One thing that helps me when kids get sloppy with clay is to tell them
about the disease, silicosis, which is caused by inhailing silica dust.
Silica is akin to finely ground glass, and is present in clay and
glazes. I tell them that damp clay is not the problem, but dried up
clay is. If you get it all over the floor, don't wash your tools, etc.,
it creates a dusty environment. When you walk on dusty clay floors your
feet kick up dust which is inhaled. Granted, they would have to inhale
dust on regular basis to be effected, but you can create a dramatic
scenario which will hit home and make them more responsible. I warn
them that if they are ever in a REALLY dusty clay studio, a stuidio that
lets the dust pile up on every shelf, on top of bins, in corners on the
floor, etc., their health is at risk. I tell them that it takes all of
us working together to make sure that our studio does not turn into that
kind of a health trap. I assign one kid to wash all the tools from each
table and put them back in the storage boxes. One kid picks up dry clay
and throws it away. One kid clumps the damp clay togther and returns it
to me to reprocess. The fourth kid at the table washes the table. No
big whoop, lol.
Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.