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Re: [teacherartexchange] table covering for claywork


From: Marvin Bartel (marvinpb_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed May 14 2008 - 09:33:34 PDT

>I'm looking for ideas on how to cover Formica tables when working with
>clay. In the past I've used plywood boards covered with burlap, which
>has kept the tables fairly clean, but recently our school had its air
>quality tested, and the report came back showing the mold level
>slightly above acceptable levels in the area where I store the boards.
>A number of my students have asthma and I want to look at an
>alternative table covering that is green in concept but easy to
>Anyone have any thoughts?
>Thanks in advance,
>Cyndi in Wheaton

You might make table cloths by cutting pieces of Dupont Tyvec House Wrap. It is plastic fiber reinforced paper like product also used for FedEX envelopes and envelops used by Netflix, but thicker. Turn the printed side down to have a white surface on which to work. Google it for more info. Hems are not needed because it does not fray or tear. It can be sponged easily to clean it using large car wash sponges. Unlike canvas or burlap, it does not become dust laden, but clay releases from Tyvek quite easily. I use smaller pieces for individual project work. It is ideal for making slabs between two sheets. A cover sheet keeps clay from sticking to rolling pins, etc. I get pieces from construction sites when they cut it out of house windows, but if you are covering a lot of tables you may want to purchase a role of Tyvec at a building supply store and sell the left-over part of the role to a house builder. When not in use, roll it up so it curls down next time it is used.

This 4 minute video shows Tyvec on our kitchen table as I have three kids try a clay joining experiment.

It is linked from this page.


Marvin Bartel, Ed.D., Professor of Art Emeritus
Goshen College, 1700 South Main, Goshen IN 46526
studio phone: 574-533-0171
"Art is me when I am myself." ... a kindergarten girl when asked, "What is art?"
"You can't never know how to do it before you never did it before." ... a kindergarten boy working with clay for the first time.

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