Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Excuses

Happy New Year everybody! I think the time has come to explain the bareness of my shop and the infrequency of my blog posts. Of course, I am right in the middle of my first year of teaching, and recently moved my studio to my new apartment. It would appear, however, that the fates wanted my life to be as crazy as possible right now, so my husband and I are expecting a baby! (you can read my husband's thoughts on the subject on his blog)
Now, I'm a little wary of enameling (various metal pigments) and soldering (flux, metal fumes, pickle) while pregnant. I have heard a lot of mixed information about the health risks of metalwork during pregnancy.
After doing a lot of research and talking to my doctor I have decided to err on the side of caution and temporarily give up enameling, soldering, and chemical etching. I've decided to use this as an opportunity to re-evaluate the healthfulness of my studio practices, with the goal of making a healthier and safer environment for the baby and myself. Here are a few of the things I am planning on doing:
-Replace chemical etching with electrolytic etching (more on this coming soon!)
-Replace flux and pickle with safer options.
-Install bench-level ventilation to supplement ceiling ventilation in my new studio.
I'll have posts on all my studio updates coming in the next few months. If you have any other ideas for making a studio safer and healthier, leave me a comment!
Bonus: You can see an awesome drawing of our future baby done by our friend Josh here


Chasing Purple Dreams said...

I have just found your blog and I am loving it. I am just starting out with copper smithing and am starting a silversmith course soon. I am sure you have come across this pickle solution before, but I thought I would bring it to your attention incase it could help in your quest to reduce the nasty chemicals in your studio. I use citric acid as a copper pickle and I have had great success. I use a ratio of 3 parts citric acid to 10 parts water and I heat it a little in the microwave before using. In Australia citric acid is available in the supermarket baking section.

Copperheart said...

Thanks so much for the tip! I've never tried citric acid before but I will definitely give it a try.