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safe glaze (longish)

updated wed 31 jan 01


will edwards on tue 30 jan 01

Some interesting trivia for those who may have an interest in transition
metals. If it tires you to read long posts It is time to delete or move o=
n to
the next one.

Cobalt- German kobold (Evil Spirit)
Iron - Latin (Ferrum)
Nickle - (False copper) German kupfernickle
Copper - Latin (Cyprium) named after Cyprus
Vanadium - (Vanadis) Scandinavian goddess
Titanium - (Titans) Greek titanos

Three of these are most interesting. Cobalt, nickle and Iron. Electromagn=
metals. (Look these up)

Its an interesting history learning where and how some of the names occur=
that we use today in our language. All the great discoveries made in anci=
times with earth metals. The period where copper was used for decoration =
the advent where the romans who worked their aquaducts eventually became =
for using the dreaded posion now known as lead in some of their work. (An=
d you
think we are crazy)

It would be equally interesting to know much more about Cyprus since it
yielded so much copper. =

The point is we have remarked on the great attributes for such legends wh=
pottery and art were most abundant. Roman pottery was unequalled for the =
Skilled professional craftsmen and engineers of their time explored and
conducted methods that allowed them the use of earths resources for great=

accomplsiments such as the water ducts and huge bridges where some are st=
standing. =

Much is yet fully understood on metals and transitional metals and their =
potential. However we can relate to the fact that without these elements =
would all be dead and with too much of these we would all be dead. Nothin=
g I
could say would ever answer anywhere near the level it should regarding
exposure. We take the best technology and apply it and yet our world toda=
y is
full of toxins everywhere we look. Read the labels, listen to the news an=
d see
why we have acid rain and sickness. This is why I seldom reply in real de=
on toxins. It is not yet an exact science. It is a continued study of wha=
things do to the human body! (The two toxicologist I paid might argue wha=
"exact" is so its debateable as is anything)
Potters such as myself just need to be aware of the potential for risks
involved and use the best judgement and house-keeping possible and know t=
validity of which metals may do what the quickest. A hazard may hang with=
over time and slowly make you sick where a toxin might get you quicker ba=
on how much you get and the entry route of it. Free silica is an extreme
hazard so we can't just pass that off by saying a toxin is the worst form=
material. Also this shouldn't scare you! If you look hard at the fine det=
you will know that we are exposed to most of these in everyday living in =
form. They are great debatable arguments that can range for ever over
anything. I desire not to stir up any more free anything but to make a va=
point on the safer uses of substances in the pottery market through
educational efforts. While occasionally they are errors in writing it is =
to raise the issue with concern about the intention of the article than i=
t is
to tear it down. More value can then be given by any addition added to th=
referencing. Many of my personal experiences involve dealing direct with =
and toxicologist but I do follow computer based information and have a li=
of books for referencing. I still don't have the answers nor will I ever.=
have an open mind but I define hazards and toxins for my own personal
evaluations. I first think acute or chronic. Carbon filter mask for fumes=
filter. Latex gloves or just mask. Or to take it to extremes a body suit =
self contained respirators. Raku workers might consider a mask for fumes =
the future. Whats better, a few bucks now or a lot latter? Its practical
methodology in the workplace. Venting a kiln??? Sure or stay away from it=

while firing/venting. =

William Edwards
Alchemy 101

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