AmberSky235, A. (2011, May 12). Sheep. Retrieved November 13, 2020, from
Here I am brainstorming for environmentally friendly materials to use for the project. I would like to use a material that can be recycled and reused. When I was first thinking about this project I was thinking of using vinyl or some type of window film that can be stuck onto the glass. However, this would create a lot of trash and the plastic would eventually wear down into smaller pieces and end up in an animal's food ecosystem, landfills, and water systems. I have been looking at materials that have a less harsh impact on the environment when they decompose.
Wool is a material I am experimenting with. Wool is light, so it would be easy to hang up on glass surfaces and it is soft so it would not scratch the glass. Wool is 100 percent biodegradable at least when it is not dyed. I am trying out the roving wool from the Dimensions brand where it says that it is made in Kathmandu, Nepal.
I noticed while researching for local wool suppliers a lot of stores sold needle felting wool kits. Which gave me inspiration for an idea to potentially turn the project into a community project? I could provide feather wool kits to send to people and they could send their finished feathers back to me so I can arrange a mandala and have it displayed in a public space.
I was able to find some local suppliers. I found a small knitting shop in my city for some white wool. I also discovered Alpaca wool for sale in the countryside and I visited and saw the Alpacas on the farm!
Helpful Resources that help explain manufacturing processes of materials
Wool Amsterdam is a helpful resource where I learned a lot about the manufacturing and industry. They help explain the wool mills in a step by step process. They are also a company who are aware of their sourcing and sustainability.
"Sheep wool is much loved because the elastic, curly fibers felt easily to create a textile that is both strong and beautiful. Wool felt is durable, easy to dye, and highly resistant to flame and compression"
"wool is a fully renewable resource since sheep do not have to be killed and grow a new fleece every year. To top it all off, wool felt is 100% biodegradable"
Amsterdam, W. (2019, September 18). About WoOL Amsterdam. Retrieved November 3, 2020, from
An interactive map where you can search and locate sheep farmers of Ontario.
Farmers, Sheep. (2020). The Ontario Wool Map. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from
When I saw that the wool I bought from the local craft store was from Nepal I wonder how much pollution from the transportation of possibly plane or boat the small bag of wool would create. I could not find any more information from the Dimensions brand, But I found a few websites that tracked and offered interactive maps of boat routes and their paths around the world on a regular basis. One of these boat routes could be transporting the wool. I wonder how much transportation pollution would be reduced if larger companies would buy from locals.
K. (2012). Shipmap.org. Retrieved November 28, 2020, from
Global Ship Tracking Intelligence: AIS Marine Traffic. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2020, from
"In order to make permanent markers work, the role of the ink reservoir and ink is significant in the process. Polyester is the main component to produce the marker reservoir. It is a “synthetic fiber derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum” (“Polyester”). In order to form polyester, two raw materials are needed, and they are ethylene and purified terephthalic acid"
"Since people do not have sufficient knowledge about how to recycle the Sharpie, they usually throw it away into garbage disposals, which ends it up in landfills. Since the marker reservoir carries toxic substance, it can be harmful for animals and humans if the reservoir breaks down"
Production of the Sharpie permanent markers and their environmental impact. This website is helpful because they thoroughly explain the chemical production of the sharpie ink, plastic marker, and the environmental impact of the shipping and transportation methods. They explain that Sharpie markers can only be partially recycled but the ink and felt tip cannot be reused. This applies to Sharpies permanent markers in plastic, but nothing was mentioned about their oil-based markers in metal markers. So I wonder if the Oil Sharpie's metal markers can be recycled easier since it is metal-based? Are the oils more toxic? I couldn't find any info regarding the oil-based ones. I also learned about the Terracycle program in the States where they try to recycle as many products as they can from their volunteer. They provide recycling programs where people can ship their garbage to them
Lee, L. (2015, March 15). Sharpie - Design Life. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from
The local sheep wool was purchased at a store in Waterloo, Ontario called Shall We Knit?
The local Alpaca farm located 5 mins outside of Markdale, Ontario. The farm is called Blue Mountain Alpacas.