The Price of Beauty

What is the price of beauty? Dollars and cents are easy but what are the costs in terms of health? It is worth taking time for a moment to consider the materials we use in art making.  Some hazards are obvious but strange and beautiful effects achieved by mixing materials of varied backgrounds may have a high price tag.

The list of material hazards is extensive when dealing with paints and solvents. Things you touch or breathe. Things that present a fire or explosive hazard. In Canada graphic symbols are assigned and printed on packaging to warn and direct you in your work. Health Canada provides information on specific chemicals and can also be used along with the book, The Artists Handbook of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Meyer. It is also worth considering materials that are new to the market and not tested for stability.