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consolidated post (^6 and glaze waste)

updated sat 16 jul 05


bill edwards on thu 14 jul 05

How are universities, schools and residencies
disposing of waste
glazes? The environmental health and safety office on
my campus just
forwarded me an an article
regarding Maine College
of Art being fined +$100,000 by the EPA

There may be more to the story but I am going on what
I read here. The clay shouldn't be an issue and if
that was the case I would take the 100K to fight back.
But then the glazes and what they are made of would be
something to consider but only in a minor way unless
they are putting tons of any of these compounds back
into the system. There's mills producing tons on tons
of these materials that are being wasted into the air,
soil and water. Where are the EPA in comparison? Did
they not at least give them prior warning as most
State regulatory and often Federal groups would?
Sounds like something is missing in the post or
perhaps some of the information isn't clear just yet?

Glazes can be hard fired, this has been discussed
before. Let them dry out by removing the water off and
then firing them. If you can't fire some of them, they
do have a toxic waste disposal system for most States
but I still don't understand how the EPA would
determine this without a massive ammount being put
into the sewage considering the vast majority of
households are doing it by washing paint brushes out,
even water based, it stil contains some of the same
colorant oxides and other materials to include acrylic
co-polymers and strong modifiers. This bugs me some
because this sends an alert to me that the next move
might be to regulate the use of kilns of all types.
They do have to have someone to worry over other than
those very large automobiles that are pushing the
limits of anti-pollution devices.

Cone 6 Reduction. I would love to see more
experimentation on that end of the stick. What I am
doing myself is using multiple ramp/hold and ramp down
methods to find a process for oxidation that comes as
close to reduction as possible if not as good and have
used this method over the past with exception to the
last year or so since I have been recovering from the
loss of my other studio due to flooding. (most of my
material was in the barn that was under water). I did
fire my first bisque in a long while this week and
programmed some new ramps in there. I would like to
thank Perry for some special help I recieved from
Skutt kilns also. Some of these ramps can be a pain to
get right especially if you ever loose your book.

There's been lots of newer discoveries with oxidation
at cone 6 that has the appearance of many great ^10 R
glazes. I have recently included more matte glazes
with additions of rutile and hold methods to test.
Liner or shiney glazes for food bearing use. (Low
colorants or lab tested preferred). I use the latter
for that!
MC6G (I still don't have the book) has provided a
multitude of glazes over the vastness of the web that
often appear as pretty as any of the older higher heat
reduction glazes. So ^6 oxidation is slowly coming
into it's own and being re-invented. It doesn't matter
what you save when it comes to the best and most
advanced work you can put out, it matters if you can
get the most from the materials you do have and
maximize the effort each load and learn from each
firing. Budget minded artists will arive behind the
first round of testers and that been a common practice
with all glaze experimentation. In time, we may see
more common place use for ^6 Ox that can be every bit
as exciting as ^10 R. And yes, this lower range does
call for some chemical changes here and there adding
more to the expense. Its still well worth the effort.
One of the programs I run for firing can ruin an
electric bill and rob the wallet in a flash. But
adding 50 cents to a dollar to most pieces will
off-set this cost. If I am not firing a mother load, I
usually set aside a complex piece for gallery
offerings I have done to off-set the costs of these
kinds of firings.

Bill Edwards
Edmar Studio and Gallery

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