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toxics: thanks

updated fri 22 dec 00


primalmommy@IVILLAGE.COM on wed 20 dec 00

Monona and all who responded, thank you. I know there is no substitute for research. I do intend to keep potting, though, while I learn, and am just learning to mix glazes. Too many times I have learned about hazards after the fact. Cleaning a tractor part, up to my elbow in solvent before somebody said, "that might not be a good idea..." One more thing to worry about later.

I had several clay classes in undergrad and grad school but in retrospect, not only didn't I have any safety information, the practices in the classrooms were atrocious.

Monona, I do intend to find out more about the glazes at the art camp before I take my kids again. Where, by the way, can I get my hands on a copy of your publication? Judging by the visits from UPS, Amazon.claus has been paying attention to my wish list of pottery books!

And I appreciate the reassurance and reinforcement from the level heads on this list. Making as many healthy choices as possible in life at least tips the balance in our favor, maybe keeps our immune systems up to the battle.

My husband is an aquatic biologist (great lakes environmental studies) and I'm an environmentalist liberal wacko... both of us skeptical about reassurances from government agencies. And everywhere you look, safety rules are changing. I buckle my kids into their car seats day after day but remember riding in the old station wagon, standing up, leaning over the seat between my folks.

On the other hand I agree with mel about kids and risk. I had my first BB gun at 8, and was duck hunting with my grandfather when my girlfriends started experimenting with makeup. Horses, canoes, treehouses, rock climbing, some risks are worth taking. Bones heal. As much as I mother-hen over my kids' developing minds, I practice benign neglect over all else. My mom came by last summer -- "where's little molly?" I said, I dunno, try out back. Mom followed a trail of discarded clothing, found her naked, trying to scale the climbing tree to follow her brothers. Mom brought her in, said, "I suppose if you had a fourth child it would just be like a wild animal... "

Somewhere between scaremongering paranoia, lawsuit phobia, and macho nonchalance about risks, there must be a liveable place. I guess along with the other hard work of becoming a potter I have to make myself a student of safety. I guess I'll start with ron roy's recipes from CM, for not-too-scary glazes.

Gratefully yours, Kelly in Ohio (off to have a hot cup of cadmium and then hose down my electric kiln while poking christmas light wires up my nose)

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