New Clay Recycling Equipment Helps Hartwick Stay Green
For Stephanie Rozene sustainability is an art.
“We’ve always recycled our clay scraps,” said Rozene, professor of art and art history. “But we reconstitute our clay in these huge, 300-pound batches, so it takes a long time to build that up.”
But thanks to an anonymous donor, a new vacuum de-airing pugmill made by Peter Pugger Manufacturing Inc., a producer of vacuum mixing equipment, will allow students to recycle and reconstitute clay more efficiently.
“If a student needs red clay, they can use those scraps and reclaim a smaller amount,” she said.
In “pugging” the clay, the scrap is reconstituted with water and then the air is vacuumed out. What comes out is a smooth tube of industrial-quality clay, free of air bubbles and ready to use.
“Pugging reduces the need to wedge our clay and get the air bubbles out,” said Rozene. “We’re saving time, as well as the wear and tear on our bodies.”
The pugmill is one more piece in the College’s commitment to sustainability.
“One of the reasons we make our own clay is that it lowers our carbon footprint. If we’re buying pre-made, that’s excess cardboard for boxing and fossil fuels for shipping. Our footprint is greener.”
Professor of Art