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RE: artsednet digest: March 30, 2002


From: Martha Ulakovits (MSQU_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Apr 06 2002 - 04:49:28 PST

  You can't beat that nasty mold for helping to break down the clay and make
it more elastic. I always keep my clay for months before using it just to
insure the mold growth. I have never had a problem with it personally.
  This is not the case, however with moldy tempera. I have stop using
powdered temperas for that reason. After mixing the tempera, it lasts only a
couple of days before it begins to grow a skin and mold. All unused paint
has to be thrown away. When I get busy, forget and open one of these moldy
paint canisters, I immediately get a noseful. It is not only unhealthy for
allergies but it really stinks!
  I think the issue of keeping a healthy art environment has been addressed
from time to time but not enough is down to focus in on individual products
that provoke reactions in us or our students. I like the idea of using clay
outside, but you really can't do that with everything and even with clay, it
has to come inside to dry.
   We need more ventilation that just a hood over our kilns. Unfortunately,
county workers that safeguard our environments are not usually familiar with
chemicals in the artrooms.We have to be our own watchdogs.
Martha Ulakovits

Subject: Re: mold info
From: Judie <>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 05:25:57 -0500
X-Message-Number: 2

Just cruising through my messages this morning and am probably coming into
the middle of this thread. Just wondering if anyone knows if the gorgeous
green mold that grows on terra cotta clay while it is still in the bag is

I have from some pottery friends, that the growth of mold is usually good
for the clay--does something to the plasticity I think--but is it harmful
to use in the classroom? I usually just slice it off the edge, and it it
grows usually in bags that have been opened and used by the
students--probably from the result of bacteria on their hands.

Anyone know more about this?