As part of the program, we will be talking about setting up home studio spaces. Below are common safety guidelines to keep in mind when converting a garage, basement, attic, bedroom, closet or other space into a studio.
Read the instructions
All artmaking tools and materials should be used according to the manufacturer approved usages, in accordance with their recommendations and in usage scenarios that follow any/all Safety Data Sheet (SDS) precautions for the product. An SDS will outline details including ventilation requirements, safe storage protocols, personal protective equipment (PPE) needs and first aid emergency response.
Avoid toxic and hazardous materials
Do not use toxic substances or processes if non-toxic alternatives are available. Preference no or low VOC products in small quantities and avoid powders and pigments that could contain silica or heavy metals. Do not undertake processes involving sharp tools, high voltages or intense heat unless you have been explicitly trained to do so.
Protect yourself when you can’t
Wear all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as advised by Tool or Product manufacturers. When no advice is obvious or explicit, cover your eyes at all times with comfortable, side protecting safety glasses. Do any work with products sold in a can, tube or other container in a well ventilated space. Only wear a respirator or dust mask if you have been properly fit for that respirator, and only if you are confident you are in adequate respiratory health to do so.
Exercise common sense
- Don’t undertake projects with tools on which you have never been trained.
- Don’t assume the Internet will provide adequate training.
- Be thoughtful of the people and the environment around you and how your processes might affect them.
- Avoid doing things with tools or materials that they aren’t meant to do.
- If you are tired or distracted by something more interesting - go take a nap or pay full attention to the thing that actually has your attention.
- Don’t underestimate small tools - A significant percentage of personal injuries in artmaking result from tools such as exacto knives, box knives, chisels, hand-saws, small power tools and even sewing needles.
Always have a safety plan
No personal studio setup should be without a basic first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a way to call for help. Additionally, it’s a great practice to always let a parent or guardian know where you are and what you are doing in case of an emergency.