Karen Sullivan on sun 12 nov 00
Studio Potter magazine ran an article about David Shaner,
I am not sure how long ago, but within the last six months.
Great article. Tony Clennell just mentioned it a few days ago.
What is important to know is that Shaner was working with
manganese dioxide in his glazes which developed a matt/crystal
surface that was quite beautiful...He was firing his kiln inside
his studio, and therefore was breathing the fumes that came from
He started having sever physical problems, and it took a few
years for the medical evaluation to figure out that he had
heavy concentrations of metal in his system...the article gives
a detailed medical description. What I remember is that the metal
had bonded on a cellular level with the oxygen molecules in his
I noticed in grad school, the Otto's texture 05, white lead
glaze I was using (firing in gas kilns) left a beautiful
chartreuse, foamy glaze like surface in any crevice that allowed the
flame to escape the kiln. While I was very cautious while handling
the glaze, when I noticed that aspect (i.e. the foamy stuff), I decided to
stop using the glaze, beautiful tho. it is...
I decided it was too toxic.
So ventilation for ones kiln is important...
My kilns are outside. In the Montana winter, Shaner probably appreciated
the warmth of the firing...
I figure something is going to get me, so I might as well get something
out of whatever it is that gets me.
My aunt just died at 102, so what's me worry?
Take care...do what I say, not what I do.