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Nothing Goes to Waste...

By ava@dws, May 9th 2019

As a family run business, with local employees spanning a wide age range, it is important to all of us here that we play a part in helping the environment. We often use local business people for our packaging resources, and delivery services. The clay we use is bought in from Stoke on Trent, which is famous and well renowned for pottery producing, along with materials and underglaze colours too. We also buy in ceramic materials from Northern Ireland. So ALL of our tiles are handmade and hand decorated using the finest materials from within the UK!

Sometimes, if a glaze doesn’t turn out like we had expected it to, it can be repurposed and turned into something else entirely. The same happens with our green (unfired) tiles. If a tile doesn’t dry correctly, or breaks once it is dry, we can recycle the clay to be used again.

We have 7 kilns here at the Douglas Watson Studio, all of which are fired economically at night, ready for the morning when our workers come in and start the day. Using our kilns as heaters means that they are serving two purposes – firing our tiles and providing warmth for our workers.

We try to avoid paper wastage too, never printing images that aren’t needed. Once an image has been printed, we will then create a pinpricked stencil (spons), that is re-used time after time. Plus a spons will only become worn out after many years of use.

When it comes to packaging, we use a local family run business, who provide us with recyclable cardboard boxes. Often, we use card, bubblewrap and polystyrene from pallets and boxes that have been delivered to us, re-using most packaging materials that come our way.

See below an example of our glazes being reworked to create something new and interesting!

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