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Lucas Pizza

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  1. Bad Habits with Manganese

    This is a good idea. My peer students and I have been requesting cement board and vinyl tables for our studios for safety reasons. Can't say we'll ever get them. I'll have to look into replacing my canvas. Thanks for the tip. Thank you for your thoughts. I've read that the fumes are the primary concern - and all of our kilns are outside. Most of my firings have been in a well ventilated Blauww kiln. I can't imagine we're exposed to the fumes much at all in our studios. I've been mostly concerned with the amount of dust I've been throwing around with my aggressive studio habits. Since then I've been wearing a respirator whenever I'm working with the clay in my studio. Again, thanks for your words - they are reassuring. Thanks for the response, John. Some of the sources I've read through: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manganism and other (anecdotal but scary) articles on Digitalfire However, I paid most of my attention to this one since it seemed rooted in the most concrete science: https://digitalfire.com/4sight/hazards/ceramic_hazard_manganese_inorganic_compounds_toxicology_317.html I've scrolled through various peer-reviewed articles on NCBI's site as well. ie: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3980863/ -Lucas
  2. I recently started working with a new black-firing clay body that I developed through trial and error. It contains about about %45 "Barnard Clay", which is a black clay body that I believe contains about %8-9 Manganese Oxide. I have been working with this clay body for about 4-6 months ~20-30 hours a week in the studio. (or at least I try my best for that range) My habits in controlling the dust have ranged from just okay to perhaps foolish. This is due to the massive amount of stress graduate school has been putting on me. This is no excuse - and I'm now focusing on improving this. Anyways,I sculpt large forms with this new black clay- manipulating big mounds of the clay with my entire body. Needless to say, this makes quite a big mess. I don't usually see excessive amounts of dust but It can sometimes happen, maybe once a week or so, when I drop a wooden slab down on a canvas table in my ventilated studio, etc. There have even been a couple times after doing something like that where I actually felt like I could taste the dust in the air very briefly... After learning about the toxic qualities of manganese last night, I was sent into a somewhat state of panic. I know my studio practice needs a lot of work in terms of cleanliness and care - so I'm very worried that I've already exposed myself to too much manganese (several months of stupidity). So I have to ask - how bad have I potentially screwed myself up? I've decided that once I finish my current project (couple more weeks) that I will abandon any materials with Manganese entirely while simultaneously improving my personal protection and cleaning behaviors. I should add that my work has mostly been fired in our studio's Blauww kilns, which ventilate the bisque firings very well. I'm writing this because I'm 29 years old and my little brother recently passed, so mortality has been a topic on my mind lately. It feels very important now more than ever that I live a long and healthy life. This undoubtedly is adding quite a bit to my anxiety on this matter. I know that these are probably questions better directed towards an occupational health professional - but since I don't have that resource at the moment, I thought I'd reach out to professionals in my current field and seek advice/info on the matter. With all the doom and gloom I've been reading regarding MnO, I can't seem to find a source of info anymore that feels reliable. Any helpful words would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
  3. It's life-sized. Imagine an actual sheep's head and it's about that big. There is an armature with newspaper bunched up beneath it. The walls of the clay or between a half inch to 1 1/2 inch thick. I like this idea. Do you know of any photos or sources of any other kind that could help me understand a little bit better? No, I actually don't. Haven't thought of that. I will be displaying it in FSU's Museum of Fine Arts for my graduating thesis show. I suppose I need to ask them a few questions. Thanks for the tip.
  4. Hello. I'm brand new to this community; just signed up today. I thought it might be a good idea to join up considering I've officially chosen ceramic as my priority medium for my BFA degree at Florida State University. I'm currently working on this piece that, upon completion, will be large and (hopefully) securely mounted to a wall. A brief description of the project's physical attributes: Think of a mounted sheep's head, horns and neck and all, like one that would come out of a taxidermist's shop. Now imagine the material it's made of being white earthenware, life sized - fired of course - as though it's emerging from the wall itself. The Sheep will be accompanied by two arms, either hand built or slipcasted. Both will also be emerging (attached) to the wall. One arm will be displaying the generic "blessing" gesture Jesus is shown posing with in old sacred art. The other hand will be holding a dagger which will be opening the Sheep's throat. From it's neck, gold and copper ivy leaves and vines made from wire will be escaping and "splashing" onto the floor. I won't bother getting into the concept aspect of the piece to save some of your time. I prefer to not give it all away immediately anyways. I was working on the piece the other day, I only have most of the head completed and I'm currently building up the horns. I began to wonder how I will mount this thing - safely - and I had a miniature freakout. I had to leave my studio I was so stressed. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I should go about this when it's completed? It needs to be attached at the neck. As I said, it will resemble an animal head you might mount to a wall. Neck included. Here are some pictures of where I'm currently at. (Click on "show" to see images) Feedback and advice greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. -L.Pizza
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