Ignorance is bliss: ceramic tiles
Since the Industrial Revolution ignorance and negligence have generated overloaded landfills in our throw-away culture. Metals are crucial to our world, and unfortunately a non-renewable resource.
‘Ignorance is Bliss’ is an ongoing project about giving a new identity to metal waste by applying it as a pigment from industries such as drinking water supply and soil remediation, transforming them into new valuable products and methods. As a result of broad-scale material research and prototyping, one outcome is interior/exterior ceramic tiles, which are coloured using 100% industrial metal waste. In this project, surprisingly, the more contaminated the raw material, the more vibrant the designed objects are.
A soil remediation company in Weert, The Netherlands, generates around 30200 tons of toxic metal waste per year. To supply water for one town can generate around 10 tons of iron waste per month. The worth of a currently ‘valueless’ and often toxic metal waste is recovered in a functional, process-efficient and scalable way. Waste is used instead of buying industrially produced pigments from the same metals. The waste source is reliable to ensure similar colours. Tiles can be produced in unlimited quantities and come in a variety of sizes and colours. The production factory is applying glazes by hand leading to subtle variations in shades. The products have a distinctive appearance, are safe and sustainability focused. As research continues they will gradually evolve towards an even more environmentally friendly version.
The aim of this project is to show that waste is not a limitation, but an opportunity to challenge the current industrial colour mass manufacture.
Text submitted by the maker
manufacturer 'Albarello', waste supply 'Aquaminerals' and 'Theo Pouw Secundaire Bouwstoffen'
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