It seems that people have little understanding of its nature. For starters a clay body hardens at the temperature 2200 Fahrenheit. Which is really fascinating because glass and metal will melt at a lower temp. I have taken many clay pieces and put them inside of a typical fire and dug them out the next day. Clay can last for thousands of years. This is another interesting fact. If you are planning on a new counter top or floor, consider ceramic tile. Ceramic floor tiles will last about a hundred years. When it comes to working with the mud we call clay, the sky is the limit. I have a hard time convincing students that when you work with clay you can't go wrong. It is such a flexible material. All you have to do is re wedge your clay and it is as use full as it was when you started. So what are the risks and dangers associated with working with this substance. Chemicals,weight,fire, are three dangers for starters. Many science geeks have more income with the ceramicist than they realize. I can remember putting on my little pitiful painters mask and pulling a bag of chemicals off the shelf and seeing the skull and crossbones. You know what I'm talking about. I was like Penelope can I borrow your double respirator. Many heavy metals are used in the process of glaze mixture. What about weight? Try a concrete mixer. Silica particles flow in a dust storm around the room. The weight of the clay is about 25 pounds per block with two blocks to a box. Two blocks lasting for about a week at a small scale slower pace. Now onto fire. Ouch that's hot! Put on a pair of solid fire resistant leather gloves and something to shield your eyes when you look into 2400 degrees. But knowing you can create anything that your mind desires is a great payoff.