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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Fortnum

Safety in ceramics

Updated: Mar 6, 2022

You may think of ceramics as making nice things out of clay and cooking it, no danger involved right? Wrong, there are many health and safety factors that you need to be careful of in ceramics. There’s loads of health and safety where equipment is involved but I'm going to go through a few aspects of looking after your personal safety when working in a ceramics studio.


Clothing *lots of things in the studio are extremely heavy, e.g. plaster mounds. It’s very easy to drop such heavy things on your hands or your feet, sensible shoes are always required *an apron is required not only to protect your clothing from getting ruined but because the materials you handle in a Ceramic studio can be toxic and you do not want to spread these materials in a clean non studio environment. Protection *when you sand dry greenware or fired Ceramic the dust particles that come off can be dangerous to breathe in, so dust masks are required. *when glazing and making a glaze you use a variety of ceramic materials which can be damaging to your health if they get absorbed into the skin through a cut, latex gloves are a must. *powdered Ceramic materials can be toxic if ingested, masks are a must as damage caused when ingesting these materials can do lasting damage and can do serious damage to your internal organs. *when handling some materials such as liquid latex fumes are in the air and can be damaging to breathe in, you need to wear a mask and be in a well ventilated area. Self damage *you must be careful of your body when you lift heavy equipment and bags of clay as you can damage your back. *using tools safely, knives, pin tools, scalpel blades and other tools are used on a daily basis in the studio and you must be very careful as to not damage yourself whilst using them.


I have only gone into a few safety aspects you should be aware of when working in a Ceramic studio, there are lots more for different pieces of equipment and working environments. Safety first no matter what you are up to.

If you'd like to learn more about ceramics and the processes involved book onto one of my workshops and explore the exciting world of clay!

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