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gmwarner

New To Home Studio/safety Concern

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When we moved, I lost access to a community studio. I just purchased a kiln of my own but I don't have the luxury of a room to myself for a studio.

 

My question is in regards to safety. I've been reading the safety forums and now I'm so scared to do anything and am disheartened as I probably will never have a room solely for pottery. I want to know if I can use hardiboard and work with my wet clay at my kitchen table and then dry my pieces in my laundry room that I can mop? Of course when I leave my table, I would use a damp rag and mop there as well but will this pose a health risk to me and my family?

 

I miss having a studio I could go to and now I'm afraid I'll never work with clay again? Any help is appreciated!

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I would advise against working in a kitchen.  Ingesting clay isn't going to hurt you if, it got on food prep surfaces, but I would keep the materials limited to one area.  That way you can focus on cleaning that one area well, and aren't trailing debris from place to place. 

 

I would suggest keeping everything in the laundry area you  mentioned.

 

If you get into glaze mixing, I would definitely not do that anywhere around where food is prepared.  Those materials can be toxic when ingested.

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Thanks! Should I be worried about ventilation if I'm cleaning each time in my laundry room? I don't mix glazes, I typically work with ready made underclass with a clear overglaze. I also plan on doing my sanding and grinding outside. I also probably work on stuff maybe a couples hours a weak if I have time.

 

Also, my kids are interested too...any special things I should do differently with them that I wouldn't already be doing for my own health?

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Back in the 70's I had a woman come to my studio and wanted to work in her home like you. She had the same questions and i suggest an outside shed or building which she did not have. She wanted to but a few materials to get started and so I sold them to her. Years later she returns and gave me the materials back as said it did not work out and the process was not suited for inside the home, like i had suggested.

I think your eating living space and clay work need a separation 

If its a super small hobby and only happens on a blue moon I could see it working. That said what about a outside shed and an extension  cord for a light?

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I do have an outside shed that I could try to make work. It does not have electrify but I could run an extension cord. The kiln firing will be another issue to tackle at that point as my kiln only fits my electrical in my laundry room.

 

I also sorry about cold temperatures in the shed as I'm in Montana and my winters are long...

 

I appreciate all your help! I'm willing to take all suggestions into consideration. Do you have any suggestions for the cold? Any suggestion for firing/kiln process? This was so much easier before moving!

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I am in New Hampshire, with pretty long, cold winters (tho I guess Montana gets colder). My L&L full size kiln is on my screen porch, which now is sealed with very heavy clear vinyl rated for deep freezes. I have no problems at all-other than making sure I don't let my hands get too cold when loading etc. I was going to get a small shed, but I live alone and was willing to move myself into the small spare room, and now the regular bedroom is the studio, fitted for a sink & the right electric. My 2-cents worth is save up your pennies and get the shed, add the electric, get a couple of good ceramic heaters or oil-filled radiator, and some sort of workable water system, and have a blast.

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I had my electric kilns out on a covered patio with three walls.That was in Billings, Montana. I am moving back to Montana. If you have a little shed, check envi econo electric heaters. Antoinette Badenhorst has them in her studio in Tenn. But I think they would be great for a small space. As always, Insulation is a must.

 

Marcia

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The first place I had to work was in the garage, I had a fold down table top, chair, bag of clay and bottles of glazes.  In the winter I had on fingerless gloves, a hot cup of tea and a small heater when I was working. I sounds like your kiln is already in the garage make sure you open a window or door when you fire and keep it closed off from the house.    Denice

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Marcia we have a small Modine gas furnace that hangs from the ceiling our garage is about 1000sq feet.  It is the kind that turns and blow hot air until it reaches the temp.  We chose this brand because we had rented a store front that had this model for a heater.  The gas company came and out and replaced our meter twice because they said we weren't using enough gas so the meters must be broken.  You may not want something so windy but we have had good luck with it for the last 15 years and it's never needed repair.     Denice

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where are you in Montana?

I am moving to Red Lodge. My studio will be the whole garage. almost 600 square feet.I am looking into a shop heater.

There are a lot of potters in Montana.

Marcia

I am in Laurel, MT. I'm looki,g into building a shed but worried about flooring, electrical, and also plumbing for a sink trap. I'm so overwhelmed but hopefully one step at a time and I can eventually get to doing ceramics again!

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Wow! We'll be relatively close! I lived in Huntley, then Billings for 31 years. I have many friends there.

Here are some photos of my future studio, kiln shed and environment.Future kiln shed sits just below electric box on the alley.Feeling blessed for that! Garage was a former shop and is insulated including the doors.

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post-1954-0-03440200-1478866641_thumb.jpg

post-1954-0-69058800-1478866674_thumb.jpg

post-1954-0-42878200-1478866705_thumb.jpg

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gmwarmer, welcome back to the wonderful world of clay.  there are lots of things posted here about working safely and the kinds of materials you can use in a home studio, wherever it is.  look at the suggestions at the bottom of the page.

 

you mentioned one VERY UNSAFE practice.  sanding is a killer.  try to change your habits so you never have to sand anything.

 

what kinds of things do you plan to make?  

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Marcia, 

 

Congratulations on the space.  I look forward to seeing some pictures of Raku firings with snow drifts surrounding the kiln.

 

My basement studio was also a former shop, where the previous owner did wood working.  He left me a nice sturdy work bench base, and plenty of storage cabinets/ shelves.

 

Also, those are weird looking dogs in that last photo...

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gmwarmer, welcome back to the wonderful world of clay. there are lots of things posted here about working safely and the kinds of materials you can use in a home studio, wherever it is. look at the suggestions at the bottom of the page.

 

you mentioned one VERY UNSAFE practice. sanding is a killer. try to change your habits so you never have to sand anything.

 

what kinds of things do you plan to make?

I haven't actually sanded anything before. I meant grinding if needed when I stilt.

 

I typically hand build and work with slabs. I don't have a wheel to throw anything.

 

I'm excited to start again. I fell in love with pottery when I took a class in college! I'm just so worried about safety especially with young kiddos.

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I can't wait. I'll probe;y be spending the next month packing, having online sale, sell materials and pack up the rest on Dec 12th.

Should arrive about Dec. 27-29. Very happy. I hope you find Montana to be a huge muse for you as it has been for me. I know clay sites around Gyp spring and in the Pryors///fun things to do in the Spring.

Marcia

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