Art Alchemy Studio

Mixed Media Art by Chaska Peacock

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Toxic Studio

Robert Genn writes in his newsletter that he guiltily wondered whether the materials he used in his studio caused the death of his beloved Airedale, Emily. He goes on to recommend "Artist Beware" by Michael McCann is perhaps the best organized and most reliable current resource. He shows how certain art materials can hurt your various bodily systems. He talks about studio safety and protective equipment--and what to do in case of illness or exposure. He's also specific to painting, printmaking, ceramics, glassblowing, enameling, sculpture, metalworking, photography and crafts.

Today's materials are much less toxic than those of the past. However, my paints and glues all
carry warning labels which I read and then disregard. I am so hot already, how can I even think about opening a window? I notice that certain paints make my hands swell and hurt, but there is no substitute for it! Am I going to give it up? Of course not! And just as a dedicated gardener will stick her hands in dirt at times....knowing full well she should not....artists prefer the ungloved hands approach.

Besides, most of us would prefer dying in our studios to breathing in fresh ocean air while
deprived of doing any art.


Blogger Unknown said...

Gosh, that was depressing.
Actually I would prefer NOT to die in my studio. I would love to die...oh, you were kidding, right?
Please pay attention to toxicity. I worked for a fantastic scupltpor who was constantly warning me about the dangers of clay dust....then, just a year later, she developed a fast melanoma and died.
She was the closest ever got to a mentor. Her name was Audrey Hirsch.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Chaska Peacock said...

Of course, I mourn all preventable
deaths......and I do what I can to
not inhale too much glue. :-)

That said, should I die in my studio, I hope everyone will say
"Yippee! She died while having fun, and not in some smelly nursing home!" And, imagine a smile on my face.

12:36 PM  

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