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Re: [teacherartexchange] kiln exhaust


From: Marvin Bartel (marvinpb_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Apr 25 2007 - 15:07:51 PDT

>Speaking from experience, be sure to include a kiln
>vent with your order.
>It carries any exhausts outside and while some people
>think it is not necessary, I am one who believes it
>should be mandatory for all school kilns.
>I grew up in a household where there was a ceramic
>studio. I also recommend that you make sure you are
>buying clays and glazes that are completely safe for
>children to use and that you also keep it simple while
>you are beginning. I don't mean to talk down,
>here....I know you would do all of that anyway, but I
>have learned that health issues first in this day and
>age is the only way to go.
>Merrilee in CT
Thank you, Merrilee.

I agree with what you recommend. Clay is so important for learning and motivation that we would not want any bad experiences to tarnish it. When a teacher gets sick without a known cause, all these kinds of things get blamed. It is essential to include a good vent system, and be sure it works well and sends the fumes outside (never into a common building system that may simply spread it around). Keep the exhaust tubing well sealed so the fumes go outside--not through leaks in the joints above your ceiling or in your room. If your clay puts off a bad smell, look for leaks in your exhaust system and consider trying another clay supplier next time you order. Not all clay has that nasty sulphur smell. Be aware that exterior vent flaps can get stuck and block the exhaust flow. I was called to one school where snow had blocked the exterior roof vent and fumes were getting very bad in adjacent halls and rooms.

Marvin Bartel

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