Posted by Corkie Bolton on


I'm going to go ahead and start this article with a disclaimer * if you become pregnant and have any concerns regarding your safety or the safety of a particular chemical or material, discuss them with your doctor! Now that I've said that I can share my experience working through two pregnancies. Here are some simple changes you can make and inexpensive tools you can invest in to decrease your inhalation and contact with fumes and chemicals.

Switch out your pickle for vinegar! You can use this recipe from @emilieshapirojewelry - 1 cup distilled vinegar and 1 TBSP table salt. It needs to be changed out more frequently but it works great and can be easily disposed of by pouring it down the drain!

Keep your safety goggles on! I mean, we should all be doing this.

Wear a respirator while soldering and using your flexshaft! I've linked the one I use below! It is (in my opinion), comfortable enough to wear for longer periods of time and did not fog up my safety glasses.

Keep a fan on to circulate air! If you do not have a proper ventilation system, keep a table fan blowing on low near your soldering station and pickle pot. It will help keep the air around you circulating! It's also great when you can open a window and bring fresh air in, but that isn't always feasible. 

Wear gloves when handling flux! I don't know about you but I occasionally get flux on my hands, and while I always wash my hands if you are pregnant you can take the extra precaution of wearing latex gloves.

Sit in a chair with proper back support! It is very easy for any of us to sit hunched over, but it is particularly uncomfortable when you are pregnant! Switch out your chair if it isn't providing you with the support you need! Also make sure you give yourself breaks and try to avoid doing repetitive movements for long periods of time for the health of your joints!


I used these filters on my 3M respirator while pregnant!

This is the 3M mask and I ordered a small!

This table fan is compact and has two speeds, but any fan will do! You just want to keep the air circulated!

In reality these are great safety tips regardless of whether you are pregnant or not! Since having my children in 2015 and 2017 I've continued to practice better studio safety!

If you have other suggestions, please share them with our community! You can comment below!

If you'd like to support Metalsmith Society you can shop my suggested links (and I'll get a little something something) or you can buy a t-shirt!


  • vinegar and salt as pickle is safe enough as is. However, once used as pickle the oxides that are removed which remain in that pickle are not. In other words I believe it’s toxic once used and would therefor reconsider dumping it down the drain.

    JOanne on

  • Thanks for sharing! I just had a healthy baby boy in April & practiced many of your tips throughout my pregnancy. I hope this conversation continues as I began my pregnancy with so many questions & fears wondering how I might be able to continue making while pregnant. I had a hard time finding information online & connecting with other Mamas in the same situation. My number one safety measure ended up being : no exceptions, to wear my respirator/goggles while soldering & a 3m mask while sanding/polishing. In addition, I washed my hands constantly. Extra steps, but I hope to continue these safer habits going forward:)

    Kristin Marie on

Leave a comment