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Tyler Miller

The Dangers Of Advice Without Experience

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Pres    896

As with lesions, cracks and glaze flaws, and so many other things ceramic are best solved when near the "patient". That said, often pictures will help to diagnose the ailment. That is why so often older threads seem to mean much when the photos have been deleted! :unsure:

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JBaymore    1,432

For what it is worth...There is another active thread on the forum about dry skin caused by clay, glaze, etc. Biglou made an interesting observation. There are M.D.s on the forum, yet none have given their advise about ecczema, psoriasis, or contact dermatitis therapies as they relate to ceramics.

 

I am a praticing M.D. who treats these condition on a regular basis. Before I could diagnose I would need to gather a better history, view the lesions and review med usage, etc. The forum may not be the best place to do this.

 

BUT, It is a great place to take a history of ceramic problems, view pictures of the problem areas, review glaze usage and application, and diagnose/discuss remedies to the problems.

 

I appeciate and thank the "Clay Doctors" of this forum for sharing wthout restraint.

 

Jed

 

 

Jed,

 

Well said.

 

And your comment about "Before I could diagnose I would need to gather a better history, view the lesions and review med usage, etc. The forum may not be the best place to do this" is precidely why I start so many responses with the "It depends" business that is my trademark in my college classes and also here.

 

So there is some 'restraint' there.

 

And just like in the area of medical practice...... a forum like this has severe limitations in "diagnosis and treatment" of ceramic issues. For the "glaze and kiln doctors" you also typically don't get the full history, you can't get a "hands-on" viewpoint on the material or equipment in question, you can't order accurate lab tests yourself, you have no idea of the level of 'technical' understanding of the person with whom you are working, many of the terms we use are 'subjective' in meaning (such as "put the kiln in reduction" versus the numbers you'd get on a crit) and so on. Not much different from the MD's problem with medical related stuff from 'afar', really.

 

Hence... somtimes.... 'bad' advice on things.

 

It is also why when it comes to all the health and safetty discussions that crop up... I routinely tend to refer folks to the published "primary source" references in the field...... and tell them 'talk to your doctor'. And for the "is it food safe" stuff......... constantly tend to say 'get it tested and then compare to published standards'.

 

And why I said earlier in this thread.... "Vet your sources."

 

I've seen so much stuff published on forums, in magazines, and in books that, at the least, goes 100% contrrary to basic science it is amazing. But it is often politically incorrect to point out that "The Emperor has no clothes".

 

 

FYI........ here's the bottom line disclaimer included on the college level class texts on ceramic toxiclocgy I've written:

 

"NOTE: This document was not prepared by a health care professional, and in no way constitutes medical nor legal advice. Please consult a qualified physician with your concerns about any of the health issues discussed in this paper, and a legal counselor for any legal issues discussed."

 

best,

 

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

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Chris Campbell    1,087

I agree ... a doctor will advise you to see your own doctor while the person in the check out lane next to you will give you a sure cure ...

 

An experienced potter knows that very little of what we do is straight forward or 100% predictable.

Mines change, power levels fluctuate, water quality is unknown, clay composition on re used clay is totally unknown.

Most reliable answer is often ... it depends.

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williamt    13

I was looking at the tread again (it's interesting). And the thermite bit caught my attention.

 

This happened to me. I had built a small furnace that I did some small raku projects in and occasionally melted aluminum for side projects. Normally I would use something clay or clay lined for the aluminum melt. I didn't have one handy so I used a little cast iron pot. I was using a pretty aggressive blower to fan the charcoal. Everything was going ok, until..........

 

The tiny sun burst into existence at the bottom.

 

The aluminum and cast iron were consumed. There was some new glass all over my furnace. Luckily everything stayed contained and I just let it burn itself out.

 

I try not to comment on something if I don't have pretty close knowledge of it. But the above was an interesting lesson!!!

 

Lee

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PSC    54

It depends was my pottery teacher answer for nearly every thing...it is mine too...drives my students batty...lol

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Benzine    610

Tyler, I noticed in the topic about a flameware body, you talked about wares building up tension and exploding out of nowhere.

So, between the flaming swords, and stealthy, exploding, shrapnel dinnerware, you might have a niche business.

 

williamt, sounds like you created a fusion reactor.

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Tyler Miller    331

Tyler, I noticed in the topic about a flameware body, you talked about wares building up tension and exploding out of nowhere.

So, between the flaming swords, and stealthy, exploding, shrapnel dinnerware, you might have a niche business.

 

williamt, sounds like you created a fusion reactor.

Ha!  Quite the business indeed!

 

I should post a little more on those exploding pots, I've done a little more research into them.  Interesting stuff.

 

Edit:  In all honesty,  I should have done the research before commenting.  I was advising someone to err on the side of safety, but I didn't have a 100% grasp on what I was talking about when I wrote that first post.

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Benzine    610

I had a vase crack a few months back, dunting. It came out of both firings fine, some students even admired it. Later, I went to pick it up, and it had some good sized cracks. I wasn't upset, as I figured out a glaze combo that doesn't work well together. I do regret, that I didn't see the crack appear.

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MMB    17

Hmmm I guess I might as well throw in my 2 cents. Personally I think that this forum has a very strong back bone for good knowledge on the ceramic side as it should. I am a dabbler that loves to toy with many forms, yet I do enjoy living and keeping all my fingers. That said I do google and google and google. Sure I could waste my time with the card catalog but that would lead me to books that date 1970 when its 2014. So as much as I might be a "armchair" type of person I will spend days lacking in productivity while I research research RESEARCH! Reading every informational report and every idiots experience. Especially when it came to metal things Ive seen the country bumpkin cast bronze and the african tribesman make a bronze bell from a form made of dung etc. I feel I have a good sense of the farce material and the material that I can learn from. I do agree with shop experience but to tote all of that as the only way to legitimize real skill and knowledge is kind of wrong. Everything came from a book "technically." You couldnt have had your shop experience unless you learned from something from the start. I was two steps from melting down some old bike pegs of mine before I found out about magnesium's burn. My pegs were magnesium coated and aluminum sleeved. The only reason I doubted myself before my melt was that I remembered when we used to grind on concrete these pegs would spark. So I took initiative and did the research.  Everyone should be able to post what ever they might feel they should say because we all want to speak from our experience no matter how little it might be. It is up to those that are viewing it to be the judge. Sadly if they are to hurt themselves in the process then its not the advisers fault, no, its the fault of the person attempting something that they havent understood fully because of their lack in research.

 

Everything in this world is not fully understood. I cant remember correctly but someone on this forum stated that it is still unknown when it comes to the chemical reaction and molecular reaction differences in the ceramic world. I could be wrong with my term choices but the statement was that just because it has the chemical make up to do one thing it doesnt necessarily mean it will during the firing process. WIth that said, even those with 30+ years of experience, still dont TOTALLY understand the craft. There are things to be learned and dangers to be avoided. SO no matter who you are in this world of experience there are responses to questions that will always be incorrect and might "endanger" someone. Which is why I return to the comment that all should be able to provide advice and it should be left to the viewer to determine between them all.

 

Really no matter what you do you should be smart from the start. You melting metal? Im sure good gloves are in order especially proper ventilation. Maybe even a respiratory mask. Same goes for clay/glaze mixing. Hmmm those are some small floating particles. Better consider what you can do to not inhale them. Wow that kiln smells funny during firing....maybe I should avoid those fumes. Common sense.

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