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Archive for June, 2011

The ARCH Summer Newsletter – Sign Up

Tiles inspired by old textile designs

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Painted Tibetan Chest Specially Priced

Tibetan Chest

Special sale price on this great Tibetan Chest!We’ve taken 1,000.00 off ! so that SOMEONE out there can enjoy this in their home as a stand out, beautiful, centerpiece and we can add a product line or new displays.  A very unusual piece, with shelves and drawers on two/opposite sides. Authentic Tibetan painting on side shown.  To see more details check out: Tibetan chest on The ARCH website.

Original price 2950.00 New price: 1950.00 cash or check preferred. Firm

On display in our showroom at:

The ARCH 171 Weaverville Hwy Suite 103, Asheville, NC 28804.  We’re just off exit 23!  The chest has a protective Plexiglass surface on the top.  Call us at 828 253 5455.

Natural Hydraulic Lime – Creates Old-World finish That is a Perfect Finish Selection for Wood-Fired Ovens, Foundations, and Other Masonry Projects

June 21, 2011 1 comment

Many buildings over 100, even thousands years old built with Natural Lime, sand and pigment exemplify sustainability

The ARCH, known in part for it’s natural finish options, has recently gained more experience with a Natural Hydraulic Lime finish product that we offer.  Jim Erskine’s masonry experience spans thirty plus years, and as with most masons, his experience over the years has been primarily with Portland Cement products.  Since  2004 Jim began working with American Clay’s natural interior earth plasters and has since become a strong advocate for all natural finish products.  We’ve learned  Natural Hydraulic Lime is retaking its place on  historic masonry structures, and it is of increasing interest for  a wide range of masonry applications.  Recently we’ve enjoyed two applications on Forno Bravo wood-fired ovens as well as a residential wall foundation.  We’re thrilled with the more natural look, as it takes on the nuances of color from the sunlight of the day and we know it will improve with age and develop a character unlike a traditional cement stucco.

Limeworks products

Not pretending to be an expert on the properties of all the St Astier’s product options I can point you to a Chicago Tribune/ Washington Post interview with Andy deGruchy, president of Limeworks.US  since 2001 and masonry conservation specialist for over 25 years.

DGM Color Kit for Ecologic Lime Mortar prepared with NHL and sand

You’ll learn the difference between hydrated lime and natural hydraulic lime among other interesting historical aspects and views within the construction industry as they relate to lime products. Jim and I first met Andy here in Asheville, as he was demonstrating the application of Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) products over the Hemp Technologies Hempcrete wall sections, of which we have a wall portion displayed in our showroom. NHL breathes with wall systems as they should, not trapping the moisture into cracks and crevices that are a result of concrete construction over time, weakening the structure. Natural Hydraulic Lime is found on some of the oldest historic structures on this earth.  Featured here are a few photos from three recent projects . The first being a wood-fired oven of Rich and Kelly Lytle of North Asheville.

Lytle Residence of Asheville with Natural Hydraulic Lime plaster

This is a Forno Bravo Casa2G90 oven kit, it has high heat refractory cement applied to the joints, high heat retention insulation, lathe, mortar mix, two coats of Ecologic Lime (which is a pre-blended Natural Hydraulic lime including the sand and pigment).  The oven foundation work, oven assembly, oven finishes are all completed by Jim and Tom Silver. The attractive natural stonework is by local stone craftsman David Reed.  The second oven, is our  “slow but sure  progress” on our own oven (still awaiting tile for the arch, counter surfaces and lower stonework).

Oven in progress. Natural Hydraulic Lime- still drying

We chose to add American Clay pigment – two  color packs of Palomino Valley pigments to one bag of NHL 3.5 as a final coat to the process.

Burlap is used to retain the moisture while the St Astier pure and Natural Hydraulic Lime dries.

Lastly, the foundation photos are for a home in the area. Covering a block wall,

Block wall before application

a coat of NHL 3.5 was applied, then the Ecologic pre-blended Natural hydraulic lime.

The appearance is much more natural and appealing than cement stucco. As with the other projects it will continue to harden over the months to come.

Natural Hydraulic Lime finish

For more information on these products as well as natural lime paints, give us a call at The ARCH at 828 253 5455.

You can also look over www.limeworks.us for more information. A discount is provided to buyers if you use The ARCH code.   Give us a call and we’ll gladly provide you with information as well as our code for a product discount.

Application over block foundation wall with NHL 3.5 and Ecologic DGM100

Vermont Natural Coatings- Great Choice to Restore Decks, Siding, and More

Available in Gallons, 5 gallon buckets, and quarts

Unless your deck is totally covered, the access to your deck is paved from all sides, you have no pets, and you wear slippers to walk across your deck- it’s going to get a mean work out- every year.

 Abrasion and the weather elements are going to take it’s toll. North Carolina’s  2010 winter meant frequent snow piled high on our deck- which meant c-o-n-t-a-c-t with the shovel from time to time. We work in the yard a great deal, so unless you have a “shoes off” policy for your deck,  (inside maybe- but the deck?), here again, comes a good bit of dirt,  sand, and  occasional gravel stuck in your soles. Then there’s the intense sun exposure- especially during the summer months. The list goes on… but don’t forget the dog racing back and forth in excitement.

Toenails the Dog

Your deck needs something tough and you need something non-toxic, and we highly highly recommend Vermont Natural Coatings Poly Whey Exterior Finish.  Just last summer  (before we carried Vermont Natural Coatings in our showroom),  we applied “a different” brand that was admittedly toxic-we thought we had picked a “relatively safe” choice among the  selection at a big box store (a very bad decision – and we know better).  Hey, we’ll be applying it outside right? Wrong. Evaporation is not a funny thing when it comes to toxins and I, for one, unfailingly ended up with a headache and this was just one symptom that I was aware of. As for cost? It wasn’t worth it for a minute. A year later our deck looked pretty bad once again, and what’s our health worth?  As dealers of Vermont Natural Coatings since the Fall of 2010, we are thrilled to have a product we have full trust in and continue to receive great feedback about.

Worn out deck refreshed with VNC's Exterior finish with Acorn Brown tint. Previously the deck had a brown stain, of which VNC can be applied over. Keep in mind, this deck has seen a decade of wear. Imagine the finish over a smooth pristine wood surface!

We can’t say enough good stuff about Vermont Natural Coating’s products- all of their products. It feels good knowing we’ve recently put down a really great product. It’s coverage is superb, it’s cost is very reasonable, and it’s a sustainable, durable product. Best of all- when we applied Vermont Natural Coating we experienced NO toxic fumes during or after the application and no headaches to worry about.

Detail of older deck with VNC Exterior finish- Acorn Brown tint

ALSO -great for decks, fences,siding, railings, and outdoor furniture!

We are very excited to now stock Vermont Natural Coatings at The ARCH. We also carry their non-toxic wood cleaner which is safe for all wood surfaces, vegetable-based, and safe for people and pets.

Exterior application instructions

Vermont Natural Coatings was  designated a Top-10 green building product at Greenbuild, the premier annual green building event.

Give us a call at The ARCH at 828 253 5455.  Also, please know we can have the product shipped to you! Hey, Northern Michigan friends- I know what your decks go through!

Customers Share Forno Bravo Wood Fired Oven Progress as Well as Healthy Cooking Passion!

Lenoir, NC Premio 2G 110 Forno Bravo oven

It’s exciting for us to see the progress of  the Forno Bravo oven projects that Jim and Tom have worked on as well as customers. It’s the owners of the ovens that have the final vision to complete!  Some of the finish work and details that may be among the  finish “to-do” list include counter surfaces, lighting, surrounding landscaping, furnishings, cabinetry or metal work for oven tools and other oven accessories.  What can’t be shared here on a computer are the phenomenal smells and flavors. You just have to experience it! Wood-fired ovens are becoming increasingly  popular and one day we hope it to be true that many more ovens will find their place in homes and yards across the country.  It’s not a new idea as depicted in this old painting below. Yet, modern materials such as high temperature refractory cement and tested design forms have made Forno Bravo ovens an excellent choice as they are very efficient ovens which also translates into less wood use.

Many generations ago

The first photo above of the brick oven was built by Jim Erskine and Tom Silver in Lenoir, NC earlier this spring.  It is a solid and stately beauty and there will be some serious cooking, good humor and great fun shared by home owners  David and Mary Ruth Horn.  We hope to provide more details about their cooking adventures in the near future. In fact,  David has been involved in a cooking show called Two Men and a Stove , Fun in the Kitchen with Dave and Ram, who refer to themselves as “chef wannabes” with a focus on healthy eating and movement for overall health. They’ve worked with the Lenoir Fire Department cooking up recipes such as firehouse grilled chicken and firehouse salsa, and much more, all benefiting their community and beyond. We’re hoping to see a wood-fired oven segment!

 

This next photo is an outdoor kitchen in Columbus, NC, by Glen and Marilyn Lefeber.Their oven was shipped directly to them and they were responsible for the project from the ground up.

All the components coming together. Let’s get cooking!

They researched and planned their outdoor wood-fired oven area for quite some time before purchasing their Forno Bravo Casa2G oven and now the finishes are all coming together. With all this wonderful counter space they have ample serving and preparation area.

Glen with some of his first bread loaves from their wood-fired oven.

Glen has been a baker for decades and these are his first bread loaves from their oven.

We plan to share the progress of others if they can put their pizza peels down long enough to take some photos from time to time! We hope to share more images in future entries. Carry on!

For more images of these two oven projects click here.