[Clayart] Porcelain question

Tommy Humphries tommyhumphries at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jul 3 10:46:02 EDT 2016

Dust is one thing that many potters never think about. The risk can be minimized with a few common sense precautions. 

1- ALWAYS WEAR A MASK when producing or stirring up dust. 

2- Cross ventilation... Fresh air in, dust out! Working in front of a spray booth is perfect, especially if vented to the outdoors. 

3-Wet sponge cleanup of tables, and wet mopping of floors. 

4-protective clothing. Always wear an apron! If carving or trimming, and you have dust or crumbs on your apron, take it off carefully and drop into a bucket of water. DON'T SHAKE IT OFF! Rinse well and hang to dry. 

5-If blowing dust from pots with compressed air, do it in front of the spray booth...no spray booth? DON'T DO IT! Use a damp sponge, or rinse bisque in running water. 

There could be many,many more points added to this list. These are just a few things that I have commonly witnessed in my years of clay. 

One thing that I wish I had had done back when I was starting, is to have my MD take a lung capacity test on me. A follow up test done regularly can be an early indicator of dust overexposure that can lead to emphysema or silicosis. 

My early indicator was to check my eyeglasses every so often, if there was dust on them, the. There was too much dust in the area. 

Tommy Humphries. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jul 2, 2016, at 5:53 PM, Ken Chase via Clayart <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com> wrote:
> Well Jeff, you really got me thinking.
> Is there a safe way to carve and sand bone dry
> Porcelain? Outdoors maybe?
> The mask I wear is Hepa approved but if what
> You say is correct long after the mask comes
> Off I still risk breathing in silica.
> If you know of some safeguards I'd appreciate
> Hearing about them.
> Thanks much.
> Ken
> Sent from my iPad
>> On Jul 2, 2016, at 11:38 AM, Jeff Lawrence via Clayart <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com> wrote:
>> Ken Chase wrote:
>>> Thanks Jeff:
>>> I work alone. I carve bone dry porcelain in my
>>> Garage. I do wear a mask. I don't believe I'm putting anyone at risk.
>>> Your tenor of your post suggests you made an uninformed Assumption.
>>> I do appreciate the good advice.
>> Hi Ken,
>> I have a skeptical bone, too, and sadly find I make many uninformed
>> assumptions. It's certainly possible I did so here. I encourage further
>> research from more trusted sources.
>> The tone I strove for was humor-lightened dead serious, but your reply
>> suggests I failed. It might be I spent too many years fruitlessly telling
>> employees  the dust they raised was bad for both them and me.
>> As I said, the choice of clay condemns us to some clay in our lungs - no
>> way to avoid it entirely. And the histrionic tendency to exaggerate dangers
>> these days is not a bus I care to board.  But clay particles are very small
>> - any particles bigger than 2 um (2/1,000,000) get promoted to silt, and
>> don't exhibit the plasticity that makes clay so enjoyable. Particles
>> smaller than 2.5 um are too small for our lungs to cough out, so they stay
>> there. I leave the arithmetic as an exercise for the student. Now, knowing
>> that each of those particles can slake its electrostatic yearning for water
>> either with water we add or the water it finds in our our chest cavity, I
>> personally opt for the first. Please confirm this from reliable sources.
>> I maintain that protective gear not HEPA-rated does no good, but please
>> seek out a second opinion (but not from the bozo who taught you to carve
>> dry.) Carving in your garage means those particles will float around,
>> settling only over hours or days, then recirculating every time there's air
>> movement to roil the up.
>> As for microcracks in dried clay, there's a good section on it in Fraser's
>> book, "Ceramic Faults and Their Remedies." And it's a good read if you ever
>> want to get beyond a superficial knowledge of clay.
>> Best,
>> Jeff
>> Jeff Lawrence
>> jefflawr at gmail.com
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