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studio sans running water (somewhat late)

updated sun 28 jan 01


Jean Silverman on sat 27 jan 01

I've been working for 20 yrs in a studio with no running water, only
occasionally miss it (in winter when our outdoor hose is off and running
back and forth with gallon jugs during a glaze session and clean-up bugs
me). My system is: I store a lot (now ca. 24 gals.) of water in 1-gallon
plastic jugs. Milk, water, and vinegar all work; the vinegar is the
strongest but it takes a long time to use up all that vinegar! I keep these
tucked away under the shelves the pots are kept on. This gives me not only
more than enough water for even the messiest project or mixing a lot of
glazes, but provides us with a useful reservoir for when the power goes out
and we have no water in the house. And I keep this reservoir full by
refilling jugs as I empty them, day by day, so I'm not stuck with suddenly
needing to carry 20 gals. across the road all at once (usually).

I keep one of those large, hard plastic buckets (mine used to hold spackle)
ca. 1/2 full of water, to use as my wash-up for tools and hands + rinse
water. The clay etc. particles settle within a few hrs., leaving clear
water on top. When the sludge builds up (or a mouse drowns because I forgot
to cover the damned thing) I dump that bucket and start fresh. I use 1 gal.
buckets to hold throwing water and reuse 1 bucketful until there is more
clay than water in it and I can't stand it any more, then use that with
trimming scraps etc to recycle the clay in another large container. We can
get by with a lot less water than we think we need.

Now, I live way out in the country with lots of land around me so there are
no neighbors to complain and plenty of space, no wells near-by, no town
water to pollute. I'm not a high-volume production potter and don't produce
much waste anyway, so this system works for me. It would be much more
complicated if I had a big studio with employees needing a lot more water etc.

At 06:31 PM 1/11/2001 -0500, Judith wrote:
>Hello all,
>I am trying to work in a studio without indoor plumbing -- i.e., no running
>water, no sink, no drain. I can carry in limited quantities of water without
>too much of a problem. I'm wondering, though, what other people in this
>situation do for clean up, and for safe disposal of water that may contain
>glaze chemicals.

Jean Silverman
Plum Tree Pottery
41 Neal Mill Rd.
Newmarket NH 03857