Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:48 PM
I'm also doing a great deal of work in a shared space with a clay group, and we use 16" by 24" 1/4 inch (or so) plywood covered with fabric as our work surfaces on what amount to cafeteria tables. The regular painting canvas is great if you can afford it, but I've also seen people use old sheets (too thin, don't do it), burlap (really textury!), muslin (works pretty well if you get the heavy stuff), an old paint drop cloth (a bit thin, but it works), some mystery canvas from wherever which works well, and then on mine I have some cheap old upholstery fabric (probably mattress ticking, but who knows) from the dime store. Its held up for 15 years! Attachment methods vary as much as the fabric of choice, some used glue, others used thumb-tacks, some used staples, and a few used duct-tape (the least successful.) Watch the length on your staples and tacks if you use them, nothing worse than finding out your thumbtacks are sticking through the work surface. I have several boards, different ones for different colored clay. I don't generally scrub, but I do spray them down with water and scrape off any slop on a regular basis. This keeps them very usable, and we have little to no problem with dust. We do have to wipe down the tables after our sessions, a couple rounds with a regular kitchen sponge (well rinsed!) leaves them ready to go for the next group.