Hazards in Pottery: Glaze Toxicity

courtesy of ceramicarts.com

A few things may be largely overlooked in pottery and ceramic arts making; possible hazards. While there are many possible hazards in every step and in materials used for pottery art; from the clay itself, to glaze and pigments, all the way to firing techniques that can be hazardous to the health of the potters as well as users/customers. Which is why it is SUPER important to learn and get educated.

This time we’ll be focusing on the possible hazards of glaze toxicity and how to avoid them. This is especially important in making tableware pieces, so as not to endanger yourself and customers.

courtesy of Parkland College

Glazes are usually a mixture of silica, fluxes (to lower the melting point of silica), and colorants. Common fluxes are lead, barium, lithium, calcium, and sodium. When it comes to luster or metallic glazes that are fired in reduction atmosphere, these glazes often contain arsenic, mercury, and other highly toxic solvents. Th