Last night I went to a hands on class at Green Conscience Home & Garden shop in Saratoga Springs to learn more about the product American Clay, an environmentally-friendly alternative wall application. It contains no preservatives or fungicides, and yet mildew and mold do not grow on the surface. The clay plasters absorb excess moisture and release it when the air is dry. And the clay also emits negative ions which help neutralize the electromagnetic effect of computers, appliances and synthetic plastics and, will help eliminate static charge so dust, pollen and dander will not stick to the walls. The product is available in more than 30 earthy colors, in four different finishes (Loma, Marittimo, Porcelina and Enjarre).
The plasters come in 50lb bags of dry powdered clay that is then mixed with water. The thick clay is then applied to the wall with a textured roller and troweled across the surface in a thin layer. Two coats are necessary for three of the four available finishes, but the Enjarre only requires one coat, and so due to time constraints, this is the finish we used last night.
The clay plaster is easy to work with, will not dry right away like conventional plaster, it can be highly polished or left heavily textured, and you can use a wide variety of trowel techniques.
American Clay is earthy and warm and ideal for restoration of old homes – which is why I went to the class – a possible application for the kitchen? Maybe. But we’ve been staring at orange paint samples in the kitchen for two months now, and they are really growing on me.