There have been carbon dated ceramics from 10000 years ago.
When clay is fired, all of the organic material burns out and can no longer decompose. There are many steps along the ceramic process for things to go wrong. The losses can be high. The dumpster can fill up quick.
When it comes to my losses I always weigh it out against this environmental impact. This thing will not break down. It's here forever. But with all its flaws, is it still something that could be wanted, appreciated, beautiful and 'good enough'?
Early days of making clay I had a conversation with a ceramic artist that makes really large, extremely beautiful, labor intensive works. Anything that didn't hit the quality mark met the dumpster. I get it. You want your best work out there. But I could not help but also feel that these perfectly good objects would be better in someone's home rather than in the landfill, never to decompose.
So I have my chain of command. If the work is green (bone-dry) I cut my losses and toss it into a bucket with water and re-hydrate back to workable clay.
If the issue shows up after the bisque fire, the first step on its way to vitrification, I assess the fault and if it is 'good enough', we stamp it 'MQ🕉NO WASTE', paint it, and fire it, rather than make more garbage for the landfill. WHOOP WHOOP.
It's been a long time since I've had a studio sale, so I've accumulated a lot of these pieces. Seconds, samples & discontinued.
Dates to come for an in-person sale in Saugerties NY. You can find some select pieces for sale by typing 'no waste' into the search bar.
The name inspired by a favorite pair of used painter pants up-cycled by IXV Coffee in Brooklyn. Check out her amazing efforts, site and energy.
LOVE YOUR MOTHER EARTH.
PEACE AND WELL-BEING TO YOU.