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Testing An Over Glaze For Lead Content

Testing found a lead level of 198 mg/L of extract solution.

Pot Tested and found high Levels of Lead

The Food (General) Regulation 1997 (NSW) requires food vessels to comply with the British Standard Specification of Limits of Metal Release from Ceramic Ware, Glassware, Glass Ceramic Ware and Vitreous Enamel Ware (BS 6748: 1986), which specifies a maximum lead level of 4.0 mg/L of extract solution. This standard refers to containers used for food storage, and it is likely that the ceramic pot above, which had been imported from Spain 25 years earlier, was not intended for food use.



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Over glazes are solutions which are applied to the surface of the glaze prior to firing. Products range from devit sprays, which are used to prevent vitrification, to various fluxes and related solutions used when working with glaze. Many of these products contain lead and are not safe for food bearing surfaces, while others are food safe.

One fairly simple way to determine the lead content of an over glaze is to spray the product onto a glaze that contains sulfur and then fire to full fuse. Sulfur containing glazes will react with lead, this is called a lead sulfide reaction and it darkens after firing. The more lead in the glaze, the darker the surface reaction.

One good glaze to use for this test is Bullseye's French Vanilla opal. Spectrum's System 96 line contains a similar glaze, Almond Opal. Although this test is not perfect, it will give you a good idea of the relative lead content of two different over glazes.

Most of the over glazes that are on the market now days are for the most part lead free, but if your not sure and you buy some that isn't marked this test will help you determine whether it is lead free or not

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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