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  1. Hi Folks, I have recently painted a simple design in Magnesium oxide over a white tin glaze which matures between 1100 and 1180 C. I read since then that Magnesium Oxide is one of the potters more toxic oxides . There is notoriously very little actual data about the safety of many glaze surfaces, but would anyone hazard an opinion as to the safety of this bowl for functional/ food use - given that the oxide is now securely bonded to a stable glaze? I would love to use/ give this bowl away, but am worried about the toxicity of the oxide which was only put on in a wash solution. Any info/ opinions on Magnesium oxide gratefully received. Wild goose
  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. You always hear about how deadly Barium Carbonate is, and that it is used in rat poison. Say a person;[hypothetically speaking], had mice in their cottage. The mice were snacking away on the store bought poison.Could a person lay down some barium? How much? I have also heard it used for ants, 50/50 with sugar. [Called Ant Rid.] TJR. Anyone try this?
  4. Hi So I just got John Britts mid fire glaze book. Boy is it beautiful! So of course I am not empowered yet, some intimidated , which I should be. My question to you is: how do you deal with the toxic chemicals ? I did a search and I got a hit on magnesium oxide , I believe, and the consensus was that no one bothered with it. If you do bother with it , what precautions do you take. I am assuming on the very toxic, full ventilator, gloves,safety glasses, clothing washed separately. But the fumes! Does everyone have an out door kiln , everyone vented? My kiln is tiny, should I be saving up to vent?My kiln is in a shed , with double doors that open up . I figure I can open up the doors , blow a fan towards the kiln. Mr Britt talks of fumes being in several loads afterwards. He also talks of not not actually knowing how toxic combining , or firing or combining and firing can be because of no tests having been done. Then there is the dust that should be mopped not swept. Should nothing else be in my shed? What do you keep the toxic stuff in ? And where do you get it? Is there a book that is better on this stuff? A Google gave me a gaggle of books! Or is one just as good as another? I am paranoid, I am very leery of chemicals. I just have to know what to do. I probsbly won't dive into a bunch of toxic stuff unless I see a real need, but the dry chemicals are all a hazard by virtue of being dry and inhalable ,eye irritant etc. It would reassure me to know what you do. Jolie
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