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August 2019 Tip of the Month: Ventilation for Small Studios

Anna Boothe working in her studio.

Proper ventilation is essential to any healthy practice, yet many artists find themselves working in less-than-ideal situations. While it is true that ventilation systems can be expensive to purchase and install, there are many steps you can take to make your studio safer. We recently heard from Anna Boothe, a glass artist in Zieglerville, PA, who used her Get Ready Grant to install a much-needed ventilation system in her small studio.

Tip of the Month Icon“I have a very small glassworking studio (about 14′ x 14′) in which I perform all aspects of the kiln-casting process. The space contains three kilns (two 2 large and one small), cold-working machinery, a sandblast cabinet and compressor, bins of powdered mold materials, shelves for glass and other supplies storage, plus work tables where I mix epoxy, melt/pour/steam wax, and make rubber and refractory molds. It’s tight! – which means that I need to be extremely mindful of the dust and fumes I generate, breathe, and track around.

“While I do have a wall exhaust fan to take care of general particulate dust and fumes, I needed a more localized system that is cost-effective, efficient and fits and articulates within the confines of my small studio. Through research and much help from my husband too, I learned a lot about dust collection systems and the specs necessary (CFM, hp, etc.) for certain applications. Because I knew that CERF+ might facilitate what I needed, I felt like I could seriously pursue this research with the potential to make it a reality!

“I decided to use my Get Ready Grant to purchase a wall-mounted commercial venting hood, with an articulated hose arm to exhaust both fumes and particulates from my glass kiln-casting studio. The Get Ready Grant enabled me to buy a piece of equipment that I’ve long needed, and now I feel a lot safer when I use materials that require me to be better protected.”

CERF+’s Get Ready Grant program offers grants of up to $500 in two competitive cycles to help artists safeguard their studios, protect their careers, and prepare for emergencies. The next Get Ready Grant application cycle will open next month. Follow this link to learn more about the program.

Whether you’re looking for a new studio space or want to improve your current space, the CERF+ Studio Safety Guide is a great place to start. We also have a number of videos, such as Lynsey’s Richelle’s Air Quality Video, that can help you as you look to make improvements to your studio. Renovating your workspace can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it all at once, and the results will benefit you and everybody who uses your studio for years to come!

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