When I taught middle school I used bed sheets to cover the tables. At the
end of class I would gather them up and throw them into a box. Took the box
outside and shook them out. You should see the tiny bits of clay and dust
Go to any hotel. (Especially at the end of the month). Do not call ahead
just show up. If you call ahead they will usually just reject you out of
laziness. Walk into the lobby and ask for housekeeping or a manager. Ask
nicely for old used bed sheets that the hotel could donate to your school
for an art project. Flash your school badge if possible. Hotels usually
order new linens at the end of the month and will trash old sheets and
towels. If they give thank them one hundred times. If not just try them
again in a few weeks. Even offer to sign a donation statement for them.
Thank them again. If you even send a card to them or thank you note on
school letterhead they WILL save you more. I have tons.
When the bed sheet gets really bad just toss it. You could wash them but
why bother if you have lots. If they spill water on them they will dry.
Sheets tend to move a bit when kids work but they will get used to it. They
never really complain with me.
When I taught elementary I would use old drawing boards for storage. The
kids would place their unfinished piece onto a specified board. I labeled
the boards by class with masking tape. At clean up time while they washed
tools and scooped bed sheets into the box I would slip a custodians trash
bag over the huge board and tie tight. I labeled the outside of the bag
with tape also and slipped the huge board into my stare room onto paper
shelving units. Sometimes I would even set them on to of stacks of paper.
Next class I simply took out the labeled board and let kids finish. Keeps
well for up to a week or more. If dryness happens or if stored longer I
would place damp paper towels into the bag sometimes draped over dryer
projects. Condensation builds up in the bag and helps.
By the way bed sheets are also good for painting drop cloths and for still
life displays requiring drapery over boxes. Some may be ripped or stained
but merely sort them. I used to wash them in bleach before using at school
for fear of roaches or odors but now I just shake them out and trash if not
Hope this all makes sense I tend to ramble
Ray-pec High School
Raymore Peculiar Schools, MO
From: ARopple@aol.com [mailto:ARopple@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 6:03 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Cover tables for clay?
I got a giant heavy-duty red plastic tarp with the art budget one year and
cut it up to fit all my tables. The tarps stay in a box where kids can get
them, and they know to put it down before getting out the clay. At the end
of class, they fold it in half and roll it up so all the crumbs stay inside.
MUCH EASIER than cleaning the tables after each class.
To keep clay moist, we use rubbermaid-type plastic under bed boxes. With
some wet towelling inside, the pieces stay damp for a long time. Works
really well -- just make sure the boxes are shut tight.