Tuesday, December 28, 2010

American Clay verses paint - the BEST baby room choice.

When I think of a little baby sleeping in a room for countless hours (hopefully) I can't think of a better wall covering than a 0 VOC application of breathable, all natural American Clay.  All the fumes from paint can't be good!  This room is done in their Marittimo clay product.  I covered their Porcelina product in this post of a 5000 sq foot home we did, and the Loma in this post, so what better to cover the Marittimo in this one! 

Photo credit by Nick Novelli
Marittimo™ is a name created with the "mar" (or "sea") at its core.  Maritimo™ uses recycled, crushed shells from the U.S. Gulf Coast.  This plaster top coat brings the greatest textural surprise of them all. Its faceted luminescence is produced by burnishing and light sponging brings back the spirit of the shells used in this formulation. (taken from American Clay website)

Always expect delight.:-)

This nursery (by Keren Navarro) was a mix of the pigment Kentucky Moon and Wild Horse Smoke.  I adore it!  I could see this blue used in a bathroom or even a dining room with lots of white beadboard and molding. 
American Clay Earthen Plaster not only was a healthy alternative to paint, but added depth and humidity control to the walls.  For a humidity demonstration click highlighted section. 

Be inspired!  American Clay is the best choice!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Artistic American Clay Application

With this project my client wanted to add an accent wall in clay behind her bed.  She asked for something fun with lots of character to add elegance but also liven up the place.  This was not a typical application of the clay but we had a lot of fun doing it. Since my last clay post was about the American Clay product Porcelina, today I'm showcasing a room done in Loma.

"Loma™ The Original Earth Plaster.  Loma™, meaning "earth" in Spanish, conveys the essence of suede through its sensuous matte surfaces resembling the textural delights of a Tuscan farmhouse.  Made with reclaimed marble, sand, and multiple clays, our patented formula offers a remarkable breadth of surface possibilities."  (American Clay website)

Plain Old Boring Bedroom Wall........ (-:


Unique and Vibrant Bedroom Wall......



We achieved this look by putting on a base coat of Acacia in the American Clay product Loma.  Next we put on very random trowel markings in Amber Grain.

As you can tell by looking at my American Clay posts I enjoy pushing the artistic envelope with the product.  I believe we pulled off what the client wanted and made this bedroom something special.

If you would like to see a more step by step tutorial of how to apply American Clay click this post.

Thanks for looking and please contact me for price quotes on making your OWN room unique!
selina (at) fusemail (dot) com

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Furniture Applications and American Clay Contest Details.

A few of you have asked to have more details about the clay lamp and up close pictures of the winning American Clay wall.  I am happy to oblige. 

With the lamp, it came to me with the center being a white PVC plastic tube.  I have no idea why it was like that or what was on there before.  The rest of the lamp is a very nice, heavy duty structure with a stone base and top. 

I painted the plastic with a coat of the sanded primer then I troweled on the American Clay.  In general American Clay colors are not very deep or dark.  The best way to deepen the color is to apply an oil, stucco soap, or sealer over the top.  I decided to actually add paint over the top of the clay.  By doing this it does take away all the breathablity of the clay and turns it from a very natural product back into just another painted product.  But I decided it was just a small lamp and I was willing to change the clay property this one time. 

I also wanted to add some more depth to this lamp and applied a few leaf stencils over the entire pole.  Just put the stencil on (I sectioned off the leaf from the surrounding stencil) - and pull it off.  Let it all dry before applying any other topping (like the paint).

Sealing the clay with a penetrating sealer is always a good idea for projects like this.  It just gives it some hardening aspects.  (I would do this very last!)


Now on to the winning American Clay wall. (The Details)



My client wanted an Old World look.  I started with the American Clay color Acacia in Loma as the base and followed up with a skip trowel technique with more Loma in Acacia.  Once dry I took watered pigment in Tuscon gold, Savannah moss, and a mixture of Savannah moss and palomino valley to create the effect of aged clay - in essence it's like a true fresco - earth pigments on top of the clay as a decorative effect.  I worked it with a stippler brush and burnished it until it was just like she wanted it.  
 
LOMA in ACACIA BASE with mud glue (primer on edges only)
LOMA in ACACIA TOP COAT skip troweled
Earth Pigments in Savannah Moss, Palomino Valley, and Tuscon Gold. Brushed on watered down.

Can you see using this wall as a photography backdrop? - no more bulky canvases!


The clay is so pretty that the client Kira has even used it as a backdrop for her children's photos.  Another professional photographer just contacted me and would like me to do a rich terra cotta clay wall aged in a deep tea stain for a backdrop.   They were just so tired of having to pull out the canvases in their home studio.  Now they can have a timeless wall (that will add to their house value) without all the hassle and clutter of canvases.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

American Clay Art on Canvas




As my love for American Clay continues I try to explore different uses for the product.  I've even gone so far as to coat a lamp out if it. (the center on that lamp used to be a white PVC pipe which is probably why I got it for 10 bucks at a thrift store!)


Today I would like to showcase an art piece I created with the clay and in good 'ol blog fashion try to explain how to........ Do It Yourself.  :-)

First buy yourself a blank art canvas. I bought four canvases 24"x30" which would make the final piece a whoppin 4'x5'!  Michaels craft store carries a lot of sizes. (I've even done this technique on a tiny 8"x11" canvas)


Since American Clay needs something to stick onto I applied a sanded primer to the canvas and allowed it to dry.

Next I covered the entire four canvases with a layer of clay. I would highly recommend doing 2 layers of clay but as you read through my blog you will see I am quite impatient, not a great quality of mine! I compressed the clay extra to make sure it was a solid surface for my stencil.  The canvas needs to be 100% dry before you move onto the next step. (It was starting to dry in this picture.)

Then I applied my stencil.  These very large stencils can be found at Modello Designs - a fabulous design store full of amazing ideas.  Just to warn you though these big babies are expensive! ($300.00+)  You only get to use them one time.  They peel off like a sticker and you apply it to the wall or floor but in this case - a canvas. 



















Next I slather on my alternating color of reddish clay over the stencil, carefully troweling in the direction of the design.  I only did one layer of clay (debated doing two. but you know my impatience thing) and slowly peeled off the stencil (while it was still damp - that wasn't because of impatience, it was because working with it damp seemed easier.) When you peel off the stencil pull it completely flat against working area - do not pull UP! I'm a sucker for the "old world" look so I felt it necessary to "age" my art.  I watered up some earth pigments and used my round stippler brush to age the clay.


All finished!  - just how I wanted it.  Next I will be finding the perfect place for this on a wall.  (Can you imagine it above a jetted bathtub on a terra cotta colored clay wall - maybe this is of things to come??)


If you would like to commission me to do a custom clay art piece for your home please CONTACT ME.  I do understand that the whole DIY thing isn't for everyone and I would be happy to do what I do best for you!
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