Pottery is a very popular hobby, although most people attend colleges, unless they have their own kiln! However, although clay is a natural materia, the potter’s wheel has a few changes to make, for a green method to make bowls and other goods. ZAN + ME makes lovely solar-powered recycled pottery like this teardrop vase for short-stemmed flower, glazed in soft shades of blue and white, with a floral illustration inspired by California’s Mendocino county.
If using pottery vases to display plants, see toxic plants to avoid near pets (and toxic houseplants including sago palm, lilies and cheese plants) and never place foliage near windows, to help stop birds flying into windows.
Mining china clay leaves 9 tons of waste behind for every ton extracted, and toxic metal glazes means that once fired in a kiln, the clay can never be used again, nor can it biodegrade.
Liverpool’s Granby Workshop is England’s first company to offer tableware made from recycled ceramics. All the speckles in the items are made from broken pottery, crushed glass and ‘factory sludge. Likewise, Studio ThusThat has turned the factory sludge into tableware, with their famed Red Mud Tableware (the red colour is from bauxite residue).
Experts say greener potters can use green energy to fire their kilns, recycle all unused clay, and use/recycle natural glazes (dispose unused glazes in landfill, and not down the sink if they are not biodegradable). This is also good for the health of potters, to avoid toxic fumes from manganese dioxide and lead etc. You can reuse broken pottery and shards to make mosaic tiles and other pretty things. The Thoughtful Potter makes lovely sustainable mugs, hand-pressed with flowers from her garden, then imprinted with positive messages. Hand-thrown and hand-stamped, these make lovely gifts.
Buy Oxford Clay’s ebook Eco-Conscious Pottery, which includes tips on how to make your own nontoxic glazes, with minimal harm to humans, animals and the planet. You’ll learn glaze ingredients to avoid (and use) and how to create colour in 3 environmentally-friendly ways. The book includes a simple 2-part framework to assess harm and 17 eco-conscious high-fire glaze recipes, plus a reciep to make your own metal oxides, from scrap metal. Includes and easy summary of the 10 steps to eco pottery glazing.
Solar-Powered Recycled Pottery
ZAN + ME is a little company making beautiful ceraemics with flora and fauna images, created by a potter and her illustrator daughter. This eco business uses recycled clays and glazes, and the kiln is powered by solar energy. Ideal long-term companions to bring a little elegance and slowness to busy lives. Sent in plastic-free packaging. Above are beautiful tumblers, an ideal gift for your zero waste friend.
This mug varies to make each one unique, hand-washing recommended. Do not microwave.
The ceramic tea bowl is in soft shades of green and cream.
The blue glaze ceramic espresso cup is perfect for your morning coffee. Also in green/white or white/cream glaze finishes.