Below is an excerpt from an article on the work Jeff Schwarz and Dick Wukich are conducting at the Carnegie Library in Braddock.  This facility is a partner to the facilities we are building in Laredo, TX and College Station, TX.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

By Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


20090208bdbraddock_500Jeff Schwarz presses a filter in the Braddock Pot Shop.

As a distressed community, Braddock could make a good argument for getting a government bailout. Instead, it has become a producer of stimulus packages for communities with greater problems.

Last fall, the Braddock Pot Shop — a ceramics workshop operated by the Braddock Carnegie Arts Program in the basement of the Carnegie Library — took on an additional role: North America’s first water filter factory.

At Mayor John Fetterman’s urging, AmeriCorps agreed to make a former volunteer a full-time employee in the factory to produce ceramic cones that filter bacteria from water. It is an affiliate of the international network Potters for Peace.

AmericaCorps volunteers have worked in the ceramics studio since it was established in 2003 and been active for years in youth programs in Braddock. AmericaCorps alumni include Mr. Fetterman.

Jeff Schwarz, 33, a teacher in the studio, stepped into his full-time role impassioned about clay’s potential to improve and save lives — in the Third World or in developed countries during emergency situations in which drinking water supplies have been contaminated.

A graduate of Slippery Rock University, he caught the water filter bug from Richard Wukich, his mentor and teacher. Mr. Wukich is a member of Potters for Peace and has brought the group’s founder and other leaders to campus.


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