Sustainable: Long Life Design Final Project + Wabisabi Ceramic

Making your own long-life design instead of buying it!

Inspiration and Long Life Design:

This semester I learned a lot of knowledge about sustainability. I start to think about how to reuse and make the materials more useful. I think to make an environmental friendly long-life design can also make an object instead of buying an object which will reduce the waste on the packaging.  The air plastic bags in the packages can not be recycled. And to make an object by yourself can also practice your skill. I really like to buy ceramic and I also like to drink tea. I decided to make a teacup and a cookie plate instead of buying one. If one day I break it unintentionally, illuminated by Kintsugi I can make it as another teacup or a vase. Clay is easy to connect with other pieces. I think it can be a long life design in the next 10 years.

Design Brief and Mood Board 

Material and Process:

Systems Map:

How does it work?

Since I decided to make a ceramic and I research the craft studio in Manhattan and I found a Japanese studio. The studio owner Togei told me, every studio had their own recipe for mixing the clay. And they have the fixed sources to buy the supplies. I think there will be some wasting package and produce some air pollution during this process. On the other hand, the studio provides us space and material to work on which will save us some money to buy the supplies and waste a bunch of supplies. Clay is a material which easies to break but we still can make it as a long-life design but inspired by Kintsugi, and clay is also easy to renew it. We can just add another piece of clay to connect with the original one. If one day, you don’t like it anymore you can paint on the top and make it bigger to a vase or different style of ceramic. This is my first time making a ceramic so this piece will be meaningful for me and I will take care very carefully. In the process, there is not allowed to using our phone so I focus on to make the ceramic. It needs a lot of your patience, sometimes you need to be gentle and cautious and sometimes you need your muscle and power. For me, it is kind of slow down my life and be patient to focus on something. My thesis of making a teacup by yourself is, it saves the plastic and box packaging which will help the environment. Less online shopping will also reduce air and water pollution. Joining a studio you can meet some friends and also less waste on supplies. In the future, I will try to make a set of complete done teacups and invite my friends to my house to have a cup of tea and chat together. Zach opens the tea shop Kettl, not just for business. I want to make this set of teacups to connect the relationship with others not just had their contact on my phone. I also want to introduce and share this culture with my friends.

Process Photography: 

To make a ceramic, you need to fire your piece for more than a week and it depends on the size. After a week, you will put the glaze on it and go back to the kiln. If you want to make it colorful you will need more time. In the studio, we do first firing at 800 degrees about 6 hours and cool them down a day. Second firing at 1200 degrees about 8 hours.

Final Look of Art Piece:

Final Grade:

  1. I did not finish all components on time because make a ceramic actually take longer than I thought, it needs one month to finish a piece.
  2. I spend money on taking a ceramic studio class and it includes all the supplies fee.
  3. I almost finish my piece as I planned but don’t have enough time to put the glaze and paint on it. But I will keep working on it later.

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