Our business is really dangerous, I mean, where else can you impale yourself with needles, bond your skin, brand yourself with heatguns and irons, choke on fumes and break on hives thanks to that funny smelling glue, all on the course of a workday? In our studios, that is where.
I will start with chemistry, which I was not very good at in school but which has become a part of my daily experience. Is there anything in which chemistry is not involved? From relationships to pizza dough we must know the ingredients for success, at the very least the doses and precautions…
In our urge to get our creative juices flowing and our creations out into the “market” we sometimes pay very little attention to the minimal safety precautions that will make our experience more enjoyable in the long term.
Take ventilation for example. Is your studio constrained to the basement, to the little shed in the back or even worst, the kitchen? Are you working with sprays and adhesives, patina solutions and flammable materials as the beans cook in the background? Tsk, tsk.
Many of the adhesives, coatings and sprays can self-ignite in the presence or closeness to open flames. Unless you are looking for a radical perm or that lashes-less new look you better take some precautions. That is of course where instant payback is concerned. But what about delayed effects such as lung cancer due to plastic, paint and dye dust? Getting serious uh?
Are you pregnant or expect to be? Remember then that many toxic chemicals (of which we are surrounded, including the apparently benign ones like out plastic water bottles) produce not only various types of cancer, but also birth defects, chronic respiratory problems, nervous system dysfunctions and the like. Hmmm, not funny.
So, if you find that you have constant headaches, are more prone to allergies, feel fatigued or depressed etc. it might be a good time, not to stop doing what you love best, but rather seriously examine HOW you are doing it so that you can enjoy it fully for the rest of your life without endangering you or others around you. This is also an excellent opportunity to teach your kids how to work safely with tools and materials with which they are and will be certainly surrounded since they are part of our creative environment.
In the next installment we will talk about specific substances, solvents and the like that we frequently use without giving them a second-thought. As with relationships and the kitchen analogy, why did we not read the tiny labels that came with the nice package to learn what we were getting into before we mixed the ingredients in our broth or our life?
To be continued…