Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Furnace Material Excavations Trip: North Kohala, Big Island

In mid October I took a trip to the North Kohala Coast to gather materials from the backyards of ceramicist and painter, Peter Kowalke and glass artist and equipment specialist, Hugh Jenkins along the beautiful Hamakua coast. Both working artists have at home studio space to create their work. Both kindly supported my "buy local" initiative by selling me leftover refractories, insulated fire brick, and insulating mineral wool from perhaps an old local fuel incinerator. Hugh purchased the mineral wool from DAGS State Surplus by the Airport here in Honolulu awhile back now. Some of the bricks I purchases from Peter are from an old kiln in Puna district of Big Island built by a ceramicist turned ukelele maker. Gathering the information on the histories of how and where these materials existed and survived is a great part of the drive which leads me towards these regenerative/ recycling processes.

Pacific Biodiesel: outlook on sustainability by local Hawaii biofuel distributor

"Biodiesel production has grown rapidly worldwide due to the numerous environmental and economic advantages this alternative fuel can have over petroleum. Pacific Biodiesel has been a true pioneer in this burgeoning industry from the very first days of biodiesel production in America, contributing to and applying advances in technology, and observing the creation of various biodiesel business models. The source of the feedstock that is converted into biodiesel is a crucial issue that is garnering increased attention from the global environmental community....."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Greener glass studios?

Check out what Andrew Page has to say in Urban Glass Quarterly, Fall 2009 issue:

Fall 2009 / Issue 116
Can Glass Go Green?
by Andrew Page

Monday, September 21, 2009


An ecosphere is a contained self sustained system. Usually you would find Hawaiian red brine shrimp, algae and saltwater. All nutrients are attained from within, with the exception of sunlight which helps the organisms to survive.

rewind to the the romans

The Romans had some genius intuitions of how to make glass melt. Here is a great site I found loaded with imagery of a modern day furnace construction modeled after that of the Romans.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

furnace alternatives

First off I have to give a great big thank you to Hugh Jenkins, and Peter Kowalke for fueling my fire towards the great abyss of alternative energy solutions in the glass/ ceramics industry! I would not be where I am with my motives to research these ideas! In March '08 Peter had a "Sustainable Kiln Workshop" on his beautiful property in North Kohala, on the Big Island of Hawaii. I was hired on the crew primarily as a welder for the project, however couldn't resist getting my hands in all aspects of the project. In perspective, this workshop taught me the value of community. Without each individual brought from diverse backgrounds, places near and far, from the mainland to other Hawaiian islands, this project could never have been what it was. One of my great friends, and fellow crew members, Phil, is now a professional in the sustainable glass equipment building industry at Eddie Bernard's Wet Dog Glass in Star, NC. I look forward to getting in touch with him for some advice from a professional!