Founded in 2002 by Salime Harp Cruces and Christian Thornton, Studio Xaquixe is a 380-square meter recycled glassblowing facility with a clear purpose; to create high-quality pieces of original design, while counteracting the environmental destruction that Mexico faces. Through the projects they take on and the network they have built through the years, they have expanded that impact locally to promote an appreciation for glass as an art form and sustainability as a culture.
For the last 13 years Studio Xaquixe has been working towards building a truly sustainable glass studio. Straying from production models which threaten to pollute and possibly cause further damage to the communities around, the studio constructed a system to collect and utilize the waste from those same communities in order to fuel its furnace. Cooking Oil: From Waste to Energy is a film produced by Snejina Latev and Studio Xaquixe which illustrates this system. In addition, while the glass going into the furnace is 95% recycled glass, the technology is formulated to produce crystal quality glass which they use to craft a line of unique products and commissioned projects. Last but not least, they offer specialized job opportunities for the local workforce providing education about the importance of sustainable technology.
"Within our system we integrate light and heavy waste cooking oil. We use light cooking oil with our multi-fuel burner. This mechanism atomizes and burns the oil reaching temperatures up to 1300 °C. We use heavy cooking oil, in combination with pig manure, to produce methane via a biogas digester. We collect rainwater in the studio’s roof to feed the digester and keep the humidity levels for its optimal operation. With these technologies in place we are cutting our use of liquid propane by 100%. Solar power is currently being implemented using CPV technology and Multi-junction Solar Cells to complete our off-grid system. The glass we use for production is 95% recycled. By adding only 5% of raw materials by volume, we can produce crystal quality glass."