> The brushes are a
> mess. Everytime I get acrylics out, I loose brushes because some kids
> won't wash them and it hardens on them. Is there no way to reclaim these?
> Also I wonder do you all keep all types of brushes separated? I am also
> wondering what type of brushes work best for glazing. Do you have some
> brushes which are only used with glaze?
I teach HS and used to have the same problem with students not taking responsibility for
cleaning the brushes properly; some of the little buggers would hide their brushes in
cabinets or even throw them in the trash to keep from cleaning them.
I've found that giving students temporary ownership of brushes, palettes, palette
knives, dip pens, etc. nearly eliminates the problem of abused or stolen tools. When
they are issued their tools, they write their name with a Sharpie on a piece of masking
tape and make a flag with it on the end of the brush(es), or on the back of the palette.
They use the same one each day.
Some teachers in this ng have suggested numbering every single piece of equipment in the
room and then having each student use only their assigned number. This would work fine
if you need the same tools for different classes.
To reconstitute dried brushes, there are solvents that will effectively clean them. I
found one product in a catalog that claims it's environmentally safe and non-toxic. If
the brushes are cheap, though, you could spend a lot on solvent cleaning them.
I order the 1" Crayola brushes from our district warehouse as our workhorse brushes. I
use decent Dick Blick brushes for acrylic painting, and ordered a box of six dozen cheap
small bristle brushes for glazing (we use the 1" brushes also for this; they last a long
time). For fine detail, we use small camel hair and sabeline brushes.
Hope this helps.