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Super Low Fire Lead Frits - Does It Leach?

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Hi there,

I met a guy in town who's looking for kiln firing space. I figured why not let him rent the kiln when it's not in use.

He started talking about his glaze and described the contents as lead frit.

He fires to bisque ^02 and glaze to ^012.

Upon learning about the lead frit I immediately asked him about the lead content, he explained that it's all contained in the frit and does not leach out.

Ok -- call me skeptical here but when it's heated, frit or not, doesn't lead get into the kiln environment (I have vent) and in extension the environment outside of the kiln too?

I'm trying to figure out if I should let him fire or I'm setting myself up for disaster.

 

Please pitch in your 2 cents. Thank you!

 

 

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Firing work for people, regardless of the type of frit they use, is setting yourself up for disaster. Unless you really know them well and know their work and their working habits, I wouldn't do it. Beyond the issue of the lead frit, they could do some real damage to your kiln. If they use the wrong clay for the cone you fire to, you could destroy your kiln. There's a whole list of issues that have to be dealt with:

 

1. How much will he pay for the firing?

2. How much will he pay for drips that have to be ground off?

3. How much for replacing an element/brick/thermcouple/shelf that his work destroys? Don't forget labor.

4. If the kiln misfires and ruins his work, are you responsible for it?

5. If the work doesn't look like he expects it to, and blames the firing, how are you going to get him to pay?

 

I would draw up a contract, but even then he could just refuse to pay for any damages, and it may not be worth your time and effort to try and collect from him.

 

It's a whole big can o' worms that I wouldn't want to deal with, especially with someone I just met.

JohnnyK and Joseph F like this

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I had a neighbor ask me to fire some of his friends work or something like that. I really like my neighbor a lot, but I told him I wouldn't do it. He was surprised, but I don't think people realize all the "crap" that can go wrong with a single firing, much less putting a bunch of unknown variables into a kiln that cost you a lot of money on the word of someone you barely know. I agree with Neil.

 

No way I would ever do it unless I had worked beside that person and seen their knowledge first hand over a period of time. Even more so with the lead frit stuff, you would have to worry about the future of your kiln every single firing. No thanks.

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This is one slippery slope-You need to think out the entire deal-Just listen to Neil above-I have found thats it just not worth it. In 44 years I have fired only a few things for people-The best was it all worked out the worse was they thought they had high fire clay and it was not-big mess and lost some work of mine.

Not worth it.

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Listen to Neil and the others....

 

DON'T DO IT!

 

Not worth the stress and possible negative outcomes.

 

When I took over the pottery dept at the art center I called around trying to find out if anyone fired other people's work in their kilns and what rules they used. NOBODY NO BUSINESS NO ART CENTER around here will fire work not made with their clay in their classes or facilities. The risk is just too great, lose your Kiln and you could be out of business.

 

T

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Not to pile on, but there are some people who still believe that fritted lead is safe, and these are people to avoid at all costs. They have strong opinions based on their beliefs and not facts. Contaminating your kiln with lead is only one of the possible ways they can hurt your business. 

https://digitalfire.com/4sight/hazards/ceramic_hazard_lead_in_ceramic_glazes_what_did_we_learn_368.html

 

main takeaways:

>It is amazing that there are still many misinformed users around the world who are complacent and just unaware. Many people today still believe that as long as fritted sources are used it is safe. This is obviously not true, PbO in a fired glaze is still PbO no matter what material sourced it.

 

>Although lead can be used safely in circumstances where stringent testing and controls are in place, in general, there are too many variables to use lead safely in a small operation.

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Not to pile on, but there are some people who still believe that fritted lead is safe, and these are people to avoid at all costs. They have strong opinions based on their beliefs and not facts. Contaminating your kiln with lead is only one of the possible ways they can hurt your business. 

https://digitalfire.com/4sight/hazards/ceramic_hazard_lead_in_ceramic_glazes_what_did_we_learn_368.html

 

main takeaways:

>It is amazing that there are still many misinformed users around the world who are complacent and just unaware. Many people today still believe that as long as fritted sources are used it is safe. This is obviously not true, PbO in a fired glaze is still PbO no matter what material sourced it.

 

>Although lead can be used safely in circumstances where stringent testing and controls are in place, in general, there are too many variables to use lead safely in a small operation.

 

 

Yes, this.

 

best,

 

...............john

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