Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi!  I am a newbie here.  I have been teaching ceramics in a classroom setting for 20+ years.  This one is a first for me, and I am sure a first for many.  I was approached by my principal with a very interesting question:

Is there a way to sanitize clay to be sure covid-19 cannot reside in the slop/reclaim?

I am unsure if this is the correct area to post

this thread, please direct me to the correct forum subject area if not.

Thanks!

 

Jason Strickland

Edited by Strickland Pottery
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 51
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

It's not as simple as throwing the clay into a pot and heating it up. It needs to be done in a way that doesn't allow water to evaporate off, or else you'll also have to be rehydrating and wedging it.

Nothing stopping you wearing a mask yourself and developing a best practice policy for safety of all in your classroom. Foodhandling courses do this. Stay safe Ben

I believe in the long run it would be important to do a few things differently with clean ups in art classrooms in general.  When cleaning tables at the end of the period, do so with disinfectan

Posted Images

5 minutes ago, Strickland Pottery said:

Hi!  I am a newbie here.  I have been teaching ceramics in a classroom setting for 20+ years.  This one is a first for me, and I am sure a first for many.  I was approached by my principal with a very interesting question:

Is there a way to sanitize clay to be sure covid-19 cannot reside in the slop/reclaim?

I am unsure if this is the correct area to pose this thread, please direct me to the correct forum subject area if not.

Thanks!

 

Jason Strickland

There are speculative ways, the most interesting to me was to raise the clay to 140 degrees or so. (Need to verify temperature but it was fairly low and below boiling).  My thought was for classroom use, 1-2# balls of clay could be heated the night before for next days use. They would need to be heated and maintained  at the target temperature without drying them out so maybe in an enclosed container or individually wrapped in plastic / bag. Working through this there might be a decent microwave solution and of course there would need to be time for the clay to cool without losing its moisture as well. Again only interesting to me, there were a barrage of reasons not to or folks felt it was not needed etc.....

You might be the first to develop one!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Idea!  I am bringing my meat thermometer to school tomorrow.  I have a bailey mixer/pugmill.  From friction, the clay gets pretty warm in the mixer if left in for what we view as too long (yes, it happens sometimes unintentionally haha).  I wonder how hot the clay will get if in the mixer for 20 minutes?

Stay tuned!

Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Strickland Pottery said:

Idea!  I am bringing my meat thermometer to school tomorrow.  I have a bailey mixer/pugmill.  From friction, the clay gets pretty warm in the mixer if left in for what we view as too long (yes, it happens sometimes unintentionally haha).  I wonder how hot the clay will get if in the mixer for 20 minutes?

Stay tuned!

Good point! I like it. You should be able to look up temperature and time to kill corona virus, as I recall. 130 F for 20 minutes to kill > 99%. 150 F for 5 Minutes to kill  >99%.. Need to research those numbers though.  120 degrees is hot water, 140 degrees is scalding water as I recall for perspective.
Regardless, I was sitting around and trying to think of a safe doable way to put on next days class. 20 minutes at 130 degrees might be doable and actually 140 degree heaters could be made to surface mount on a mixer with let’s say a 30 minute timer or something of the sort. Still seems practical and doable. Mixer might be a great idea!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thank you, Min.  I read it, and very informative.  Seems like it died out (discussion) after April/May.  Fears and worries were definitely warranted, now the reality is here.  My principal asked the question we all were worried would be asked.

I am also going to ask other forums this same question, as this could have some serious implications with ceramics education next year.  There has got to be a viable option.  Unfortunately an expensive one (uv lights, etc) will be terrible for my district, as we are in the hole financially and had to cut my bid orders in half.  I am thankful I have a job!

Edited by Strickland Pottery
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a few thoughts from my background as an engineer that does a lot of work with drinking water. I don't do a lot of work with sanitizing surfaces and materials like clay specifically, so take it with a grain of salt, but the fundamentals are similar.

Bleach is excellent at killing viruses, even at low concentrations. At one to two parts per million of bleach, viruses are killed within a matter of minutes. If you have very liquidy slop, adding something like 40 drops of bleach per 5 gallons could help (this is based on CDC guidelines for emergency disinfection of water). The problem is that the viruses can get trapped inside clay particles and get protected from the chlorine. So, it could help but wouldn't be reliable.

UV doesn't make sense to me as a viable solution in this case. It'll be useless for solids clay and inside any slop bucket, because the water/material needs to be relatively clear for UV to disinfect. Also some viruses are highly resistant to UV (much more so than some particularly nasty parasites that chlorine can't kill), so I wouldn't necessary trust it for coronavirus given how little we know about it. So I don't see any reason why you'd deploy UV for ceramics specifically in a different way than you would in any other classroom.

Heat is a good way to kill viruses (one study I found is showing high levels of inactivation at 60 degrees C and 30-60 minutes of contact (https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(20)30124-9/fulltext). I wonder if you could do a "solar oven" type project for your slop/reclaim buckets and get it hot enough - it would be an interesting project! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is getting interesting.  Mcharles, thank you for your insight.  Pres, pleased to meet you!  
I really think this is an important and pioneering subject for us.  The great thing about the ceramics community is that it attracts all kinds of great people from all walks of life.  Engineers, teachers, scientists, you name it.  So with our varying backgrounds, we can tackle this thing (or any problem to solve) so we can keep ceramics going through any situation!  
there are many ways to heat things.

so I guess the question is, in a fast paced school with a high turnover of students (I will be teaching as many as 60-70 clay students next year), to stay on top of things such as slop, I need to be thinking of volume, efficiency for the next class coming, and a way to quickly do this without me spending hours after or before school.

some ideas I have:  heating slop with a burner and a large 20 gallon stainless pot?

solar:  we have a court yard, so maybe in the hot months this could be a fun chemistry/physics/science  project for other classes...

but with winter the “clam/crab boil pot” may be the only option... unless freezing may be an option?  Would that kill off viruses?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Strickland Pottery said:

This thread is getting interesting.  Mcharles, thank you for your insight.  Pres, pleased to meet you!  
I really think this is an important and pioneering subject for us.  The great thing about the ceramics community is that it attracts all kinds of great people from all walks of life.  Engineers, teachers, scientists, you name it.  So with our varying backgrounds, we can tackle this thing (or any problem to solve) so we can keep ceramics going through any situation!  
there are many ways to heat things.

so I guess the question is, in a fast paced school with a high turnover of students (I will be teaching as many as 60-70 clay students next year), to stay on top of things such as slop, I need to be thinking of volume, efficiency for the next class coming, and a way to quickly do this without me spending hours after or before school.

some ideas I have:  heating slop with a burner and a large 20 gallon stainless pot?

solar:  we have a court yard, so maybe in the hot months this could be a fun chemistry/physics/science  project for other classes...

but with winter the “clam/crab boil pot” may be the only option... unless freezing may be an option?  Would that kill off viruses?

 

 

Heat seems to be relatively goof proof and time tested as well as the ability to easily directly or indirectly produce or supplement with solar. Freezing not so much and difficult to do quickly with clay let alone likely to require mixing / wedging when one can thaw it. I look at it as an opportunity to figure out a workable solution. UV might become an important methodology to address large areas of touchable surfaces.

on a positive note, the end result might have a positive effect on the transmission of COVID as well as other transmissible viruses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not as simple as throwing the clay into a pot and heating it up. It needs to be done in a way that doesn't allow water to evaporate off, or else you'll also have to be rehydrating and wedging it. Freezing is not a good way to kill viruses, and would not be good for the clay anyway. The simplest method would be to have enough clay on hand that once someone uses it, you leave it alone for 3 days before using it again, as the virus can only live for 2-3 days outside a body.

IMO, the students going to get more contact with the virus everywhere else in the shool- railings, door knobs, desk tops, etc. Plus they're far more likely to get it from airborne droplets. Surface contamination is not the primary method through which the virus spreads, and you have to touch your mouth or eyes for it to be a problem. Just have them wash hands before and after starting clay work.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mark C. said:

Yes the leave it alone for 3 days sounds the best. Just have a system of buckets so you know what day the clay come out of quarantine.

Except from the information in the article @jrgpots linked, here, it looks like other coronaviruses can live and thrive in clay, unlike on surfaces such as railings, doorknobs, plastics, paper etc. I don't think we have enough data yet to say for sure quarantining for 3 days is sufficient.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Min said:

Except from the information in the article @jrgpots linked, here, it looks like other coronaviruses can live and thrive in clay, unlike on surfaces such as railings, doorknobs, plastics, paper etc. I don't think we have enough data yet to say for sure quarantining for 3 days is sufficient.

They specifically mention bovine rotovirus as possibly being more infectious after clay adsorption, however that's under lab conditions. I don't think we can say that coronavirus necessarily behaves the same way in a bag of pottery clay that has other organisms/bacteria and varying degrees of acidity/alkalinity (which is known to have an affect on virus survival). I will agree that there are many unknowns still, though. And I still say touching your face or eyes is a bigger risk than just working with clay.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to "disinfect" the clay, seems a bit much, in my opinion. 

Regular hand rinsing and washing is part of clay work anyway,  so I just don't see it as being necessary. 

Are Industrial Tech classes going to have to wipe down all their lumber?

Are FCS (Home Ec. classes going to have to wipe down all of the separate ingredients?

If those are the extremes we have to go to, then we probably shouldn't be holding class to begin with.  And that's actually more of my concern right now, is "Will we even be able to hold class in person, anytime soon?"

We were, let's say, "encouraged" to have online plans ready to go for the 2020-2021 School Year.  So, along with getting my classes set up in a new "Learning Management System", that's my Summer!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Benzine said:

And that's actually more of my concern right now, is "Will we even be able to hold class in person, anytime soon?"

Schools have been open for just over 2 weeks here for K-12. 35% of students from kindergarten to Grade 5 have returned to voluntary, in-class instruction, 16%  of students from Grade 6 to 12. Zero new cases in children attributed to schools opening. Little bit of good news for a change.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Min said:

Schools have been open for just over 2 weeks here for K-12. 35% of students from kindergarten to Grade 5 have returned to voluntary, in-class instruction, 16%  of students from Grade 6 to 12. Zero new cases in children attributed to schools opening. Little bit of good news for a change.

Great news! Thanks, Tired of endless doom and gloom actually.

Edited by Bill Kielb
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Min said:

Schools have been open for just over 2 weeks here for K-12. 35% of students from kindergarten to Grade 5 have returned to voluntary, in-class instruction, 16%  of students from Grade 6 to 12. Zero new cases in children attributed to schools opening. Little bit of good news for a change.

That is definitely good to hear. 

Most the Schools here in the States are on Summer break, and have been for a couple weeks.  What's crazy is that I can't even say for sure, when we are going back.  We used to have some flexibility with our start date, then last year, it became a hard start date, due to the tourism lobbyists saying we started too early...  This year, we initially had a similar date, but now, we really don't.  They are actually saying we could start earlier (August 1st), to help make up missed time/ content.  I haven't heard of any Districts in the State, who are doing that, but I find it amazing that it is an option. 

I haven't even submitted my purchase orders for the year.  I asked the Principal, if I should carry on as normal, and he said that I should, but who knows what the State legislature will do, in regards to budgeting, which could influence purchases...  Good times!  Sorry @Bill Kielb that's more doom and gloom than I intended...

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Benzine said:

That is definitely good to hear. 

Most the Schools here in the States are on Summer break, and have been for a couple weeks.  What's crazy is that I can't even say for sure, when we are going back.  We used to have some flexibility with our start date, then last year, it became a hard start date, due to the tourism lobbyists saying we started too early...  This year, we initially had a similar date, but now, we really don't.  They are actually saying we could start earlier (August 1st), to help make up missed time/ content.  I haven't heard of any Districts in the State, who are doing that, but I find it amazing that it is an option. 

I haven't even submitted my purchase orders for the year.  I asked the Principal, if I should carry on as normal, and he said that I should, but who knows what the State legislature will do, in regards to budgeting, which could influence purchases...  Good times!  Sorry @Bill Kielb that's more doom and gloom than I intended...

Good luck, another layer of uncertainty in these crazy times for sure.

I really do think it's encouraging news that it seems that children are not contracting or spreading the virus in the school system. This is what was expected but very good to see the results are matching up with the prognostications. IMHO the children going back here were acting as guinea pigs for a larger start up this fall.  (school is out from the end of June to first week in Sept here)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe in the long run it would be important to do a few things differently with clean ups in art classrooms in general. 

  • When cleaning tables at the end of the period, do so with disinfectants, not just soapy water.
  • use a microwave or other method to disinfect sponges and other cleaning materials each period.
  • Have hand sanitizer dispenser on hand at the door to be used on entry and exit.
  • keep a rotation of recycled clay 3 days old.
  • Be vigilant of students with apparent health problems,
  • where ever possible keep students at 6 foot distancing, until the pandemic has passed.

Others, here should add to this list, as it would help those on the front lines.

 

best,

Pres

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Pres said:

I believe in the long run it would be important to do a few things differently with clean ups in art classrooms in general. 

  • When cleaning tables at the end of the period, do so with disinfectants, not just soapy water.
  • use a microwave or other method to disinfect sponges and other cleaning materials each period.
  • Have hand sanitizer dispenser on hand at the door to be used on entry and exit.
  • keep a rotation of recycled clay 3 days old.
  • Be vigilant of students with apparent health problems,
  • where ever possible keep students at 6 foot distancing, until the pandemic has passed.

Others, here should add to this list, as it would help those on the front lines.

 

best,

Pres

What Pres outlined is good common sense.  If the virus is spread mostly through droplets in the air, then masks would be important, and good ventilation and distance between students.  Surfaces, tables, chairs, etc are easy to clean and sanitize.  And each student could have their own set of tools.  Lots of protocol to add to each instructor's already long list.  :(

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Roberta12 said:

What Pres outlined is good common sense.  If the virus is spread mostly through droplets in the air, then masks would be important, and good ventilation and distance between students.  Surfaces, tables, chairs, etc are easy to clean and sanitize.  And each student could have their own set of tools.  Lots of protocol to add to each instructor's already long list.  :(

All great ideas and I guess vigilance is best. I have read so many credible studies on surface survival I would be cautious about the three day thing. It seems far more complicated especially on organic surfaces and potentially mixed with biologic protein, especially  with the common pathway for shedding. I have read hours to many days by many reputable sourced studies. Unfortunately I have not found a study about clay. Vigilance, cleanliness and reasonable caution seem prudent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great ideas.

As my school gets prepared thinking about the fall, I find the above dialog interesting to say the least.  We are being told to prepare for A/B days (half class of same class students), and distance learning again in the fall.  I do not want to teach a 20 week ceramic class without clay.   We are planning on giving students tools:  scoring,  knife,  sponge, and a carving tool.  These they will carry with them if we are in (and pick up in a packet along with clay  if we are distance learning ) They will be sat 6' apart and be wearing masks- I probably won't be using the wheels  just because of distance issues( I am told I will have my own 6' area to stay in also- -have they ever been in an art room???)    I think if I plan ahead I will have projects that build on one another such as texture rollers, personality pinch pots, pinch pots with legs and other additions,  slab rolling or handbuilt bells( carving of clay), mug making...I make videos of all of these steps so students can watch as much as they want and along with terms and designing the first 10 weeks will be full.    Ipevo cameras may be something we will have students using at their desks so I can see what they are doing or they can present their works and how they are doing something to others.   Bringing the works back in for firing will be another issue not figured out  yet.

I am thinking about the recycle clay and because of the conversation, will be running a dated bag with each day and class listed and recycle for a week or so, returning it into production.    Our students have to wash their  hands frequently in class and dry with paper towels , besides hand sanitizer on way in and out.    I also think I will  have slip being made by me  for each student and thrown out at the end of class by the student.   We cannot sanitize anything in phase one but when we move to phase II I will be able to sanitize tools used but still not share tools among students.

So many things to think about......

Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't envy any teacher facing the next school year.   

i do remember a very popular pinch pot idea that a local teacher use for many years.   she had her middle school students make a pig by pinching over a very small balloon.  the joining of 2 pinch pots over the balloon and putting legs, a face and tail gave everyone a chance to personalize the sculptures.  working details in while having the clay supported by the air inside was easier than unsupported pinch pots.   the balloon was popped with a needle before the too dry stage.   i am not sure where she found those baseball sized balloons, maybe they were intended to be water balloons originally.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.