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. The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
American Clay Earth Plaster is a very user-friendly product. You don’t have a time crunch as with lime plasters to consider, it’s healthy to be around, and it’s a pleasant natural product to work with. May we suggest however, that if you involve yourself in an informative (and fun) workshop the learning curve becomes even smoooooother!
Your may find that your clay stays on the hawk better, you’re likely to have a better feel for the ideal thickness of each layer, you’ll know how to approach working corners and edges, and you’ll learn from others in the group. Did I mention- the coffee is great too?!
Everyone is welcome- from novice to professionals and it is affordable! Like with any new product the sharing process between everyone, (and this most certainly includes professionals in some type of finish application trade), – we learn from each other and lots of questions get answered.
Jim Erskine, instructor of the classes held at The ARCH in Asheville, is an “American Clay trained applicator” as well as a mason by trade. He has applied well over 50,000sf of clay and in many different settings. With more than a bit of experience he has had his share of trouble shooting which makes for a great instructor as he’s likely to have more answers for all kinds of applications. (Always helpful).
Jim’s experience doesn’t come from just a single large job- he has worked with and learned from a wide variety of applications such as: all kinds of homes, commercial spaces, historical homes, bathroom ceilings, conference room walls, educational facilities, high walls, tight spaces, stairwells, wine cellars, kitchens, new construction, old construction, chimney chases, applications over brick, over block, over repaired plaster, over dry wall, over Hempcrete, along stone edges, on curvy walls, from rustic settings to contemporary, for happy-go-lucky customers to the more “selective” customer- and the list goes on. He’s worked solo, with other applicators, teamed up with customers or other professionals.
For several years The ARCH has held morning workshops once a month. The half-day workshop is great to learn all the basics, better understand the products, get your hands into it, gain a little extra confidence, and it’s an opportunity to ask a LOT of questions. Most of all participants develop a passion and understanding for clay as a fabulous wall finish. It lasts, it’s breathing, it’s healthy, it feels good, it contributes to LEED points, and it has DEPTH! (My favorite descriptive word is DEPTH!) unlike flat finishes such as paint, clay has a depth. Paint has no “doorway of interest” like clay. In the workshop Jim discusses the different clay types, the new products including Up& EZ which, when added to the clay, can be rolled on and troweled out, he shares examples of samples and walls within the showroom, demonstrates the walls within the showroom, demonstrates the mixing process of the clay and pigment, demonstrates trowel use, how to get a nice consistency with the clay, and much more.
Finally there’s time to play with different finishes and techniques. It’s an easy going product! Easy to apply, pleasant to be around, great to live with.
A customer was in the other day that had taken a class a couple of years ago and is about to begin a second home project with an artistic lime putty wash finish. He shared that he occasionally goes around misting his walls with a fine mist of water just to smell the wonderful earthy aroma that when hydrated slightly will evaporate right back into the air. Oops, he “overshot spraying his plants” – just a pleasant reminder to do it again! Ah, a guy that uses all of his senses.
Monthly 2.5 hour class: To sign up for our monthly class at The ARCH call us directly at 828 253 5455 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 828 253 5455 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Class details listed on American Clay’s workshop schedule Cost: 50.00 per person. Western North Carolina Green Building Council members take 10% off.
Full day class: With enough participants we can arrange a full-day class. Look for future postings of this class. If we don’t have one scheduled and you’d like a full day class- call us and it’s our motivator to arrange this class. Cost will be 125.00.
Artistic application workshop coming this Fall. Available to those that have previously worked with American Clay.
Professional 2 day class. Cost 500.00. To be arranged based on interest level. This class is for those interested in becoming a trained applicator, or adding it to your professional offerings. Call us!
Have an American Clay plaster project coming up? We’re planning an evening workshop party for free- the only requirement being that you purchase a minimum of 100.00 in American Clay products the evening of the workshop or within the month prior to the workshop.The pizza, beer and workshop are on us! No kidding! (…and the pizza won’t come out of a cardboard box).
A non-refundable deposit of 25.00 toward the minimum product purchase at the time of registration will be collected. (To be applied toward the minimum product purchase).
Workshop date: Friday, January 7th 6-9 PM
If interested- call The ARCH at 828 253 5455 or email email@example.com.
This workshop will be limited to the first 8 people that sign up. We ‘ll be sharing stations, but, hey, you can have a pizza slice or two and a brew between applications. The schedule may look something like this:
- Arrive with time to socialize 6PM
- Jim’s intro to products to be used for the evening
- Product discussion, how to prep wall surfaces, first coat application demo,
- Your turn: Half try their hand (and trowel), other half eat pizza. Switch.
- Second coat demo, how to compress and repairs. (probably will have to fit all of this to be sure you’re listening)
- Half try their hand, other half eat more pizza. Switch.
- The beauty of the night is a bonus for this workshop! Introduction to the newest Up and EZ roll on product. Demo on wall area.
- Your turn to try the new Up and EZ.
- More experimentation with pigments, techniques, and play with the clay for a little longer.
- More pizza and beer
- Purchase project needs
- Lights out
Here’s some photos from a recent workshop:
January’s workshop will include a larger wall expanse for the new Up and EZ Clay and the process involves a few basic steps as seen in these close up images: