Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No I Can't Throw That Away

No I can't. As art teachers we all have out "stuff" that we just can't throw out. Some of us save fruit and pudding cups for water, ice cream buckets, baby-food jars and old markers.
I must admit that my favorite things to save are the ice cream buckets. I use them for all kinds of things. To keep supplies in for tables, extra crayons & markers, water buckets for cleaning all types of things. They even have lids you can use to trace perfect, big circles on 9x12 paper. You can stack them when they are empty or full. They fit on my shallow shelves. They come with handles. You can cover them with fun stuff. What more can a girl ask for?

Recently I was visiting a fellow art teacher in my home town. She is moving up to middle school and I am thrilled to say I will be replacing her at the elementary school. (more about that in a later post) Any way she was saying she was going to leave me a huge box of dry markers. I was like huh? To make liquid watercolors? Why?
Little did I know the inside of a dry marker was a treasure. Misty popped the end of the marker off with a pair pliers. Pulled out the inner core, carefully sliced down the center, and pulled out --(wait for it)-- colored cotton! I'll be! I was surprised to say the least. Maybe you already knew this but I hadn't seen it. Oh the possibilities it has!
Granted you do have to preform this operation yourself. Not really a job for students. But hey I have free help at home right? (S,R &K guess what you get to do?) The other not to cool thing is your fingers do get a little colored even if they are dried out. But hey, we must suffer for our art, right?

 I think the strangest thing I have saved and toted from school to school is two red brick pavers. You've seen the type, about 2 inches tall, 6X12. I hot glued felt to the bottom so I don't scratch the counter. Then I leave them next to the sink as a dish drip cloth. You know instead of using miles of paper towels spread across my already limited counter space I use these. I lay all of my drippy water cups, clean brushes etc on them to dry. I can't say it makes the dry time faster, but the brick soaks in the water and then drys itself. I don't have to replace them with new paper towels or anything. I love this, it works great in my room and was so easy to set up then leave until the end of they year.
One bad thing would be how heavy they can be. But that problem solved itself when I accidentally broke them in half . Oops. But they are easier to lift now. :) I just match up the pieces and still use them. I can't throw them away!!!!

Here is to all of us art educators and having a great end to our year.


  1. Wow, I didn't know that markers had cotton inside. I am going to have to start tearing apart my markers too.

  2. Love this post... I have boxes of scrap paper, old caps, dried-up markers and so much more that I just can not get rid of. Love to recycle and make these random objects into a art project.

    On my fauvist paintings the students used tempera paint... They are bright because we used a couple of florescent colored tempera paints with a couple of the colors. I would have loved to cover the paintings with a tempera varnish to give them a shine or gloss, but I didn't have enough time. Thanks for following my blog, your question was helpful and I have added that to the posting.