Sustainable practice

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My Method

I have chosen to work with stoneware as it is durable and strong and should last a lifetime if looked after well. My clay comes from St. Agnes, 5 miles from here,  where it is dug and mixed on site. I also recycle and reuse all leftover bits of clay and mix this with new clay to use again.While I admire the beautiful effects created by wood and gas firing, I prefer to use a very efficient electric kiln (and renewable energy supplier) to limit my environmental impact. I mix my own slips and glazes, so I can control which ingredients are used: I buy from suppliers who can reassure me as to the origin of raw materials, and avoid using toxic ingredients.

My studio

My studio is is fitted out almost entirely with re-used items: The sink and cupboards were taken from an unwanted kitchen removed from a friend's house, the shelves were made from old planks removed from our house and the wheel was bought second hand, from a potter who moved overseas. I have a plethora of re-used containers, from old paint buckets for my glazes, to margarine and ice cream tubs for slips and other bits and bobs. My favorite tools are a butterknife bought at a second hand shop and a succession of old store and credit cards, used to smooth out the walls of my pots.

The rest

I try to be strict with myself about what goes in the kiln: once fired the pots are not recyclable, so I have to be ruthless! 

My packaging is either reused (kind friends and colleagues know I collect used bubble-wrap) or recycled (boxes) and recyclable. Whenever possible, I take my electric bike to deliver packages to the post office.

On a personal level, I don't eat animal products for reasons of sustainability.

All of this is an ongoing and imperfect attempt at living and working in a way that does least harm to the earth.