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more pottery safety

updated sun 30 jun 96


Lori Wilkinson on tue 25 jun 96

Hi All,

There is much said here on Clayart about what is safe and what is not for
which if that were all that was posted I would still subscribe. As John
said, for so many years nothing was said and the topic was taboo in many
circles regarding fumes and vapors. I remember an old ceramic teacher with
cigarette hanging from her mouth firing kilns in the same room that we were
glazing with no venting what so ever some years back.

Needless to say you can guess where my kiln was located at home. In fact I
loved the smell of the fumes and vapors. About five years ago I began
another series of pottery classes and so little was said then about
dangerous gasses nor was safety with chemicals enforced. This instructor
was someone that should have known better so I then realized if I wanted to
pot I would need my own studio at home where I could control my exposure to
what could be harmful because I now have bone, lung and heart problems.

Do I blaim it on my clay life? Not entirely but I am sure it didn't help.
It does not take much exposure to fumes or chemicals for me to feel ill.
Now you can take all the risks you want but I personally believe we have a
moral obligation to let those we teach know that there are some definate
risks that will not be tolerated because of the harm it could do to others
and that there are areas still being debated.

Just by being on this list and the fact that we have the envolvment with
clay that we do to me is reason to respect that gift. There are so many
people that would love to have our opportunity that I believe we have the
responsibility to do the best we can to see to it they arrive there safely.

Lori Wilkinson in Roswell NM