Lili Krakowski on wed 3 sep 08
Bless you Celia!
What Americans love to do is be totally negligent, scold all
who urge cautions, then sue when they get hurt!
I have seen COLLEGE studios so dirty one could twist an ankle on
the clay lumps on the floor.
So: Not only are you planning to do a good deed, you are planning
to teach the students properly.
The self-taught instructor probably is scared, feels you are
trying to be bossy,take over, etc. blah blah blah. First have a
friendly talk about we care, we are in this together, you tried
but it is too much for one, we want
the best, we want to teach the students the professional way of
doing it...and hand him/her the Monona Rossol books..the Artist's
Complete Health and Safety Guide and Keeping Claywork Safe and
(yes, from The Potters' Shop) and say I think these are good
guidelines, let's talk.
You also talk to the director and tell her that the insurance and
the lawyer people would not be happy about a suit...Make safety
an issue in the whole place...it would do no harm to bring it up
at a teachers' conference.
There clearly is a huge amount of work to be done. And, I fear,
it will fall on you. I suggest you talk
to the director and get the head of maintenance in on it, because
HOM will be pleased as less clay etc
will be tracked around.
"Without detailing ALL of the back and forth issues....
There doesn't seem to be any glaze testing going on, not for food
safe, not for fit, not for running down on to unprotected shelves
and kiln bottoms. ALL of the glaze materials are in the open in
plastic baggies, including Barium, lithium, and manganese. There
have been 50# bags of neph sye opened on the flat side and left
that way in front of an industrial fan. Kiln shelves have never
been cleaned, most of them have never been kiln washed, they have
glaze on BOTH sides. 18 wheels none of them have been leveled.
I cleaned half of the kiln shelves and the other instructor has
shown a preference for using these shelves and then not putting
them back properly and not cleaning off anything stuck to the
formerly clean shelves.
I would gradually take care of all of these things but for the
attitude of the other instructor. I dearly hate to be a lackey
for someone who complained that the electrical system was messed
up because the kilns would not fire to cone 10....they are cone 8
You need to get 5 gallon buckets and empty gallon containers
(such as mayo, relish etc come in) from the school cafeteria and
put all the stuff in baggies in. I also use 3 lb coffee cans
which I either do or don't spray paint and then clearly mark with
what is in them. I use stencil letters and paint. You need to
order some garbage cans or similar. I buy mine at the Dollar
Store--just any container with a lid that fits well--but the
college may prefer to order from a maintenance company or the
like for tax-deductibility.
Barium should just be gotten rid of. I have no idea of how it
should be disposed of, whether it needs to
go into a special recycling thingie--ask head of maintenance, who
is going to be your best buddy.
Lithium and manganese --on this opinions differ--but I would most
certainly put them away for safety: i.e. no one but you and other
teacher can get at them.
As to kiln shelves. Fine. If there are enough divide in two.
Mark them somehow and keep yours separate. Be clear: "Mitzi, you
like your shelves the way they are; I prefer mine my way. So we
divide and each uses her own." If there are not enough shelves,
inform the director that this is money going to waste...
As to leveling wheels. That is the first lesson you give your
students. Right? "Ok boys and girls the first thing we do is to
is learn about wheel and studio maintenance. We now level
wheels, and then I show you how to clean them...." Go on for the
1st half hour with how to clean up, etc.
POST a large chart with rules--and give each student a copy.
Rules involve no eating or drinking or smoking; changing shoes
when leaving studio; and so on. If you can make the school buy
several copies of the Rossol books, two for the studio, several
And all good wishes. Been there, done that, have the scars..
Be of good courage
sacredclay on thu 4 sep 08
>> There clearly is a huge amount of work to be done. And, I fear,
> it will fall on you. I suggest you talk
> to the director and get the head of maintenance in on it, because
> HOM will be pleased as less clay etc
> will be tracked around.
Lili, What do you do if the head of maintenance won't help? I worked
at a place,(no need to name it), where the maintenace only mopped
once a week, or just didn't bother with it at all. I've gone to the
head and we ended up having words. It was just one of those type of
work environment where everybody didn't want to be bothered with each
other's problem, regardless of what it was. On the plus side, a new
director came aboard, one that firmly believed in walking around the
complex and having his hand in everything. He was responsible for
putting pressure on the night cleaning crew to quit drinking/smoking
pot (their garage was directly under the studio) or get fired. Six
years later, it's finally pristine.There was one studio manager that
taught me about using scrubbing brushes to clean canvassed tables and
boards. I would never have thought to use scrubbing brushes for that.
But I digress. How would one push a stubborn, argumentive person like
that to do their bit/ Kathryn Hughes in NC
Randall Moody on thu 4 sep 08
*What Americans love to do is be totally negligent, scold all
who urge cautions, then sue when they get hurt!*
Nothing like broad brushes, huh?
Randall in Atlanta