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Recycle + Reclaim

As participants of a busy city life and consumer society, we take pride in trying to recycle and reclaim as much stuff as possible. We hate wasting stuff and just (out of comfort) buying something new and throwing things away.

Especially clay is an exceptional medium to recycle and reclaim.
This even goes as far as sweeping the clay-dust and particles of the floor to re-use and turn back into clay!
Resulting for example, finding (after trimming and glazing) that a staple or piece of plastic that got into the clay made our artwork just look that more special and exciting.

  Clay can be kept sort of ‘indeffanetly’. Once dried out, it can be re-activated again by getting it back to mud and getting it back into clay form by drying it partly on plaster boards and wedging it to get the air out and make it more malleable.

This activating/reclaiming of the clay can be a messy and sometimes smelly bussines. As you can see in the clip, its a really 'hands-on'job :) - so a workout in the gym is not necessary after this.

luckely we have a (second-hand 25 year old) pug-mill. this machine needs to be fed pieces of clay. We mix the reclaimed clay with some fresh clay for the right consistancy. The machine kneads the clay and a compressor sucks out the air to get strings of clay that will be nice and smooth to use.
(Wedging clay will still be necessary though)
For every 1000 kg of clay, (depending on how well our students work) we probably reclaim about 200 kg of clay.
(from the trimmings, the clayslibs from throwing and the pieces that dried out or didnt make the cut).

We also use 'Recycled/recycled- clay. This are all the bits from all the different sorts of clay we offer in the sudio. red clays, spekkled clays,
and more, all mixed together wich we use in our recycled series ceramics. the colors can differ but has a nice earthy tone to it.
The studio:
When I met Suus, she had a ceramic shop and a small workspace in Rotterdam. The counter tables and cabinets were all made out of scaffolding wood.

Every piece of wood out of the shop has been reclaimed and been re-used in our studio now in utrecht.
Also we use a lot of trolleys bought from a bakery and just needed a proper cleaning. these are used for shelfing and organising the projects for all our students that come to our studio weekly.

All of our kilns are second hand and just overhauled. these machines are fairly easy to maintain. Lovely to see these old machines still doing what they do best.
On top of every kiln we have some ceramic statues wich we call our 'kiln-gods' who look over the fyiring-proces.

Here is one of our little kiln-gods - inspired by Vink :)

 

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