Alex Simmons on fri 29 oct 04
> Alex wrote:
> "I am curious if anyone has experience of salt firing with a fibre lined
> kiln, with a scrubber on the flu. Any information will be greatly
> I am curious as to why you wish to install a scrubber in the flue. The
> exhaust gases of a salt kiln are harmless, but will cause rapid corrosion
> metal surfaces.
> Best wishes -
> - Vince
In repiling to your curiosity another question has arisen!
Although there are recent articles in Ceramics Technical, Ceramic Review,
Ceramics Monthly etc; that support the benign nature of the emissions with
I personally find it abit challenging when showing a person some of my work.
The first question is, "how did you get it to look like that?" " Thats
called an orange peel affect, it's created by firing in a Woodfired Salt
kiln", I explain. A sudden change comes over the person. From enjoying the
romantic vision of a creative life well spent. Too a cold accusing tone
(where I have become a tyre burning hick) "that poisons the air, doesn't
Here the dilemma lies, do I carry a soap box around, with scientific reports
in my back pocket? Joe average goes into television withdrawals at the hint
of an intellectual discussion. I am beating my head on the wall, for what
purpose? In his silent condemnation, Joe average finds himself the righteous
defender, me the tyre burner. The origins of this, for me, being the
honouring of my work by the exchange of money.
Or I could say, "I have a scrubber on the flu, it cleans the air, shall I
wrap that for you?"
Very black and white I know, any suggestions?
Vince Pitelka on fri 29 oct 04
> I personally find it abit challenging when showing a person some of my
> The first question is, "how did you get it to look like that?" " Thats
> called an orange peel affect, it's created by firing in a Woodfired Salt
> kiln", I explain. A sudden change comes over the person. From enjoying the
> romantic vision of a creative life well spent. Too a cold accusing tone
> (where I have become a tyre burning hick) "that poisons the air, doesn't
I can certainly sympathize with your situation. There has been a broad
proliferation of toxic scare, much based on very little credible research
and evidence. The "salt scare" fits into that category. None of the
sources quoted on any of the posts on Clayart have much substance to them.
The most recent research indicates that salt fumes are corrosive to metal
surfaces, but otherwise benign to the environment and to humans. Everything
is relative, and the amount of environmental degredation that can be blamed
on a salt kiln is less than the average automobile commuting to work and
back in a single day. So, which produces the most good in the grand scheme
of things? I do not begrudge the commuter, but I love art and fine craft,
and the salt process produces effects available through no other process.
As Ivor says, avoid breathing the fumes. That is common sense.
It is so easy to go completely overboard with toxic scare tactics, and if we
allow that to happen, then clay is banned because it contains fine silica
particles. So, I say, be safe and practical, but draw blood with anyone who
tries to frighten and intimidate with false facts.
Regarding those customers who blanche when they hear "salt fired," tell them
about the "toxic scare" scenario. Tell them that recent research has
supported the benign nature of salt firing. If they remain indignan t, then
tell them to go to hell.
Best wishes -
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111