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[teacherartexchange] loose graphite/charcoal management


From: Betty B (bettycarol_40_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Sep 09 2008 - 13:16:18 PDT

Before the school year started, I found my first-year journal, and I wrote about how, when I did charcoal, the custodian told other teachers she would quit if they didn't get rid of me. Well, it is 8 years later and I haven't done charcoal or loose graphite since.

So I did. I set up a table with a covering, and after my students got the outlines on their self-portraits, they could bring them to the table and rub on loose graphite with a couple of dry sponges, knock off the loose graphite onto the table, then take it back to their desks to lift out the lights and add more black with drawing pencils. Well, even so, it got on the floor and by lunch it was tracked through the cafeteria (right outside my door).

So, in a replay of eight years ago, the janitor came in to my class and griped at me. I explained it was graphite and cleans up easily with water. So he went to get the new principal, who came to my room to talk to me about it. He was very nice and professional, and I showed him I had contained it to one table, and that I was going to use it for three days this semester, and three days next semester, and that I hadn't used it in eight years, and art is messy.

sigh. Is there a better way to do loose graphite and/or charcoal that makes absolutely no mess, or should I just do the best I can and expect to keep upsetting people a couple of days a year?

PS-I told the principal I could use those sticky mats they have at the hospital that clean your shoes as you go in and out.

Betty in OK

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