Here are some safety tips from my studio to yours.
Protect your body!
Ventilation- work in an open area with lots of ventilation or use an exhaust fan.
Chemicals- wear gloves while applying patina, some people wear disposable gloves while working with flux.
Eyes- protect your eyes at all times- from flying glass chips while cutting or grinding glass, flux spits while soldering. Goggles, safety glasses or full face shields all work. Wear safety glass/googles over prescription glasses.
Good light source- make sure you have good lighting
Wear long pants- solder balls that roll off workbench are hot! Sitting on glass chips is not fun either.
Wear closed toed shoes to protect from solder balls and glass chips falling.
Know where your First Aid Kit is!
Know what is going on around you while working with equipment.
Be checked out on the equipment before use.
Listen to your power tools. Do they sound normal or something fun, turn off right away. A saw blade can pop so quickly.
Clean up every work station you work at. You want to go to a clean space, please leave it clean for the next person.
All glass scraps go in the glass bucket not the garbage can! I have been cut too many times by glass in the plastic bag.
No food or drink while working. (a covered cup is ok) Glass can hop into your drink, flux and food are a deadly combo.
Clean up your tools, wipe them down to remove glass debris and flux (which will corrode tools so fast)
Be responsible for your tools, whether classroom provided or your own.
Be sure cutting area is clean before beginning to cut your glass. Tiny chips can break your glass.
Tweezers and Duct Tape are good for removing glass splinters.
When carrying glass, know what is on the floor in front of you. Carry glass vertically- one hand below and on on the side for stability.
Work on a solid surface, free of cracks and gaps.
Cover any cuts in your hands before soldering.
Pay attention to what you are doing. Know where your soldering iron is at al times.
Do not over flux.
Make sure the cord is never near to soldering iron or the cage of the soldering iron stand.
Children should not be in the studio for everyone's safety.
You should not eat or smoke while working with stained glass. You can transfer flux and lead to your mouth via your hands, food and cigarette.
Most of all, use common sense. You will learn as you go along how to work safely and by following some precautions you can save yourself some unwanted accidents and problems.
This was not meant to scare you but to alert you to what you need to be on the lookout for.
Be safe and create lots of beautiful stained glass creations!
Keep art in your heART!