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Earth Day Everyday Clay Studio Practices

Happy Earth Day!
There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day.
A good amount of our ceramic clay (clay that comes from materials from the earth) artists work is inspired by nature.
Here are a few samples from our BOCPAT members:
Mary Harding Jewelry
Individual ceramic bead artisans make up a minute fraction of the population of ceramic artists worldwide when looking at the consumption of raw materials for ceramics use. And that fraction gets incredibly small when one considers the use of raw materials used by worldwide industry. The amount of clay that we, as ceramic bead makers, tend to use is pretty small, it is still important to implement sustainability practices in the studio on an individual basis.

Some of the most common sustainable practices for Ceramic Clay bead makers are:
1. Save and re-use scrap clay in your studio.
2. Don't fire pieces that are of poor craftsmanship, recycle the clay instead and use again.
3. Firing of kilns when they are full of pieces (bisque beads into bowls or cylinders). Glaze fire when you have enough ready.
4. Some clay bead artists "once fire" their work - where their techniques allow them to glaze their greenware pieces, then fire their work one time (vs bisque firing, then glaze firing).
5. Have an alternative, environmentally friendly energy source (such as wind, solar, etc) to help offset the energy cost of traditional energy sources.
6. The use of found objects to create texture and for inspiration.
7. Using as much natural daylight in your studio and change over to environmentally friendly, energy efficient light bulbs in the studio (maybe even have light "zones" in your studio space so some lights in unused areas can remain off).

This is just a short list of things that over the years you read about, start to implement, and come to realize what other little things you can do to change up your "green" practices every day.

Here are some great articles that I came across about Sustainability Practices in the Ceramic Clay Studio:

By , June 28, 2010 (Ceramic Arts Daily Blog)
By , April 19, 2010 (Ceramics Arts Daily Blog)

What kind of environmentally friendly practices do you implement in your studio? Even if it is not a clay studio?


  1. These beads are wonderful and beautiful reminders of Earth Day!

  2. wonderful post Marsha. I appreciate being a part of it. So glad you are celebrating this special day with our part of the earth: clay and how we can be environmentally friendly. I love it that I have a lot of natural daylight in my studio.

  3. Thanks so much for your visit doing the bangle hop! I am sonew to all of this... And am so turned on to the pottery beads having paid so little attention to it before.. What an awesome thing to be doing.. I so admire you and your work ... Cheers!

  4. I think today's blog was a very do-able list of things we can try to keep our planet healthy while working in clay... thanks marsha for sharing them! Excellent Blog Post!

  5. Thanks everyone! I agree Lisa - a very doable list indeed. I think it would be great to build upon this regularly with little things we discover that take us in steps towards running a more sustainable and earth friendly business. Either by our bead making process or the next phase in what happens to those beads (how are they shipped, how are they used, if broken, what happens to them?)

  6. great post, marsha! i save and recycle or repurpose all of my metal scrap... use environmentally friendly pickle to clean it and patina with... reuse packaging... thank you for the suggestions!
    happy earth day!

  7. Thanks so much Marsha for the great suggestions and reminders of how to be sustainable in the studio!

  8. LibrasundesignsSunday, April 22, 2012

    Thanks for the informative post. Good reminder.

  9. Great post, Marsha. All of us need to tread softly on the earth. I don't create beads, but I have energy effcient lighting in my studio and I recycle everything I can.

  10. Beautiful work! The leaf by Mary Harding is so unique. Thank you for a lovely post. I am always in awe of the creativity of others.


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