Humans have been using clay to make objects, such as pottery and jewellery, for many thousands of years. Clay is a versatile substance that’s incredibly easy to work with and can be used to make a broad range of practical and aesthetic items. It’s a great hobby to get into, especially for those that have access to a natural source of clay or can get decent amounts of clay for a good price.
With much of the focus on trying to preserve as much of the environment as we can in the face of climate change, many people have begun to wonder about the overall sustainability of their favourite hobbies, and clay pottery is no exception.
The Manufacturing Process
Let’s first take a look at the manufacturing process and whether it’s eco-friendly. The manufacturing process can vary, depending on the material and what it will be used for, but for the most part, it’s possible to adopt a process that’s friendly to the environment.
One of the ways of doing this is by avoiding many of the synthetic chemicals that are used during the firing process, many of which are vented off into the atmosphere. The use of sustainable materials is also needed, and many pottery makers get around this issue by making use of recycled or waste materials that would otherwise be sent off to a landfill.
In other words, it’s ultimately up to the individual to choose how they source their materials and what additives they use – but there’s no reason that the manufacturing process can’t be kind to the environment while also being financially sustainable.
The Question Of Fuel
Another aspect to keep in mind is the usage of fuel that’s needed in the firing of a clay product. Some potters will use raw firing, which is a single-firing technique, although most pottery will be fired twice. This process requires a fair amount of fuel, and it also means that pollution will be generated because of it, including particulates, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide.
One way to get around this issue is by making use of a heat recovery system that takes the heat from a kiln and feeds it back into the building for usage as hot water or for keeping things warm during the winter while they snuggle up in front of the TV or to play their favourite mobile casino Canada games.
The Sustainability Of Clay
It takes around 700 years for clay to naturally be formed, and many feel that this long process means that we take more than the earth can successfully regenerate. At the same time, clay products tend to offer many uses, and if left in an open environment, will break down over time – which is important when compared to a plastic container, for example, which will simply break down into microplastics and pollute the environment.
Ultimately, with a good manufacturing process, a clean source of clay, and reusing heat, the production of pottery items can be sustainable in the long term.