Pottery is a calming and fascinating form of creation, and most potters will create their works inside a studio. But while pottery may e completely harmless, it does, in fact, carry a few health risks that many potters may not be aware of when they start up their new hobby.
For those getting into pottery for the first time, these tips will help keep the studio hazard-free and while also ensuring the health of yourself and those around you.
Don’t Allow Clay to Sit
Clay that sits too long in one spot and then is moved or brushed can start to produce silicate dust. This is most common when using a pottery wheel and the trimmings from an on going project are left on the floor, and can become extremely dry over time. It’s important to get rid of all trimmings properly as wet clay can capture silicate dust before drying up and releasing into the air when disturbed. Clay trimmings should be stored in a bag and the pottery wheel should be cleaned frequently, even if itching to get to your latest TV series or game of Australian online pokies.
Store All Powders
All powders used in the process of pottery creation should be stored in airtight containers. Not only does this keep the powders from being inhaled by anyone, but it can also keep the powders usable for that much longer. It also prevents any contaminants or moisture getting mixed into the powder and ruining its usefulness. There are plenty of different kinds of containers on the market that are perfect for storing powders over long periods of time.
Dust from clay has a tendency to build up over time, especially from trimmings that are left too long on the open. This clay dust can be inhaled and cause problems over time, and it’s best to spray and wipe down any work surfaces to prevent dust from building up. Keeping a multitude of old rags and clothes around, along with some water in a spray bottle, will keep everything clean, dry, and free of any dust.
The cleaning side of the hobby extends to the tools used on a daily basis. Cleaning the tools prevents them from becoming soaked in moisture that can lead to rust, which then becomes a tetanus hazard. Not only is it safer, but it also means the tools will last that much longer, and prevents silicate dust from being stirred up into the air when digging around in a cupboard for the right tools.
The dust that’s produced from daily pottery projects is unavoidable, but one way to keep the air clean and free of any contaminants is to ensure that the studio has adequate ventilation. This can be in the form of a few open windows, but it’s often best to have some kind of outlet ventilation fan that can draw out all of the dust and particles from the studio and drawing in fresh air constantly.