(Lithuania – Vilnius 2017)
Uranium In Ceramic & Glass Art
Starting in the 19th century, uranium oxide was used as a coloring agent for ceramics, porcelain and glass. Depending on the precise chemistry and firing temperature, glazes containing uranium could yield reds, oranges, fluorescent greens, fluorescent yellow and even deep black.
Uranium is commonly found in very small amounts in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals (including humans). Depleted uranium is used in military shells and airplanes as counterweights on certain wing parts. Some lighting fixtures utilize uranium. A person can be exposed to uranium by inhaling dust in air or ingesting water and food. The general population is exposed to uranium primarily through food and water. The average daily intake of uranium from food ranges from 0.07 to 1.1 micrograms per day.
When we look at my ceramic works they are 99.9% harmless but it is hard to say they are not radioactive. The radiation levels from even large quantities of uranium glazes at close quarters are no more harmful than those associated with television sets or microwave ovens.
This graphic shows us in which frequency human eye can see the radiation luminescence.
These days radioactive elements are buried in the ground. We are using these rare elements more than we recycle. I believe in this century our knowledge and working conditions are much better than in the 19th. This exhibition is technologically an example of how to use beautiful sides of uranium element in safe ways.