Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Greening of Siyeh Studio

Dancing Goats coffee in a paper cup, Zohar's Onethreeseven on cd for music. Yup, it's a Kavarna day! Yesterday, as Stacy pointed out in her comment, was NOT easy. Six orders went out, two were rescheduled (with components refired) to go out today, two of the six were sent out as partials--one has a piece going out today and the other has two pieces going out tomorrow (I had a large piece thermal shock during slump for the first time in, well, a VERY long time!). Three kilns fired yesterday, two full and one half full, even though the day started with no firings scheduled at all--all to correct mistakes. Even minus the mistakes, twelve boxes weighing 357 lbs were shipped yesterday. Whew! The only time one day's shipping came even close to this was the corporate gift order for 114 pieces, and that one was a LOT easier to pack (Stacy would ask how I know as she packed that whole order). I do know that it was a lot easier to ship as the client sent me pre-printed labels and scheduled the pick-up themselves.

Today I work on the website--I hope to have ALL the galleries listed and mapped by then end of the day--and do mop-up shipping and firing from yesterday. Tomorrow will also have a Kavarna morning and more web work.

So yesterday I mentioned the greening of Siyeh Studio. I am very excited about where I am now in the process and that it matters to someone other than me--there is a growing number of galleries and other vendors who support green art. So how am I green? Think Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Reduce. I have a zero-waste process for my production work. For the Morceaux de Verre pieces there is no unused scrap, and the small amount of mixed frit left from each piece is reserved for another new series called Frittered. In addition to reducing my materials use, I limit my energy consumption as much as possible. I fire at night in the summer and cool with fans instead of air conditioning. I hope to have my schedule worked out enough to fire in the morning in the winter and use fans to move the heat from the kilns through the studio for secondary heating. My lighting is all fluorescent--even the front porch light bulbs are long-life fluorescent spirals. The attic has been finished off so I can have insulation blown in--further reducing the energy needed to heat and cool.

Reuse. The most exciting development in the studio is efficient water management. I took a class in making rain barrels last Saturday and came away with five--three for the studio and two for the house. Two of the studio ones are designated for grey water from the studio sink and lap grinder and the third is for the gutters (which I have to buy and get installed in the next couple of weeks). All the water is for the new landscaping I am putting in the front and back yards. I already use very little water in the studio, and being able to reuse everything but what goes down the toilet is going to be GREAT.

I go through a lot of sheet glass and many, many 5-lb jars of frit a week. The sheet glass comes packed between sheets of thick fibrous paper that are good for weed control in the garden, art materials for papier mache, drawing and painting for J and her school. The frit jars are #1 plastic and recyclable, but I am never short of people who want them for storing screws, nails, small toys, pasta, crafts--the list goes on. Whenever I have a sack full of empties I either give them to my carpenter Dan (who parcels them out to his friends and neighborhood handymen) or I take them to J's school and leave them in the conference room for the teachers and other parents.

Recycle. I have applied for my own studio recycling bin for all mixed paper, old magazines and diet coke cans. Cardboard boxes and fluorescent light bulbs require runs to two different drop-off locations. I got the addresses this morning and I think it'll be worth it to make a run every couple of months.

Now if I could just get Dave behind the idea of a studio goat to keep down the weeds in the back and chickens for fertilizer for the garden...

4 comments:

Mindy G said...

Green is exciting! Where did you take your rain barrel class & what type vessel(s) did you use?

We recycle all the water that comes out of our AC unit. In the heat of summer I usually get about 2 watering cans per day. Enough for my planters. I just don't use it on my veggies.

Bill said...

I told you that you should recycle old bottles...

Brenda Griffith said...

The class was at Oakhurst Community Gardens and we used huge Rubbermaid garbage bins. We drilled a hole for the spigot low on the side and cut a hole in the top for the plastic downspout that is attached to the metal downspout on the house.

The closest I ever came to recycling old bottles was slumping wine bottles into cheese plates. It was not compelling work for me--I would rather see them be used in asphalt.

Dee said...

SNORT!!! GOATS & CHICKENS!!!! that'd drive baxter absolutely nuts!!!! hehehehehe not to mentions all the other wonderfull things like goat and chicken crap in his fur/on his feet! and i can just see feathers leaking from the corner of his mouth...