Berkeley Art Studio Clay Recycling Project
Sponsor: Berkeley Art Studio
TGIF Grant: $6,434
Project Theme: Waste Reduction
Project Description: The Berkeley Art Studio has run a robust and well-respected ceramics program throughout its history. We have over 1,300 students participate in our ceramics program annually. These 1,300 students purchase, create artwork with, and often discard massive amounts of clay each class session. The Berkeley Art Studio has always recycled discarded clay, reducing our carbon footprint and plastic materials. Though the clay itself is not harmful to the environment (it is just mud after all!) the processing, shipping, and disposal is costly and has a large carbon and plastic footprint. Unfortunately, last summer our trusty pug mill (the machinery used to recycle clay) broke down beyond repair, after decades of daily use, causing the need to purchase a new pug mill. Our recycled clay is sold at a lower cost than our other clays. Now that we will be able to purchase a new pugmill we can sell lower cost clay to students and other art studio members to at a reasonable price where they might not be able to afford it otherwise. Being able to recycle our own clay creates more hours for employment, and of course is friendly to the environment.