September 3, 2019 Comments (0) Views: 921 Ceramic

Freelance animator and design consultant, Shashank Nimkar hopes not only to give new life to ceramic waste, but to encourage others to do so as well.

How do you create eco-friendly tableware from ceramic waste?

The fired rejects at industries or broken pieces from households are crushed to a fine powder. This powder is mixed with a minimum amount of virgin clay that acts as a natural binder to make products. I have been able to make prototypes using 70% of recycled material with just 30% of fresh clay. A slip (liquid clay) has been developed using this composition which enables us to do casting. With the possibility of slip casting it is now possible to develop any complicated forms using this material, functional or decorative.

How do you plan to make your recycling technique production-friendly?

The 70% recycled ceramics has been showing promising results. However, to make it production-friendly I am planning to use 50% of recycled ceramics to start with. Current industrial usage is an average of 2%-10%, up to 30% at a handful of production units. Meanwhile, I will continue to experiment with a higher percentage of recycled content. Experimenting with different types of clay to take advantage of their properties will pave the way to make this process production-friendly.

What’s next in your foray into recycled ceramics?

After the completion of my graduation project thesis at NID I aim at raising funds and establishing a production studio where I can make value-added products out of recycled ceramics. I also want to provide recycled ceramic as a material to a large number of ceramists around the country who have already been showing an interest in using this material to reduce the environmental impact of their practice. Together we can reduce the mining for natural resources and yet make value added products for our respective markets.

This article was originally published in POOL 107.

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