EcoTimber Available at The Arch since 2007

The Arch became Asheville’s first EcoTimber dealer in 2007 and our experience with this fine company has been one of teamwork and education.  eco_timber_logo_09 Over the years, EcoTimber’s commitment and professional support has provided The Arch with a healthy perspective of sustainable flooring practices.

Consequently, The Arch has developed a long list of satisfied customers in the South East and beyond now living with beautiful and healthy flooring installations. This amazing company has remained committed to their mission statement protecting and helping change the way forest ecosystems are managed while at the same time providing high quality, beautiful, healthy products. Since 1992 EcoTimber helped to pave the way and their dedication to protecting forests started long before most companies got “on-board” or created a ” green division” within their company.

Post ag orchard walnut trees that have “out-aged” their ability to produce fruit turned into pristine flooring.
Unfurled bamboo flooring
Unfurled bamboo flooring

What is the point of having  some  environmental products and not all? ALL the companies The Arch works with are dedicated to sustainable forestry and forest conservation.  You won’t walk into The Arch and see  ANY flooring with added urea-formaldehyde, or flooring from mills with questionable labor practices, or products from damning forestry practices. The Arch seeks out and works only with companies that do not compromise their beliefs.  Eco Timber  continues to seek to remain on the cutting edge of environmental awareness and action.

In addition to EcoTimber, The Arch works with other excellent companies leading the way with healthy environmental practices: Eco Fusion, known for cutting edge bamboo technology and sustainable practices, US Floors LLC with a broad range of flooring options and environmental practices, Whole Log Lumber which one cannot argue the sustainability of their reclaimed material and this company’s fine time-honored reputation, and more recently, a regional  Central Applachian based company-WoodRight, offering beautiful domestic solid hardwoods. These companies can all be highlighted as among the best in the  the country. See our flooring link for more on these flooring sources.

The Arch is  located in The Riverside Business Park, Unit 10, which is just to the right of the park office on the river side of the building.   Give us a call at 828 253 5455 or come by today.  Please remember, The Arch can have orders shipped directly to your residence or commercial site and often without additional shipping expense.

Visit our website contact page for hours:

American Clay Classes at The Arch Offers More Than Technique

The other day a woman that had taken one of our full day American Clay workshops came by to pick up her 16th bag of clay for her home studio project. Strong, petite, and energetic,  her comment to us was: ” I think I’m pretty good at it!”.  “I’ll never go back to paint!”. ” I love it!”

Not everyone chooses to cover as much area as this woman,  but many love it so much that they want it everywhere.  Why not? It’s beautiful, it’s quiet, it’s moisture controlling- naturally taking in humidity breathing and breathing it out so you won’t have  mold issues, and it offers a depth unlike  that of paint. American-Clay-Room-Scene-detailbdsc_0849-copy7The finish options and pigment selections are many. We have customers wanting the most rustic of applications, to installations in contemporary homes. Older bungalows suffering from holds, cracks and years of wear can be repaired with a beautiful fresh finish of clay and has provided a remedy to otherwise costly plastering techniques.  Clay can go over a number of substrates but you should ask questions first so that you have the best installation possible. This is where a class might be helpful, if not for yourself, perhaps you might be able to encourage a contractor you have hired to take our class.

Chemically sensitive people have come in looking for American Clay because of it’s natural healthy qualities.

“It’s clean and I’ve had no issues with air quality”, an Asheville resident shared.  She added,  “I don’t have to worry about mold either, which is so important and a big relief to me”.

I’ve shared these images before, but here are a few images showing how American Clay is humidity buffering. Click on any image to read.

Hummidity Buffering AC humidity 3 AChumidity1 AChumidity2

If a large project isn’t  something you want to start with,  perhaps it’s time to include American Clay in a bedroom or add some comfort to a dining area,  or possibly consider an accent wall.


03 30 13_1115

A class is a great way to learn all about the full range of products.   Shown here are some photos that show class members experiencing different clay types and techniques. Working on corners, creating textures, burnishing the smoothest clay (Porcelina), are just a few examples of what we cover in a full day class. Participants have the opportunity to apply all stages of the process.

DSC_0113 (1128 x 748)

Half day classes are helpful as well, especially if you have a smaller project in mind, but if you want to try your hand at larger expanses and learn some additional techniques with more in-depth discussions a full day class is recommended.

Visit our American Clay gallery on our website to see installations we have completed  as well as some additional images from American Clay’s gallery and some customer work.

American Clay lists all classes on their website. If you don’t see a convenient date for a class at The Arch, just give us a call. We usually have additional dates in mind or we haven’t posted them yet.  WORKSHOP SCHEDULE 

In addition, click here to learn more about finishing services we provide.dsc_0821-copy8

Mica Village open-air lobby with American Clay Loma clay

Mica Village open-air lobby with American Clay Loma clay. No problem with outside temperatures

Taking a class points participants to their favorite finish and ultimately will help them create the look they want. If you don’t want to do the project yourself and prefer The Arch do the installation, just let us know and we’ll provide an estimate and answer any questions you have.

Call us today! 828 253 5455 or visit our contact page and visit our showroom.

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Do You Have Beautiful Historic Older Windows? Protect them and Save Energy With Interior Window Inserts!

window imageThese photos of old windows are simply a small collection of  historic charm and in most cases  energy challenges.   Window Efficiency Works  believes that you should “Enjoy your older windows!”  Enjoy this gallery then  start thinking about how you can save energy and add comfort to  homes and buildings.

IMG_2553 (1152 x 1728) image004. Cool-Window-4x3 handmade florida-theatre-2

  • Keep the cold air outside of that oldfarmhouse window you’ve enjoyed since you were a kid.
  • Imagine the savings of a large historic building!
  • Save air conditioning dollars and  keep the oppressive Charleston summer heat out!charleston-turquoise-window-box
  • So……that art studio on the top floor CAN be more efficient?
  • Don’t hesitate to keep that hand crafted window!  You can maintain a clear view through it as well as add comfort.
  • Maintain your historic windows- save energy, add comfort, and protect them from condensation as well!

Look for a new photo gallery of images taken around Asheville. It will be a pleasant walk indeed.

For more information about what an  interior window insert can do for you read our previous  post

Call The ARCH for free consultation and information:   828 253 5455


Interior Window Inserts Provide Great Benefits For Inefficient Windows!

April 6, 2013 1 comment

bookWhether you’re reading a book or dining with friends, sitting next to a drafty window is  simply uncomfortable as well as being costly.

There are many ways that we can make our homes and businesses more energy efficient as well as comfortable.

Acupuncture Clinic in Historic Montford Asheville. Window insert adds comfort in treatment rooms.
Acupuncture Clinic in Historic Montford Asheville. Window insert adds comfort in treatment rooms.

If you have inefficient windows one place to start is to install Window Efficiency Works interior window inserts. They are visually hardly noticeable, yet they will provide significant energy savings.

If you install these inserts you will immediately feel the added comfort during the coldest winter days, windy days, or during the hot summer days when you’re running an air conditioner.They also reduce outside noise by approximately 60%.


Get started!

Though your home improvement list may be a long one, it’ll pay off not only in comfort and energy savings but in dollars and cents! Whether you begin with a dining area or a covered porch, you will experience that cozy comfort which will feel like you’ve added square footage to your living space that might have otherwise been avoided!

Have you lived in or visited a home  that you chose one room to relax in over another simply because one of them is delivering an Arctic blast or the traffic noise outside is annoying? Interior window inserts will remedy these concerns.

Window inserts add to dining comfort at the Corner Kitchen

Window inserts add to dining comfort at the Corner Kitchen

Customers that have  had the inserts installed continue to share positive experiences with us.   Window Efficiency Works  offers a variety of interior window inserts that you can see are simple to handle and the benefits are many.

Window inserts are easy to place into frame as they are magnetic.

Window inserts are easy to place into frame as they are magnetic.

Available  through The ARCH, we can help you customize the inserts that work best for you.  Whether you want to preserve the original appearance of  the windows in a historic home or you simply want to keep the windows you have, these inserts are placed on the interior of your windows and they are discreet in design. IMG_2593 (1152 x 1728)

The window inserts attach to a magnetic frame (which stops the drafts) within your window frame, they are lightweight, the acrylic glazing provides 2.5 times the insulation of most glass,  and they perform beautifully.  Shown here are several Asheville area installations that demonstrate the process, design simplicity and noted feedback that we are getting.

 One homeowner’s response: The rooms are definitely holding heat better and feel way less drafty.  One surprise that I hadn’t expected is that the inserts have also decreased the noise from the street, which is really nice.  It will be a little tricky working with controlling the temperature in the rooms in the spring as we have extreme changes in high and low temperatures, but the ease of taking the inserts on and off should help with that.  I assume that we will want to keep them in through the Summer too because they will help keep the cool air in too.  I’m interested to see how it effects the utility bills in the long run.  I suspect it will have a dramatic effect.
The insert is installed on the left section and not on the right. Notice the condensation problems on the right side!

The insert is installed on the left section and not on the right. Notice the condensation problems on the right side!

Call us today for free estimates and consultation. Visit us at our new location to see a showroom model and discuss your project. The ARCH has  recently moved to: The Riverside Business Park, Unit 10, Asheville, NC.  828 253 5455  Email: Hours:  T-F 9:30-5:30, Sat 10-3

Calling All Superheroes! Support Roxanne’s Amazing Capes Kickstarter Campaign!

November 20, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s….Amazing Capes! Kickstarter campaigns support creativity in dance, technology, photography, theater, food, fashion, and the list goes on. My daughter Roxanne Turpen has worked endless hours over the last year or more, putting together a kickstarter project called Amazing Capeswhich supports her ambitious goal to  sell capes to the superheroes of the world!

Roxanne Turpen with her Amazing Cape

They are beautiful,  well made, and amazingly fun!  Her Amazing Capes kickstarter has been launched and the purpose is to raise money for the first production reversible satin collection of Amazing Capes to make them affordable for all. This is just the start to the goals she has set for her Amazing Capes. Kickstarter is an online “funding platform for creative projects” and she has just one month to meet her goal through pledges and with your help, sharing her campaign with friends or groups that might wish to support her.

Depending on when you are reading this the days are moving along quickly, but as of this writing she has reached 29% of her goal and has 18 days to go!

Roxanne graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in photojournalism  and studio art and as you look over her  website and campaign you’ll  see her photography,  editing, writing, and artistic skills  applied to this innovative business idea.

Capes, Capes, and More Capes!

If you choose to make a pledge your choices range from 5.00 on up, each with different reward options.

Unlike my other blog posts, this one is an invitation and one of support for my daughter Roxanne.

I hope you will check out her adventure, consider a pledge, and share this campaign with others. As Roxanne would say  “Release your  inner superhero!

Saving The World Through the Power of Imagination!

Please take a few minutes to look over these Amazing Capes!

Click here to learn more about Amazing Capes!

A Smokin Idea for The Factory: Wood-Fired Oven Installation in a 97 Foot Chimney That Is!

97 Feet UP!

Interior 97′ Smokestack

This ought to be tall enough for a wood-fired oven chimney don’t you think? It’s not necessary of course, but….some ideas are BIG ideas and this one is BIG as well as TALL! Project Manager, Maxime Theberge of The Factory in High Point, NC  wanted a bold and innovative idea to come together for this restored old mill dating back to the early 20th century, formally the Adams-Millis Hosiery Mill.

The Factory

Now it is the home of a furniture showroom and is  soon to be a destination for the High Point Market. This oven installation will be part of an entertainment venue, that  not only has character but will be serving up some delicious fare to those attending  events.  Fire and wood-fired ovens are always a great draw and a crowd-pleaser and we’re thankful to have been a part of this project!  Jim Erskine with The ARCH, was contacted Spring of 2012 as he is known for his competent masonry skills and Forno Bravo oven installation work. Well, this isn’t a typical installation for wood-fired ovens, but Jim was definitely stoked, jazzed, excited, you name it!, and  between all the professionals looking at the engineering of this project it was given a green light!

Though I see a rather blue white moon light…oh wait, that’s not the moon at the top of that smoke stack, that’s daylight and that’s where climbers Michael Grosser and Leo Dupuis clipped their way up the interior rungs of the smoke stack  and then helped guide sections of the selected Forno Bravo Modena 120 commercial wood-fired oven down the stack! 

Four of the sections fit through the hole at the base, but the plan was to maintain a smaller opening and lower two of the six sections with the use of a crane,  guided by Michael Grosser at the TOP.  Several days prior  to “the drop”, Jim had to get through this massive wall. Not what you call a highlight but he made it through this thick wall and then built an oven floor after gravel was poured into the base, cement, re bar reinforcement, the works….

Building the floor

Jim accomplished the hole in the wall and oven floor days before the crane was scheduled to provide their expertise…. and expertise was the case. Hats off to crane operators!

Not a bump going down the stack, and with the assistance from Michael at the top (to start the guided lowering of the sections), they were received  by more brave souls at the base. (They waited until the piece was nearly at the bottom, stepped in and guided the final landing of the sections).

Going UP

With a lot of patience and teamwork the six section oven kit was in place. (There is also a side access hole about fifteen feet up the right side of the smoke stack.  Perhaps future climbing expeditions?)

Setting the Cap

Finally, a customized “smoke stack chimney cap” was lowered onto the top… another success!  This cap was beautifully constructed and a necessary component. This time Leo Dupuis braved the climb up the smoke stack  and guided the landing of the cap at the top.
The weather was drizzling most of the day but thankfully the wind wasn’t up. The next day more insulation and finish work was completed to the dome. Jim thanks all of those that helped with this project.

Jim Erskine and Tom Silver

Ready to start curing!

Next step…… to enjoy some phenomenal food and watch the smoke rise from 97 feet up!

For  more information give us a call at The ARCH 171 Weaverville Hwy Suite 103 Asheville NC 28804  828 253 5455
For more images visit Jim’s Wood Fired Ovens Facebook page album
For Forno Bravo oven and outdoor fireplace sales and installation information call Jim Erskine 828 768 4438 or email

American Clay’s Humidity Buffering Qualities Contributes to Healthy Air Quality

The growing interest and importance of air quality continues to reinforce  our great feeling about American Clay Earth Plaster.   There are some interesting advantages that American Clay offers to those wanting  more consistent humidity levels and the reduction of potential mold and mildew, as well as a quieter space.


From personal experience we have lived with clay plaster in our own home and have experience with a broad variety of applications and placement of clay.

We have American Clay plaster in a kitchen/dining area, sun room, bedroom and in two bathrooms.  We’ve enjoyed the benefits clay provides in every space and have witnessed, felt, and breathed in it’s ability to absorb  and release water vapor when high levels of humidity are present without a spec of mildew appearing anywhere -EVER! What might seem to be a vulnerable location is where we applied clay along the top 18″ above the tiled walls in two shower areas but absolutely no problems have resulted- instead it benefits these areas.  In contrast,  if a  painted wall experiences high levels of humidity such as in a bathroom the surface will eventually develop condensation from water vapor creating an environment favorable for mold and mildew growth.  Another more extreme experience that we had was with several large 3′x6′ foot display panels we made and applied with clay plaster for an expo.  After a three day event we drove home and with the onset of a rain storm we rushed the panels into our (less than perfect) garage several years ago.  We had an unfortunate heavy rain that evening that ultimately flowed into the area where these panels were situated.The panels were trimmed  with wood for presentation purposes. After about a week we noticed a mold made its way up the wood strips  but did not touch the clay. The mildew completely avoided the clay.  If ever conditions were ripe for mildew this was it.    The following diagrams portray how American Clay provides humidity buffering in your home or business.

Powder Room at CIEL with American Clay, Porcelina, Chesapeake Bay, Designer Talli Roberts

As noted in this last image, the more clay there is in a given space the greater the humidity buffering. We called a few customers that have applied the clay in wine cellars  as this is an excellent application choice to assist in maintaining a consistent humidity so critical in a wine cellar.

In reading about climate control in wine cellars, efforts must be made to maintain a certain temperature as well as humidity level.

If the humidity rises above 70% in a wine cellar this is when the potential for mildew on the corks can develop which may create a problem for the wine.


There are several benefits when using the American Clay plaster- it assists in maintaining consistent humidity levels, assists in preventing mold and mildew, helps purify the air which is also important, and it is beautiful! 

One of our customers shared that he has had no problems and added that he also selected the clay for the old world look. Most of the wine cellars include applications on the ceiling contributing to humidity buffering benefits.

Lastly, this open-air lobby area at Mica Village is another great example that the humidity does not bother it. The benefits of American Clay go well beyond those mentioned here; in fact they are nothing short of amazing!

Article shared by Catherine Silver of The ARCH Architectural Finishes, Flooring and More

Interesting article: The 10 Most Common Wine Cellar Problems and How to Overcome Them

Click here for a  humidity demonstration done by American Clay.

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