[Enamel Bits] Enameling with torch

Just a thought about torch enameling. I am a full time
enamelist, working with a kiln. I fooled around with a little
torch enameling but realized I was inhaling alot of stuff while
melting the enamel. Do you know that some enamels not only
contain lead but arsenic and many other dangerous chemicals as
well? If you buy the japanese enamels from enamelworks its right
on the lable. Be careful if you persue this with leaded enamels,
and I think some of the unleaded carry some dangerous chemical
as well, I believe I read it in Thompson’s great little $6.50
enamel characteristics book. Which of course I lent to someone!
Anyway, listen to your body if you get a little green feeling- I
do use the leaded, but in a kiln and with the window open!

To expand on two topics that have come up… I prefer AUR-92
safety glasses over Didymium glasses. They cut the soda flare but
aren’t as dark. I can see better with them. As for inhalation
of leaded enamels, I don’t think opening a window is sufficient.
I suggest wearing a mask of some kind. Personally, I don’t use
leaded enamel at all.

Pam East

   As for inhalation of leaded enamels, I don't think opening
a window is sufficient. I suggest wearing a mask of some kind.

I agree, a window is not enough. I use leaded enamels in my
jewelry. I wear a mask when I work with my enamels and dark
safety glasses when I use the kiln. When it comes time to clean
I vacuum my work area as opposed to sweeping to keep those pesky
leaded enamel particles from floating around my shop. I also
have a ventilation system…and I am in the process of expanding
that to other areas of my studio. I also have an air purifier.
I love my work…but I am not willing to give up my health for

Linda Crawford, Willits, CA, USA
Linda Crawford Designs