns are an important consideration for the future of claywork.

 

Woodfiring in a large, clean-burning, efficient wood kiln (bye-bye typical anagama) is a very attractive approach to fixing many potential kiln-related environmental issues. It is a pretty much carbon-neutral and a renewable fuel source. Personally I'll trade some particulates in the air for hurricanes, droughts, blizzards, and melting glaciers and ice packs from excess CO2.

 

Particularly big culprits in this "efficiency" arena are the typical hexagonal/octagonal electric kilns that LOTS of people are using. They combine a number of factors that make them poor environmental choices. First is they typically are very small. Every time you fire them, you use a huge amount of the energy consumed just in heating the kiln refractories themselves. The weight ratio of kiln materials to ware is very poor as is the exterior radiant surface area (heat loss) ratio. Then there is the issue of under-insulation in the walls. They typically are quite poorly insulated....... so they require a lot of extra energy to compensate for this fact. Lastly, centralized electric generation is very inefficient in the conversion of fossil fuels to the electical energy available at the elements inside the kiln. Put this all together.... and it does not look pretty.

 

All of this gets FAR more complicated when you look at the "birth to death" energy/pollution signature/footprint of something like a kiln. Energy is used to make the refractories that are used to build the kiln in the first place. Energy is used to ship the refractories from the manufacturer to the actual kiln builder. Is a better insulated kiln shipped a further distance to the end user going to be better for the environment than a less insluated kiln shipped less distance? Thicker insulation improves heat retention but also ups the thermal mass of the unit which needs to be heated up when fired....thereby consuming energy. And so on.

 

To say which option is "better for the planet" is a COMPLEX issue that requireas a LOT of difficut to pin down calculations.

 

Yes, we should all be looking at fixing the smaller things whenever we can. But we need to be careful about getting caught up in the small stuff, and having that cause us to stop looking at the bigger and harder issues in our lives. Use materials efficiently, only fire pieces that you need to fire, look at shipping issues, use local materials whenever you can, recycle anything you can, dispose of your stuido wastes appropriately, buy/build efficient kilns, fire cooperatively, burn waste wood, and so on. All of this is important....... but not likely as important as OTHER stuff you are doing in your life.

 

It is the bigger life style issues that really are formost in this environmental stuff. I've been wood firing in a efficient noborigama here for 3 decades, have had solar collectors on the house roof since the late 70's, and an attached solar greenhouse (mainly for heat) for the same period. We also heat the house with a wood stove. We wear heavy clothing inside in the winter because we keep the house rather cool. We have cars that get good mileage (one non-hybrid now that is getting 38-40 around town). The impacts of all of that kind of stuff over the years actually do add up to something. Probably not enough.... but it is something.

 

Also............. the MOST important thing that we all can do RIGHT NOW for the planet... and what I think is the SOLE potential solution to the massive issues the world is facing from many avenues........ is ZERO POPULATION GROWTH. Actually it needs to be negative population growth.....but one step at a time. The planet already is not able to support the population it has. We are seeing the results of too many people already. It will only get worse.

 

 

best,

 

......................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This whole subject is very complex. There are a lot of "feel good" answers, but getting to meat of the issue is far harder. What most potters do in the studio is "small potatoes" compared to other aspects of their lives. What potter's first should do is look at the physical size and constucton of their homes, the mileage that their cars get, how they heat/cool their homes and studios, and other such issues. These things FAR outweigh the impacts of most studio operations. Particularly if you are not a pretty full time potter.

 

I did a presentation at NCECA a number of years ago (Portland), and in part of it I looked at the energy consumption/pollution created by a potter's kiln. Compared to the other stuff going on in the world........ while they LOOK really bad when they are siting there glowing away...... our kilns are not all that awful when it comes to eneergy consumption. Comparing them to stuff like automobiles and aircraft puts things into perspective very quickly.

 

One thing to think about is that periodic kilns are highly inefficient in their use of energy. The smaller the kiln the more inefficient it is. You want to save energy consumption and improve greenhouse gas emissions? Go "back in time" to the Japanese pottery village getting together to fire one big noborigama kiln every so often. The noborigama kiln is the precursor to the modern continuous tunnel kiln which is the efficient hallmark of ceramic industry. They were/are very efficient in the use of heat energy. Instead of moving the wares through the heat zone, the potters moved the heat zone through th wares, re-using a huge amount of energy.

 

Big communal kilns are an important consideration for the future of claywork.

 

Woodfiring in a large, clean-burning, efficient wood kiln (bye-bye typical anagama) is a very attractive approach to fixing many potential kiln-related environmental issues. It is a pretty much carbon-neutral and a renewable fuel source. Personally I'll trade some particulates in the air for hurricanes, droughts, blizzards, and melting glaciers and ice packs from excess CO2.

 

Particularly big culprits in this "efficiency" arena are the typical hexagonal/octagonal electric kilns that LOTS of people are using. They combine a number of factors that make them poor environmental choices. First is they typically are very small. Every time you fire them, you use a huge amount of the energy consumed just in heating the kiln refractories themselves. The weight ratio of kiln materials to ware is very poor as is the exterior radiant surface area (heat loss) ratio. Then there is the issue of under-insulation in the walls. They typically are quite poorly insulated....... so they require a lot of extra energy to compensate for this fact. Lastly, centralized electric generation is very inefficient in the conversion of fossil fuels to the electical energy available at the elements inside the kiln. Put this all together.... and it does not look pretty.

 

All of this gets FAR more complicated when you look at the "birth to death" energy/pollution signature/footprint of something like a kiln. Energy is used to make the refractories that are used to build the kiln in the first place. Energy is used to ship the refractories from the manufacturer to the actual kiln builder. Is a better insulated kiln shipped a further distance to the end user going to be better for the environment than a less insluated kiln shipped less distance? Thicker insulation improves heat retention but also ups the thermal mass of the unit which needs to be heated up when fired....thereby consuming energy. And so on.

 

To say which option is "better for the planet" is a COMPLEX issue that requireas a LOT of difficut to pin down calculations.

 

Yes, we should all be looking at fixing the smaller things whenever we can. But we need to be careful about getting caught up in the small stuff, and having that cause us to stop looking at the bigger and harder issues in our lives. Use materials efficiently, only fire pieces that you need to fire, look at shipping issues, use local materials whenever you can, recycle anything you can, dispose of your stuido wastes appropriately, buy/build efficient kilns, fire cooperatively, burn waste wood, and so on. All of this is important....... but not likely as important as OTHER stuff you are doing in your life.

 

It is the bigger life style issues that really are formost in this environmental stuff. I've been wood firing in a efficient noborigama here for 3 decades, have had solar collectors on the house roof since the late 70's, and an attached solar greenhouse (mainly for heat) for the same period. We also heat the house with a wood stove. We wear heavy clothing inside in the winter because we keep the house rather cool. We have cars that get good mileage (one non-hybrid now that is getting 38-40 around town). The impacts of all of that kind of stuff over the years actually do add up to something. Probably not enough.... but it is something.

 

Also............. the MOST important thing that we all can do RIGHT NOW for the planet... and what I think is the SOLE potential solution to the massive issues the world is facing from many avenues........ is ZERO POPULATION GROWTH. Actually it needs to be negative population growth.....but one step at a time. The planet already is not able to support the population it has. We are seeing the results of too many people already. It will only get worse.

 

 

best,

 

......................john

 

 

Hey John I have electric kilns I live in an area that it's even difficult to grow trees, I live at the edge of the Flint Hills beautiful but few trees. The schools in this area use old donated pallets for wood firing and sometimes that is difficult to find. Kansas is getting a lot of wind farms, I know there not a perfect solution but it helps, can't have solar to many hail storms. Had three last spring one was baseball size hail, I guess all the potters could move to your area and deforest it, that causes other problems though. I thinks it's great that a newbie wants to find out what can be done to make a studio more eco-friendly. I think most people are trying to do what they can to be eco-friendly especially artists. Denice (Wichita, KS)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

.......I guess all the potters could move to your area and deforest it, that causes other problems though.

 

Misconception; no deforsetation involved at all. Called sustainable yield. Re-plant the trees you burn. Many woodfirer's do it. Renewable biomass is something that the centralized power folks are looking at too because of the renewability of it. Thanks to the input of solar energy, trees take carbon dioxide out of the air and sequester it back into the newly growing cells.... to be re-used ovre and over.

 

If you can get wind power generated electric to fire the electric kilns.... that is WONDERFUL. Burning coal, oil, and natural gas are not great ways to generate central electric. We need more of all of the so-called "alternative" energy solutions of ALL types.

 

Interesting that solar is not an option there due to the hail. I believe that Steve Harrison in AU is firing his electrics fully off a photovoltaic array. But you've got wind!

 

I have a large river wrapping my property....and own to the centerline of it. Always wanted to put in a low head hydro generator here since we bought the place 30+ years ago.... but the permitting to do that was and is almost impossible. My pottery sits on the site of an old water powered mill for making shoes. I think that is a dream that will outlive me.

 

 

best,

 

..................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.......I guess all the potters could move to your area and deforest it, that causes other problems though.

 

Misconception; no deforsetation involved at all. Called sustainable yield. Re-plant the trees you burn. Many woodfirer's do it. Renewable biomass is something that the centralized power folks are looking at too because of the renewability of it. Thanks to the input of solar energy, trees take carbon dioxide out of the air and sequester it back into the newly growing cells.... to be re-used ovre and over.

 

If you can get wind power generated electric to fire the electric kilns.... that is WONDERFUL. Burning coal, oil, and natural gas are not great ways to generate central electric. We need more of all of the so-called "alternative" energy solutions of ALL types.

 

Interesting that solar is not an option there due to the hail. I believe that Steve Harrison in AU is firing his electrics fully off a photovoltaic array. But you've got wind!

 

I have a large river wrapping my property....and own to the centerline of it. Always wanted to put in a low head hydro generator here since we bought the place 30+ years ago.... but the permitting to do that was and is almost impossible. My pottery sits on the site of an old water powered mill for making shoes. I think that is a dream that will outlive me.

 

 

best,

 

..................john

 

Excellent in depth reality check, John. We all need to be more responsible for our consumption of both renewable and non-renewable resources, what we eat, gas consumption, etc.

Marcia

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the fast reactions!

 

Reading your tips, I think I'm on the right way, considering firing and the use of clay:

 

I bought an energy saving kiln (eco-model Nabertherm) >although I know nothing about how eco-friendly the thing was produced. And I only fire the good things and mostly with a full load. I did that allready because I want to save money. (in Holland electricity is not very cheap, allthough we have more and more wind energy)

 

Further, finding localy dug clay is a good tip I will do research on that. Living in a small country means I don't have to drive long distances to get the clay/materials. But how long does the clay travel to get in Holland? That's a good question.

 

 

 

Of course I understand that the bigger picture is important. The way we live and eat... Try to think about this as much as possible allready. That's the reason I posted the question. It's a pity we didn't learn anything on this subject at art school..

 

 

 

 

I don't know if this has to be a new topic or not, but I wonder if terra sigillata is eco-friendly. I make it with a polyelectrolyte called Dolapix. I understand there are many forms of this product and that there exist bio ones too. (but in the store there's only one brand) I'd like to colour them in the future with body stains. I presume all oxides or metals are eco- unfriendly because of mining extraction? Are there alternatives? Is there any written information about this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the fast reactions!

 

Reading your tips, I think I'm on the right way, considering firing and the use of clay:

 

I bought an energy saving kiln (eco-model Nabertherm) >although I know nothing about how eco-friendly the thing was produced. And I only fire the good things and mostly with a full load. I did that allready because I want to save money. (in Holland electricity is not very cheap, allthough we have more and more wind energy)

 

Further, finding localy dug clay is a good tip I will do research on that. Living in a small country means I don't have to drive long distances to get the clay/materials. But how long does the clay travel to get in Holland? That's a good question.

 

 

 

Of course I understand that the bigger picture is important. The way we live and eat... Try to think about this as much as possible allready. That's the reason I posted the question. It's a pity we didn't learn anything on this subject at art school..

 

 

 

 

I don't know if this has to be a new topic or not, but I wonder if terra sigillata is eco-friendly. I make it with a polyelectrolyte called Dolapix. I understand there are many forms of this product and that there exist bio ones too. (but in the store there's only one brand) I'd like to colour them in the future with body stains. I presume all oxides or metals are eco- unfriendly because of mining extraction? Are there alternatives? Is there any written information about this?

 

you pose some profound questions regarding mining of minerals for our industry. I don't know of any written guidelines. That would be a best seller. I am teaching a workshop /travel tour in Italy next fall with the hands on part focusing on Terra Cotta, Terra sigillatta, and bucherro firing, an Etruscan technique. I am focusing on the potential of Low-fire. The Terra sig will be a natural color from local clay. I am not familiar with Dolapix. I use Darvon 7 and can't say how that is produced.

Marcia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

"In the early 2000s, a total of 28 U.S. firms operating 124 mines produced 9.13 million metric tons of kaolin and ball clay. Of the total U.S. production of clay and shale in 2003, which reached 39.3 million metric tons with a value of $1.6 billion, kaolin accounted for about 20 percent. Ten states, led by Georgia, produced kaolin in the early 2000s. Kaolin's primary uses are for paper coating and filling (54 percent), refractories (17 percent), and other uses (29 percent)."

 

Read more: http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/industries/Mining/Kaolin-Ball-Clay.html#ixzz1ApYfdhBe

 

 

9.13 MILLION metric TONS. With only 29 percent going to ALL other uses of kaolin and ball clay. (That 29% area is where we fit in....as a very small part of it).

 

Once again, while it is important to look at our individual impacts on the world....... from all sources....... we have to keep in mind that our studio operations are VERY small operations. Yes, the raw mateials we use are mined from the basically finite resources of the planet. But maybe worrying more about that pound of cobalt carbonate in the glaze lab than the mileage rating of your car or the way your home is insulated is likely misplacing important effort.

 

 

best,

 

...................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It takes so much energy to fire pottery, I don't think we potters can ever congratulate ourselves for being "green." But I also think that the sum total of all the pottery studios out there don't register on the scale of human impacts on the environment. So we don't have to feel guilty either.

 

Of course we should conserve resources and reduce our trash generation as much as possible, not just in our studios but our entire households too.

 

For what it's worth, I like that the things I make are meant to be kept and used for a lifetime, rather than chucked in the trash whenever a new fashion trend arrives.

 

Speaking of fashion trends, the label "green product" is sometimes just a label, only thinly based on fact. Can you imagine if we starting labeling our pots "made from recycled clay" and customers paid more for it? Wouldn't you laugh your head off?

 

Potters of the world, go forth and don't feel guilty!

 

Mea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess all the potters could move to your area and deforest it,... Denice (Wichita, KS)

 

 

 

It strikes me as an intellectually lazy answer Denice. John Baymore has laid out some excellent ways that one can offset personal energy uses. It does no conversation any favors to throw out incendiary comments that have no basis in fact. The area you live in is your choice as is the form of energy you elect to use. I am a potter but I also own a tree farm. When I was a power plant engineer (nuclear) I devised a plan for a completely sustainable existence. I decided that 10 acres of forest would be able to provide completely sustainable energy for a household. I own 40 acres and actively farm part of it, I have a tree farm on 20 of it and I fully heat my home with wood. I have yet to cut a single tree down to sustain my energy needs. My energy needs are fulfilled with downed trees and normal best practices forest stewardship techniques. I have a non-industrial harvest plan on my property which takes into consideration the basal growth and a completely sustainable yield over a 100 year period. I am allowed to harvest 10% of my timber every decade. In the last 20 years I have only done some maintenance cutting to increase the rate of yield. You need to educate yourself on how energy is made and how it is used and not listen so much to the knee-######## rhetoric of special interests. My property today is in better shape than when I purchased it. I have 27% more board feet of standing redwood than there was 20 years ago when I first purchased it and the property had been clear-cut in the 1950's.

 

Besides the use of downed wood in heating I also augment my other energy uses. I have a gravity feed water system at home. I have a dam up the hill in the woods on my property that provides both domestic water and irrigation to the agricultural operation (I grow vegetables for my own household use and lavender and artichokes commercially). I think that people need to take responsibility for their actions instead of wishing that things were otherwise. Perhaps you should evaluate your choices and your ability to sustain those choices. A realistic approach may indicate that doing pottery is not the best use of your personal resources. We all make choices all the time, our choices impact our lives and those of others. Perhaps we all should occasionally sit down and evaluate our choices and instead of complaining about what others dowe should evaluate our lifestyle. We all need to proceed with our lives so that we impact the lives of others less.

 

Good luck and best regards,

Charles

http://community.webshots.com/user/FernCreekFarms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

It takes so much energy to fire pottery, I don't think we potters can ever congratulate ourselves for being "green." But I also think that the sum total of all the pottery studios out there don't register on the scale of human impacts on the environment. So we don't have to feel guilty either.

 

One interesting (one could also say depressing) read is studying up on the energy consumption of the server farms that keep Internet venues like this one going 24/7. The "net" consumes vast amounts of electric energy every day.

 

And one also wonders what the CO2 generation impact is of the annual NCECA conference as some 5000 or so of us drive and fly from all over the country (and international too) into some US city venue and spend our days in well lit and heated/air conditioned spaces, and eating food that is shipped in from god knows where?

 

I've thought about THAT one often....and how I actually feel about it. And I spend a bit of time in Japan these days making pots, bilding kilns, exhibiting, studying and traveling..... and that of course requires getting back and forth.

 

Yes..... this is all a very difficult subject.

 

best,

 

..................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

Charles, do you fire a wood kiln?

 

And great story about your life-style and choices.

 

best,

 

................john

 

PS: Yeah........ "down" wood is a HUGE firing resource. Often can be collected from other people as a "favor" to clean up their properties after a storm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charles, do you fire a wood kiln?

 

And great story about your life-style and choices.

 

best,

 

................john

 

PS: Yeah........ "down" wood is a HUGE firing resource. Often can be collected from other people as a "favor" to clean up their properties after a storm.

 

 

No John, not yet. Is there a chance I can get you to do a workshop building one on the Redwood Coast in Mendocino? I'd be glad to beat the bushes for some participants. I have been studying the concepts for some time and while we have two Anagama type kilns in our area (Mendocino College has an anagama at Red Clay Ranch in Ukiah and there is a private one at Flynn Creek in Comptche sponsored by the Mendocino Art Center http://julesstout.com/ ) but I understand that there are much more efficient wood kilns. I know that you fire with wood and I see that Mark Issenberg does also. I still haven't decided on the design. I do have a steep hill next to my studio on which on could get a great updraft from a kiln bilt along the grade such as an anagama. I have no experience with wood kilns. I have used wood to generate steam for use in a canning retort (about 10hp).

 

Currently I bisque with electricity and high fire with propane or #2 fuel oil using burners I've built or modified. I guess it's not as eco sensitive as I could be but I bicycle to my office in town and for most everything else including grocery shopping (my own form of carbon credits, cap and trade???) and use a car only for long trips. A wood-fired kiln is definately in the offing but I don't want to re-invent the wheel so I am still looking at designs. However this Summer...

 

Best regards,

Charles

39°26'6.50"N Lattitude

123°46'50.28"W Longitude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nice tor read about other lifestyles, but as much as we'd all like to live in the country and be self-sustaining, for most of us that's not going to happen. If you live in an urban setting you do a reality check a little differently.

 

If natural gas is available, you check with the city to see if they allow gas fired kilns in your area. If it's residential, chances are the answer is no. If it's industrial or warehouse area, probably yes with restrictions. The same goes for propane and if you're working raku, make sure you are on a very friendly basis with your immediate neighbors.

 

Electric kilns seem to be getting a bad rap from some folks. In Holland, where costs seem to be high (according to Faun) perhaps it isn't a good way to fire pottery.

 

But your reality isn't necessarily mine. Mine may be different from someone who lives within 25 miles of me, but we have to assess our personal situation and that then becomes square one for making decisions.

 

I'm grateful to be living in a state with very low electric rates. Once or twice a year, I turn off all electricity in my studio (I have a separate meter) and run some kiln loads through. I then use the rates shown on my electric bill to find out how much it really costs to fire. Bisque runs me about $3 to $4 for a six hour firing to cone 04. Glaze firing to cone 5-6 runs closer to $6. Not being a production potter means I don't fire as often as some of you, but I feel no guilt in using electricity for most of my work and propane for raku.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I admire John and Charles for their dedication to sustaining their environment (and a wee bit of envy for their lifstyles) and agree a lot with what they say--but, for the most part, it does not come close to my life as a person or a potter. I recycle everything possible--in my house and studio. I try to make sure that the only thing I waste is my time and energy (check out Chris Campbell's post). Other than that, I work with what is available, and lawful to use, trying to be a good steward for my neighborhood, city, and state.

 

My realistic approach to pottery is to continue to do it for as long as I can and as often as this old body allows--it is as essential to my life as breathing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

Is there a chance I can get you to do a workshop building one on the Redwood Coast in Mendocino?

 

Charles,

 

Yeah... I do that stuff wink.gif . Last large wood kiln building design/workshop is did was summer of 2009 in Japan. As Joan Rivers likes to say... "Can we talk?" I'll contact you via PM soon and then we can use email.

 

Your situation just sounds like it is "prime" for firing with wood. I kind of assumed that you'd be doing that from what you were saying about the rest of your situation. There may be some potential permitting issues around those parts.... but we can discuss them and see "what is what".

 

best,

 

..............john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a chance I can get you to do a workshop building one on the Redwood Coast in Mendocino?

 

Charles,

 

Yeah... I do that stuff wink.gif . Last large wood kiln building design/workshop is did was summer of 2009 in Japan. As Joan Rivers likes to say... "Can we talk?" I'll contact you via PM soon and then we can use email.

 

Your situation just sounds like it is "prime" for firing with wood. I kind of assumed that you'd be doing that from what you were saying about the rest of your situation. There may be some potential permitting issues around those parts.... but we can discuss them and see "what is what".

 

best,

 

..............john

 

 

 

I do believe that my situation is prime for a wood fired kiln. In actuality I don't do a lot of high-fire work at my studio. We have a small community college (College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Campus) and I do most of my firing there. We have a problem with having enough students (income) to support the art programs at the college and many have been cut. I donate maintenance on the kilns including parts as necessary, I sign up and pay for courses each semster and I donate both time and money as needed. Ana (my spouse who largely does the same as I) and I actually take an active part in the College operations so that the College can continue to provide accredited classes in art. We have one ceramics professor (part-time now), and one who specializes in art other than ceramics (about to retire). We have one of the foremost fine-woodworking programs in the world, the college is well known with woodworkers and we are trying very hard to get similar recognition for the other arts. I am afraid that without continued input in time and money we will lose the art department and a very valuable resource for our area, that being said I really would like to have a wood-fired kiln and I'd also like to have the kiln as a resource for the art department at the college. there is very little in the annual budget for the college's art programs.

 

Best regards,

Charles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a chance I can get you to do a workshop building one on the Redwood Coast in Mendocino?

 

Charles,

 

Yeah... I do that stuff wink.gif . Last large wood kiln building design/workshop is did was summer of 2009 in Japan. As Joan Rivers likes to say... "Can we talk?" I'll contact you via PM soon and then we can use email.

 

Your situation just sounds like it is "prime" for firing with wood. I kind of assumed that you'd be doing that from what you were saying about the rest of your situation. There may be some potential permitting issues around those parts.... but we can discuss them and see "what is what".

 

best,

 

..............john

 

 

 

I do believe that my situation is prime for a wood fired kiln. In actuality I don't do a lot of high-fire work at my studio. We have a small community college (College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Campus) and I do most of my firing there. We have a problem with having enough students (income) to support the art programs at the college and many have been cut. I donate maintenance on the kilns including parts as necessary, I sign up and pay for courses each semster and I donate both time and money as needed. Ana (my spouse who largely does the same as I) and I actually take an active part in the College operations so that the College can continue to provide accredited classes in art. We have one ceramics professor (part-time now), and one who specializes in art other than ceramics (about to retire). We have one of the foremost fine-woodworking programs in the world, the college is well known with woodworkers and we are trying very hard to get similar recognition for the other arts. I am afraid that without continued input in time and money we will lose the art department and a very valuable resource for our area, that being said I really would like to have a wood-fired kiln and I'd also like to have the kiln as a resource for the art department at the college. there is very little in the annual budget for the college's art programs.

 

Best regards,

Charles

 

 

Your situation sounds like many in the arts. I know that I had much the same problem in a HS situation. There was never enough money, so instead of whining about it, I taught adult classes on the weekends to supplement the budget-donating my time. In the end it worked out pretty well as many of the adults were teachers n the school, and a few administrators. You probably wouldn't be too surprised to know that they tried to take care of me after they saw what learning about ceramics did for them. It helped me a lot. I was very please that the gal that took my place decide to keep up the tradition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Your situation sounds like many in the arts. I know that I had much the same problem in a HS situation. There was never enough money, so instead of whining about it, I taught adult classes on the weekends to supplement the budget-donating my time. In the end it worked out pretty well as many of the adults were teachers n the school, and a few administrators. You probably wouldn't be too surprised to know that they tried to take care of me after they saw what learning about ceramics did for them. It helped me a lot. I was very please that the gal that took my place decide to keep up the tradition.

 

 

Getting involved in education was quite an eye-opener. It all started when I was still heavily involved in my engineering business. One day we had an open house at the college for the Chamber of Commerce members to see what was going on. I used to get the regular mailers from the College and just peroused them casually but I was talking tot the Dean and he was telling me that they were having financial problems because of lack of students. The next semester Ana and I decided to sign up for classes to see if in some small way we coldl help. The college has three electric kilns (Skutts) and two gas-fired kilns as a well as an electrick test kiln and a gutted small Skutt they use for Raku. Out of the three electrig kilns only one was operating. I bought elements for both and replaced them since the school had no budget for it. I also had to rebuild the relay train for one of the Skutts' electronic controllers. I learned that the Ceramics professor was only part-time and had been part-time for 27 years becuase the school could not put him on full-time because of the retirement programs. Also the school was going to cut the Ceramics Professor's hours becuase they did not have enough students signing up for ceramics to have a class during the day and one at night, so the night class was going to be cut.

 

We got busy and got the community to support the night class. There is an adult ceramics class taught by a non-degreed individual that was untouched during this time. As I found out the adult class was fully funded by the tuition from the class and agreements with the teacher while the class taught by college staff (MFA) was partly funded by government monies. I thought it was rather short-sighted of the college to cut classes taught by the more qualified professor while still expecting him to support the firing schedule for the adult classes on his own time. We are slowly getting things back on track and the school is realizing the value of the ceramics classes taught by qualified teachers with our involvement but it took quite a bit of effort. It has been an education to see how an institution of higher learning is hamstrung by its funding sources. I have a friend who teaches jewellry at a community college in San Francisco and I undertand that the problem is widespread. I have been able to get a few grants for the school and last year we had a resident artist (an MFA) in Ceramics and by holding specialized workshops it actually increased the visibility of the school and as a result we are getting students from out of our immediate area this semester. So we are making progress but it is painfully slow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.