Despite asbestos was banned in the 90s, still nowadays 30000 people contract asbestosis every year. Meanwhile, many developing countries still support its use.
As an alternative way to reduce clay mining, the material research repurposes the safe byproduct of the treatment of asbestos as a clay body filler. On the one hand it recoups waste coming from an unwanted stigmatised material; on the other, it decreases the amount of mined clay used in paste. After the treatment, asbestos partly keeps its heat-resistancy, adding insulating propertiesa and extra lightness to the clay.
The use of this byproduct supports the treatment over the mere dismissal into landfills of asbestos-containing products. More than 60000 tonnes of asbestos can be treated per year by one treatment centre, instead of being disposed of in its fibrous dangerous form. Asbestos, when dumped, stays in the landscape, causing high maintenance costs, threatening the life of the workers, and preventing the recoup of precious materials from landfills.
The inquiry over craft and industrial extractive modes of clay bodies and over non-extractive fillers collide in a functional application: indoor tiles. By playing with different percentages of treated asbestos as a filler and with different firing temperatures, technical and aesthetic outcomes can be reached. By combining scientific research, ceramic know-how and intimate experience, the project cares for overlooked or hidden abundant materials, reinstituting them in domesticity.