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Made in Mokum

Quartz powder to protect kiln shelves?

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In one of the studios where I work a new policy has been implemented. The kilnshelves are no longer coated with a wash but loose quartz powder is thrown on the shelves, as is normal with silicasand, but instead it’s the white silica powder I find this totally mindblowing as I’ve learned that silica dust and powder is dangerous. Also it will not prevent the shelves as glaze will absorb the quartz. And isnt it likely to blow around inside the kiln? 

The studio management is not impressed with my arguments and I’m confused. Is using silica powder on shleves common practice? Can anyone shed some light on this? Thanks, Camille Verbunt

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two words come to mind immediately: irresponsible and uninformed

They need to read a workplace hazardous report on silicosis.

Your workers protection agency will certainly have something to say as well.

Loading/unloading those shelves will become very problematic.

Pottery studio air quality: Jeff Zamek and Anthony Volpe discuss respiratory safety in the ceramics studio.

Glass and Ceramic Manufacturers Need to Get Ready for New Silica Standards from april, 2018

OSHA - Protect Yourself Silicosis

They really shouldn't be putting people at risk this way.

Edited by C.Banks

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How do they plan on keeping the loose powder from the inside of pots?  Personally, I wouldn't want a pot I worked hard over to have schmutz (crap) or powder blown or dripped into it.  If it won't melt on the kiln shelf, it will leave marks in my pots - the bowl or plate will not have a usable surface.  Ish.

Nancy

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When I was in undergraduate school in the early nineties, we dusted flint/silica onto the shelves instead of using a kiln wash. It was quick, easy, worked well, but you had to wear a mask, and the dangers of the remaining airborne dust were never addressed. In grad school we did the same on the salt kiln shelves. Again, we always wore a mask, and the kiln was outdoors so the dust wasn't such an issue. It's really not the best way to go, though. We now know much more about the dangers of silica dust, and it is irresponsible to do it that way now.

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I have use alumina hydrate in my salt kiln loose before-you have to be careful . In a gas kiln it can move around-it was in the back lower shelve.

Wash is preferred always.

In an electric it will not move but its a pain -the dust hazard the fact that pots below can get dusted-the cleanup-I do not thin k its saving time and is more a pain than wash.

studio management  is not thinking this thru well no matter what they say.

 

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Above are all correct; your superiors are using outdated methodology and risking law suits by irresponsible actions.

If they had never used any product to protect their shelves, and this was their first foray into finding a layer of material to protect their shelves then maybe Id understand. However, if they went from kiln wash to this dusty BS then why did they abandon kiln wash which is safer, and more effective? Not all kiln wash is the same; find the blend that works for you and the application which is most effective.

Lastly, suggest spending the money on advancer kiln shelves; they are much cheaper than law suits.

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