Art is meant to be fun.But, it can also be dangerous. We will not be working with many toxic materials or high powered equipment in this room.Still, potential hazards and toxic materials exist.You will be required to take and pass a safety test before you are allowed to handle any material or operate and equipment that could potentially be dangerous.
A hazard is: a situation which has the potential of causing harm.
A toxic material is: a substance that may cause harm to an individual if it enters the body.The route of exposure can vary. The most common is through inhalation though they can also enter the body topically and orally.
“For certain chemicals and exposure situations, children may be especially susceptible to the risk of injury. For example, since children are smaller than adults, children’s exposures to the same amount of a chemical may result in more severe effects. Further, children’s developing bodies, including their brains, nervous systems, and lungs may make them more susceptible than adults. Differences in metabolism may also affect children’s responses to some chemicals. Children‘s behaviors and cognitive abilities may also influence their risk. For example, children under the age of 12 are less able to remember and follow complex steps for safety procedures, and are more impulsive, making them more likely to ignore safety precautions. Children have a much higher chance of toxic exposure than adults because they are unaware of the dangers, not as concerned with cleanliness and safety precautions as adults, and are often more curious and attracted to novel smells, sights, or sounds. Also note that children do not have to be using the art and craft materials themselves to be affected by them: careless child or adult artists can accidentally expose other children to hazards.”
Before we use any toxic materials for specific projects you will be warned and reminded as to their potential for danger and the care you should take while using them.Even so, good habits for handling all types of materials and tools are important to understand.You will be expected to adhere to the following Basic Rules of Conduct in the Classroom.As you can see these are also posted as a reminder of their importance.We can split these rules into two categories—behavior to avoid and behavior to follow.
BASIC RULE OF CONDUCT IN THE CLASSROOM: BEHAVIOR TO FOLLOW--
Cover cuts or sores with bandages before using materials that could get into them.
Wear vinyl gloves when handling materials that could be toxic or cause irritation.
Wear a mask when working with materials or tools that create dust, such as sandpaper.
Wear safety glasses when using materials or tools that could create splash, sparks, or splinters.
Wear appropriate hair restraints.
Wear covered shoes in the studio.
Use protective clothing when spills or drops could occur.
Use chemical materials in well ventilated spaces only.
Use a step stool to reach objects on higher shelves.
Clean up spills immediately—even water.
Use a tool for its intended purpose only.
Wash hands with soap and water NOT solvents.
Unplug electric tools as soon as you are finished with them.
Only tightly covered beverages allowed in the studio.
Tie long hair back.
BEHAVIOR TO AVOID--
Do not throw or toss materials or tools even if someone is “ready” to catch it.
Do not eat food in the studio workspace.
Never run in the studio.
Never put tools or materials in your mouth.
Avoid extending cords across pathways.
Never put hot glue guns or dryers away when they are still warm.
Do not use open flames.
Beyond the basic rules you will be expected to know and follow, you will also need to demonstrate or explain how to properly handle and care for other tools and materials we use in class.
BRUSHES can be used for watercolor, acrylic, and glue.When using paint rinse the brush out in water before changing colors.You may dab the excess water off on a paper towel however take care to avoid pressing down too hard because you can damage the bristles.When you are finished rinse the brush out throughly with warm water.DO NOT use solvent.The ferrule (the part between the bristles and the handle, usually metal) may also have some paint on it that needs to be washed off.Don’t be afraid to use your fingers.Both watercolor and acrylic paint comes out well with soap and water. The water will run clear when the brush is completely clean.Allow your brush to dry with the bristles pointing upright.When they are dry they can be stored flat but they should never be stored with the weight of the brush pushing downward on the bristles.Never put any part of a paint brush in your mouth.
PALETTE KNIVES should be washed off with warm water before the paint is allowed to dry. They should be allowed to dry in the open air before they are stored.
TUBES and CONTAINERS of paint should not be left open.Wipe the rims to avoid sticking and replace lids immediately after you have taken the amount of paint you think you will use.
PALETTES can be used for acrylic paint.They hold more than one color of paint and are easily used to mix colors.try to limit the amount of paint you put on a palette to what you think you will use.To avoid waste, if you are not finished painting when it is time to clean up and have left over paint use a palette lid to cover your palette (label this with your name on a piece of tape). If possible, when you are finished with a specific color put any paint you have left back in the appropriate container and wash your palette off with warm water, rubbing the paint off the palette to the best of your ability.
NOTE: Watercolor paint does not go back in the tubes.It can dry out without ill effect and becomes reusable simply by adding water.
KNIVES, SCISSORS, CARVING TOOLS, SCRATCHING PENS, AND INK TIPS--
Carry all knives and carving tools with the points facing downward.
Hold scissors with the points in your fists and carry them with your arm extended down by your side.
Never use a knife, carving tool, or pair of scissors for a purpose other then what it was intended to accomplish.
UTILITY KNIVES AND EXACTO KNIVES are intended to cut paper, card stock, cardboard, mat board, poster board, light weight foam, foam board, and (paper) blending tools.Do not use them to cut rubber, wood, metal, or material that is more than a quarter inch thick.
Always us a cutting mat under the material you are cutting.
Always cut on a flat surface.
Hold the knife in your dominate hand. Use your other hand to hold the material you are cutting ABOVE the cut. Press firmly and cut with a continuous downward stroke. Do not saw.
If you need to use a straight edge as a guide to make a straight cut, use a metal measuring stick—not a plastic, wood, or rubber one.Also, do not use a retractable measuring tape.
SCISSORS are intended to cut paper, light weight cardboard, mat board, poster board, fabric, string, ribbon, twine, yarn, light weight plastic such as a straw, and felt.Do not use them to cut rubber, wood, metal, or material that is more than an eighth inch thick.
Always use your dominant hand and fit your hand to the scissors so your thumb is up. Do not use two hands to cut sideways. NOTE: Some scissors are only right handed.If your dominant hand is the left switch scissors. Also, some scissors have a small single hole for the thumb and a larger hole for two or more fingers.
CARVING TOOLS are intended to be used on stone, leather, wood, linoleum, or linoleum substitutes.
When carving actual linoleum be sure to use a bench hook to hold your linoleum block in place while you carve. The linoleum like material we use is not supposed to slip so if you choose not to use a bench hook take extra care it is laying flat on the table and test to see that it sticks.
Always carve away from yourself holding the carving tool in your dominant hand. Steady the wood or linoleum block with your other hand, and care away from your holding hand.
SCRATCHING PENS are intended to be used on a specific kind of paper. Their sharp points and edges are designed to remove the top layer (often black) revealing a white or colored layer below. Do not use them for other purposes.
INK TIPS are exchangeable and therefore the danger of being stabbed is heightened.Always rinse the ink from the tip before you try to remove it from the holder. The tips need to be firmly in place in the pen so as not to wiggle during use.They also are often used deeper into the holder during use.Therefore, they should be removed with care while wearing a leather or heavy cloth glove.
MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS AND MATERIALS--
PAPER CUTTERS are designed to cut paper but can also cut lite weight card stock, poster board, and tag board.They can cut through multiple layers of paper at a time but since paper can slip this should be done with caution.
HOT GLUE GUNS should be plugged into a wall next to a table so the cord does not cross a pathway. Always use a mat under the tip of the glue gun so any drips do not burn the surface on which you work.Unplug the gun immediately when finished and allow to cool before you put the glue gun away.
DRYERS should be plugged in to a wall next to where you were working so the cord does not cross the path.They should be unplugged as soon as you finish and allowed to cool before they’re put away.
GLUE is often nontoxic, at least the types we use.Still, using them in well ventilated areas, replacing lids when not in use, and pouring out small quantities at a time are important habits to develop.NEVER intentionally sniff fumes.
EPOXIES, GROUT, AND SOLVENTS need to be used cautiously. Use gloves to protect your skin. Refer to the solvent/glove chart on the inside of the glue cupboard to know which gloves to use. Also, wash your hands after using substances that could stick to your skin.
PLASTER GAUZE is a very dusty material.Wearing a mask to avoid breathing in the dust. Wearing gloves is also recommended for prolonged use.Never wave the gauze around in the air.Never pour the water used to wet the gauze down a drain.Rinse your hands in a bucket after you use the gauze to remove the plaster from your hands and dry them with a paper towel in order to brush any remaining plaster off your hands. Then you can safely wash them in the sink.You can cut plaster gauze with scissors.Rinse the scissors in a bucket when you are finished and allow them to air dry.
A FEW QUESTIONS:
Why are there no food or open drinking containers in the studio? One word: cross-contamination. Paint or some other substance could get into your food or drink and make you sick. Or, your food or drink could get onto a project and ruin it. Why tie your hair back? It can get caught in a tool or drag through paint or glue. Neither of these are fun. Why wear closed toed shoes? Things get dropped and toes are vulnerable.