Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Health risks in the studio...and we let kids play with printing..

Working as an Artist can be a dangerous job. Last night while working on a Lino-cut, while not in the whole of my health and at the peak of concentration, I stabbed myself in my little finger with a lino cut gouge. These gouges are very sharp, and little pinkies bleed an awful lot!
It often escapes notice how dangerous our activities can be until we make silly mistakes. Print-making is quite a dangerous activity, between stabbings, cuts, crush injuries when using presses and then there is the ventilation issues with some inks and glues. Sharp saws in operation when cutting timber blocks, many of which are small in size so hands are close to the saw blade.
My little mishap started me thinking on this subject, we as artists need to consider health and safety issues within our studios. We use sharp implements (I have a dozen or so box-cutter blades lying around, I use them for cutting both paper and canvas, sharpening pencils etc.) staple-guns, hammer & nails, saws, guillotines, not to mention the chemicals involved in our paints and other mediums. Dirty paint rags, scrap paper and old thinners/cleaners stored for disposal, all can be a catalyst for fire or fumes.
Health warnings over... I bet you didn't realise being an artist was such a dangerous occupation. And I didn't mention Bulls in fields when painting plein-air...
Back now to the cause of my discomfort, I was continuing work on this little block of lino with a pencil impression on the paper in my sketchbook.
It is another sea-bream work, which I am experimenting with. I will finish the block-cutting off later today, and tomorrow I will start doing a test print.

1 comment:

Tina Mammoser said...

Aw poor pinkie! Never cut towards your hand!!! (which you know, and I know, yet we do it anyway)

Last year this was a major issue for me with my varnishing. I had to finally admit after chemical burns that it was no longer worth the risk to use MSA varnish and switched. Usually we artists just carry on being silly though!