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art safety

updated mon 11 jul 05

 

bill edwards on sun 10 jul 05


I had been looking for an easier way to help provide
novice potters and those who are just beginning to get
involved, a way to understand potential hazards
associated with clay and glazes. What I found is an
already documented source that I would have used in my
instruction less the research time spent outside this
study but I come with my own historical record from
many years of research and time on these subjects.(I
am sometimes wrong too, not as often as I once was!)

Here's a url from Princeton University that has good
information. The only thing missing is a study on each
colorant used, but when read, you can understand that
all colorants could be safely handled by using a rule
of thumb... Think in terms that you are handling a
lead based material whenever you are handling any
materials involved in mixing and your reduction in
hazards are reduced in most cases to a level of safety
you can live with for a very long time. Is it that
hard to use cheap gloves and a mask or too time
consuming. If that your case, at least teach it to
others!

If you read to the bottom you will see where I said
that barium will NOT be one of my priorities in my
mixing arena even though others state differently. I
am certain it can be used safely and effectively but
there are those who would spray water into a peep hole
to see if there's some truths to the myths that get
passed along here and in other places and never give
it a passing thought. With that in mind why would I
trust someone's glazes to be held to the highest
standards for my own health?

http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/artsafety/sec12.htm#g

There is no toxic scare here. There is no common sense
value here because it doesn't reach a larger audience
of commonplace understanding outside the profession.
(New potters are coming into their own often when they
fist get here) There is research and lots of effort
and apparently Princeton has some very good research
detailing that barium has been seen in some tests to
leach in hazardous amounts in some glazes. We cannot
continue to moderate which ones are non-suspect and
which ones are suspect and then give out poorly
devised information such as peeping into peep holes
and using materials that could expose a potter to
serious injury or harm. This isn't toxic scare its
stupidity and I will say it without blinking. Looking
in kilns carries its own significant dangers to the
eye and can cause cataracts and other damages from
infrared light and heat. If you must look, the same
principles apply that should apply to all materials
with known hazards proven or suspect. A welder wears
vision protection for the specific reason of saving
their eyes and the potential of sparks flying in the
face and are required to by rules that regulate
welding procedures and practices if they are certified
at all. I do consulting, no need in me going into all
that. Partly some of that has to do with safety and
one part was welding procedures which personally I
don't do as a profession. I was taught and certified
in its safe use and form however and have over 60
cerifications in various fields, that being just one
of many. (Anyone needing to see those let me know as I
am sure many may be curious) I feel sometimes I have
to justify every word since I am not one of the more
elite persons who has earned their name solely on my
pottery performace and shows and such. I am highly
concerned on how we are reaching those who are just
beginning to work in this field and I know we have
enough professional artists, teachers and doctors
within this very group to fix these over-sights and do
so in a way thats not stinging to another person,
non-hateful in the way its done and everyone can have
fun while learning. When I do stained glass I wear a
rubber glove on my right hand if and when I am
handling lead. I work outside. I cut and grind glass
using a mask and eye protection. In pottery I wear two
gloves when mixing chemicals and I never use my hands
in the bucket to stir when theres a mechanical method
thats much easier and better to achieve my end
results, mask and eye protection based on the
chemicals I use at the time. (forget inert materials)
I wet clean, use ventilation on my kiln. I don't look
in peep holes, I did that one or two times before I
learned not to. I would consider doing so using a #5
welders eye protection mask probably the cobalt blue
type if at all possible but green is avilable, I
wouldn't introduce anything into the peep hole,
especially an electric kiln where mists or
vaporization may occur and I would still be at a
distance or use another method. (We aren't talking
about salt firing or soda at this point) Actually
potterymaking.org has just that information. One more
url for you to check out.

http://www.potterymaking.org/safetyeyes.html

Isn't Jeff Zamek on this group now?

Bill Edwards
Edmar Studio and Gallery













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Jon Brinley on sun 10 jul 05


Bill wrote
"I do consulting, no need in me going into all
that. Partly some of that has to do with safety and
one part was welding procedures which personally I
don't do as a profession. I was taught and certified
in its safe use and form however and have over 60
certifications in various fields, that being just one
of many. (Anyone needing to see those let me know as I
am sure many may be curious) "

Bill
That's enough shingles to do the roof of a small house or studio. Much =
less hang in the front yard.=20

Jon in Midland