To pour down the drain or not pour down the drain, that is just one of the many questions being researched by the Ethical Metalsmiths - Studio Practices Working Group.
In July, 2010, Ethical Metalsmiths formed the Responsible Studio Practices Working Group to address questions about sustainable studio practices and proper disposal procedures for studio chemicals. Several concerned individuals stepped forward to carry out the mission of this group and have committed to participating in monthly conference calls and topical research between calls.
Christine Dhein, Asst. Dir. of Revere Academy and publisher of "Green Jewelry News" is coordinating the group with leadership support from Christina Miller, Ethical Metalsmiths, director. Active members include industry experts, jewelers and educators; Anna Bario, Marc Choyt, Christine Dhein, Susie Ganch, Christina Miller, Lauren Pineda, Meg Roberts and Martin Taber. During the spring 2011 academic semester two students joined the group, Rose DeRatto of Virginia Commonwealth University and Jessica Hudson of Prescott College's independent study program. Additionally, Susie Ganch taught a Responsible Studio Practices Course at Virginia Commonwealth University during the fall 2010 semester and her students have contributed to the group's research.
The Goals of the SPWG are to:
- Establish best practices for studio jewelers
- Provide leadership for responsible jewelry making
- Foster academic research partnerships between jewelry programs and the material sciences to develop responsible alternatives
- Encourage suppliers to make responsible materials available for studio jewelers
- Create supply chain transparency for jewelry tools, materials and supplies
Making information available on proper disposal procedures for commonly used studio chemicals is the group's top priority. A draft document outlining these procedures is currently in progress and will be posted here upon completion.
If you would like to contribute information, solutions, or financial support, have some time to volunteer, or if you are interested in researching these issues, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your participation.
We will be updating this section of the website regularly, so please check back often.