Glazed ceramic pieces are not recyclable for their re-production and they mostly end up in a landfill. In this process, various ground pollutions are caused by chemical and toxic particles resulting from some glazings. “It’s a shame that clay, one of the most natural materials, is treated in this way”, says designer Seok-hyeon Yoon. Technically, the clay itself is reusable as chamotte, baked clay powder; however, glassy ingredients of glazing complicate ceramic recycling because, when they are baked as one, they fuse together, then the earth is not pure anymore.
So, I searched for alternative glazings and found out “Ott”, known as Korean traditional lacquering material. It’s a natural resin from the Ott tree and was widely used as glazing for woodenware in the past. To glaze Ott on the ceramic surface, it doesn’t need to be baked as it just drys out. I discovered an interesting fact that it evaporates when it’s heated with the high temperature in kilns. It means that we can get clean earth again and re-utilize it.
This project aims for actualizing ceramic recycling for its re-production through introducing potentials of alternative glazing, Ott, by applying it on domestic ceramic objects to experiment with its practicalities and aesthetics.
This handmade product’s Ott lacquer is a natural resin derived from trees, therefore, it can be irregular in shape, colour, and finishing.