Health & Safety
We start our classes by offering you an understanding of the use of our torches to do the process called "annealing". This process is heating up silver to a very high temperature and as such:
all hair that is long must be tied back for the classes
the torch must be held away from the body when lit with a lighter.
the amount of gas coming out of the pump action bellow (traditional Bali piece of equipment not unlike a fire bellow) determines the flame that comes out of the torch. We ask you to consider the amount of pressure you place on the gas bellow and that no fingers get in the way. We do demonstrations first and foremost and attend all subsequent use of the torch.
You will not use the gas bellow without supervision with the teacher.
The plate on which your silver will sit before heating gets to very very high temperatures and therefore we must almost always think that someone has been to the torch area before us and do not touch the plate at all by hand. Use only with tweezers, should you pick up or lay anything down on a hot plate.
THE POLISHING MACHINES
The polishing machines are very high speed spinning polishing buffs or "mops" on a heavy piece of metal equipment that is screwed in place on a table and covered so that when polishing rings and pendants do not fly out and hit you in the face or body. They can take your fingers off if you don't hold your piece tightly....better we use it and you stand by and watch....unless you want to wear big gloves and have a go yourself.
We ask you to:
You tie your hair back so it doe not get caught in the machine
You wear googles at the machine if you are a child or in charge of your children whose eye level is close to the spinning wheel of the machine.
The "press" is for creating or flattening rounded wire into flat silver sheet. It contains a lot of pressure and as such you must make sure that you do not trap your fingers in it before manually spinning the handle.
FIRE PREVENTION AND IN CASE OF FIRE
We have a fire extinguisher on hand at all times next to the torches, should anything happen in this area. As long as students abide by the rules above and keep their hair tied back (if long) then there is little or no danger of fire. We can prevent any chance of fire though by making sure that the torches are blown out after use and before someone else picks them up to use.
THE ACID TANK
The tank is a rice cooker that has been converted. It is only slightly heated to warm up the acid which is used as a cleaning agent. When acid heats up it produces a vapour which can be harmful if ingested in great clouds. We ask all our students to hold their breath before they take off the glass lid to the cooker and before they drop their piece for cleaning into the acid.
Our resin is not a natural resin. It is a derivative. Because we buy it already in soluble form, it is heavy smelling and it will burn on contact with a catalyst. Be aware when catalysation occurs the smell will begin. We do this outside. Remember to wear a mask if you are given one. Its your responsibility.