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Posts Tagged ‘American Clay’

Industrial Space Provides New Possibilities For The Arch!

December 12, 2014 1 comment

The Arch has moved once again!  We’ve moved into a space that at one time was the old power house of what long ago serviced the Burlington Industries textiles manufacturing plant but is now The Riverside Business Park.  We moved just  a few hundred feet from our previous location within the park so if you’re looking  at a GPS map, that famous little red arrow marker points to the same spot!

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How many layers of paint were here?

The building definitely presented us with some huge challenges, but with all the  meandering metal pipes and metal boxes- (most of which I have no idea of their functions),  they are now part of the overall “industrial look” that we simply work with..or around.

ceiling

Reminds me of an old greasy oven

Fortunately we have maintained the same contact address   as we simply moved “Unit 10” with us.
The space was clearly in very sad condition before we moved into it as you can see from these “before” photos. The many shades of paint and crumbling ceiling raised more than one eyebrow when we considered the space originally, in fact, at first, I for one, said ” NO”!
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Doors being installed

 Then gradually, with the help of the park, and a closer look at the space, we accepted the challenge and recognized that it is going to function well for us. The high ceiling, natural light, upper loft work area and the outside awning are positive attributes of the space. Front doors were added, zero VOC paint was sprayed throughout the space, we built in some upper loft half walls and Jim wasted no time applying American Clay on a few of the walls (..there’s always more walls to cover with this amazing clay!). We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re here and we welcome everyone!

Alan Tilson with Indow Windows is in the upper loft (come in and discuss these energy efficient interior window inserts),  and Roxanne’s  “satellite” location for Amazing Capes takes up the other wing. !!! Check out her website too!
We have easy parking and the same great sustainable products and some new additions such as this sweet small portable stainless steel wood fired outdoor oven shown below.
Some of what The Arch offers: American Clay Earth Plaster and workshop offerings, Forno Bravo  ovens and outdoor fireplace units for residential and commercial locations, Bella Outdoor Living wood fired ovens,  one of Asheville’s best selections of sustainable flooring, Vermont Natural Coatings for floors, furniture, decks and exterior siding,  home accents and art tile.
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Getting things into place. More finishes to apply!

Shown here are some home accents such as doorbells, switchplates, and natural beeswax candles.

Shown here are some home accents such as doorbells, switchplates, and natural beeswax candles.

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Under the awning there’s much to do, but soon we’ll be featuring an outdoor kitchen and hold demos with our wood- fired ovens! Benches and planters will be added.

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Come in and see our newest oven featured: Bella Outdoor Living NanoC22 wood fired premium stainless steel oven!

In our next blog post we plan to share images of The Nano C22 in action, fired up under the outside awning. We’ll be  cooking some delicious appetizers! We are taking orders ( on the ovens), so come on in and take a look! There are larger units and drop-in options. Call us for details. 828 253 5455

Visit us at our new location at The Arch, 2000 Riverside Drive  Unit 10, Asheville, NC 28804    http://www.thearchnc.com  828 253 5455  cmsilver@thearchnc.com Visit our website for hours of operation.

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.

American-Clay-Room-Scene-Watermark-31-MD

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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.

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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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American Clay’s Humidity Buffering Qualities Contributes to Healthy Air Quality From Bathrooms to Wine Cellars

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

The growing interest and importance of air quality continues to reinforce  our great feeling about American Clay Earth Plaster. We are confident that it is good for us and the air we breathe!  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.

Arlington VA Clay application by Roxanne. A welcoming American Clay finish provides benefits for humidity control or "buffering".

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 the 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 large3’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. Not a spec!  The mildew completely avoided the clay.  If ever conditions were ripe for mildew this was it.  We cleaned up the wood and put them in dry storage and years later they still have no mold on them. (I wish I had taken a photo).    The following diagrams portray how American Clay provides humidity buffering in your home or business.  (Click on diagrams to enlarge text).

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.

Beautiful wine cellar with American Clay walls

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

Hey, where's the wine? Jim- applied clay in wine cellar in CIEL residence

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

Prevent mold on corks with proper humidity control

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!  We asked several customers how their wine cellars are doing after the applying the clay years earlier.

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

Mica Village open-air lobby with American Clay. A welcoming finish for a welcoming lobby

Lastly, I  have shared this open-air  lobby area before, but is a true testament 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!

Give us a call anytime to discuss your project.

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

Click here for a  humidity demonstration done by American Clay.

American Clay Workshops – Take it From The Pro- It’s Always Worth it!

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.Room to play

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).

Everyone  works with the application of a first coat, then a second coat, compression of the clay, then we touch on working corners, edges, and repairs.

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.

Mastering the first coat

Confidence building!

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.

Jim discussing technique with applicators

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.

Cleaning off the hawk. Natural and safe

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.

CLASS INFO:
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: cmsilver@thearchnc.com. 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!

Hand Finished, Hand Made, Brings Details Together For Small Bathroom

Handmade tiles, cast bronze switchplate, American Clay plaster

Waiting for the details you like for a room is well worth it.  So often it is evident that a room is “rushed” with whatever the “deciding forces” gather together just to have it all finished. That “hurry  up and finish attitude” often lacks a little vision. To me, it’s worth waiting on something that you know you are going to like and ENJOY!

Take the tiles in this small bathroom for example. They were selected to compliment the clay walls and woodwork which tied together the entire vanity area in a pleasant way.

  The room has a lovely American Clay finish (Clay type:Loma, pigment- Amber Grain).

It is a joy to live with – as it breathes with the humidity beautifully.  The mirror had been positioned on a “temporary” wood brace, just waiting for it’s friendly art tile to arrive one day.

Well, the tile recently arrived, as we ordered from one of the talented artists at The ARCH.

Detail

 We simply drew a line in the clay, scraped off with a scraper the area where the tile would fit within.

Removing clay in area to be tiled. Easy!

We taped off a few areas and installed the tiles.  Any slight touch ups in the clay can be made with the original clay- just re-hydrate what came off the wall(!), or we will use some from a container saved from the original application.

So there you have it, a small area revitalized where  all the natural elements work together.

Newsletter featuring this installation: May Newsletter 2011

Available at The ARCH:

American Clay plaster, application services

Knob detail on the cabinet by Notting Hill

Switchplate in cast bronze

Soy candles, plantlife soap

“Beauty in the Glaze” Blog – more on tiles featured.

Asheville and Surrounding Mountains Inspire American Clay Colors at The ARCH

Cades Cove Mist Inspires Green

American Clay has a beautiful palette of colors to choose from of which we have been happily working with since 2004 and The ARCH stocks the entire selection, but we wanted to begin adding a few more of our own that work well with area projects and are derived from local inspiration!  As you can see, there are many colors within each of these images, and  likely you can match the images to the six labeled samples. Sunlight plays into our mountains and reflects on our buildings all day, every day, so we are having a good time with our local colors and this process.

As mentioned in our newsletter (look for it April 12th- I’m ahead of myself), American Clay color specialist Carrie Williar, helped me get this project started and provided the first set. We do play around with pigments and  additives such as Mica here at The ARCH as we’ve been developing our eye for colors and we’ve seen quite a few variations with the pigments over the years, but if you want a specific interest, give us a call and we can discuss how to go about getting custom colors and finishes.  Keep in mind that every color isn’t going to be possible to match  -especially the brightest colors.   I’ve collected a number of local photographs to explore including: the Double Decker Bus Red,  Beer City Amber,  Shindig Green, City Hall Roof,  and the list goes on.   Send us your ideas!

  • Developing Palette of Local Colors
  • Appalachian Gray

    Mica Factory Gray

    S&W Facade

    Great Smoky Haze

    Arcade Facade

    Sheltered Mica Village Open-Air Lobby is Sweet on American Clay

    February 11, 2011 1 comment

    Lobby Entrance to Mica Village Lofts

    A few years ago a customer purchased clay for an outdoor lobby entry area  for the  interesting  Mica Village Lofts project in Asheville.  I’ve dropped by the Mica Village several times  and am pleased to report that the finish continues to perform beautifully.  I love what was accomplished with the entire building and the colors of the old factory standing tall against the village condos is an artistic canvas in itself.

    Restoration at It's Best

    This outdoor lobby area is roofed and protected so it doesn’t experience direct water, but as you can see only about ten feet away there can be a torrential downpour of rain or blowing snow and the moisture that circulates throughout the area simply breathes in and out of the finish as moisture is simply a good companion to the time honored clay.  The restored iron window frames have no panes and invite the breezes into the space.

    Prior to the renovation,  the building was in near ruins as the French Broad River flood rampaged through the entire lower area. Condo spaces are now in use at a second level above the flood plain. Parking and the lobby area are at the ground level. The building includes salvaged architectural elements of the original Mica Factory and is an environmental success story.   Over 60% of the building materials used in this project were reclaimed from the original Mica Plant.

    From time to time I hear from someone that works with other finish materials that express- yes- you can spray with a fire hose.  Well, though you can’t spray clay plaster with a fire hose it can be compressed to be a very hard finish. I love the clay because it lives and breathes with the environment,  the pigment is integral throughout the product, and can be easily repaired  with extra clay from the project. For commercial and high traffic locations, there are additional options including the use of natural binders and clay with additional aggregate. In a setting where there WILL be frequent child’s sticky fingers running along the wall we sealed two restaurant walls approaching a restroom area at our friend’s Artisan Catering Restaurant. We didn’t hesitate to apply clay above my tiled shower walls in two different bathrooms where on a daily basis moisture is it’s friend.

    Here’s a  moisture demonstration from American Clay  if you’d like to see how moisture behaves  in a 1×1 foot box that is painted, versus one that has clay.

    For more information about  American Clay visit our showroom. We offer workshops as well.