American Clay Creates Surface Competitive with Gypsum; Passes "Penny Test"

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Earlier this year, American Clay Earth Plaster created the Dos Manos application system, delivering a milestone in earth plaster application by eliminating the Primer step. Now, the newest formulation from American Clay, the natural finish for interior walls and ceilings, has become the basis for their hardest finish yet. The recently launched Marittimo, which uses reclaimed shells as its base, combines with the company’s Add Mix to produce a surface that can compete with the hardness of gypsum. The company that has taken “green” to a finer level without sacrificing its eco-goals continues to evolve their products and processes to exceed builder and consumer market demands.

Earlier this year, American Clay Earth Plaster created the Dos Manos application system to augment the Traditional System, delivering a milestone in earth plaster application by eliminating the Primer step, thereby greatly cutting labor costs.

Now, the newest formulation from American Clay, the natural finish for interior walls and ceilings, has become the basis for their hardest finish yet. The recently launched Marittimo, which uses reclaimed shells as its base, combines with the company’s Add Mix to produce a surface that can compete with the hardness of gypsum. The company that has taken “green” to a finer level without sacrificing its eco-goals continues to evolve their products and processes to exceed builder and consumer market demands.

In June, just prior to debuting Marittimo at the PCBC trade show in San Francisco, AC Founder & CEO Croft Elsaesser and VP of Quality Control and co-Founder Shaylor Alley were experimenting more with the Marittimo, which had been two years in the making. They decided to mix in the company’s Add Mix, which they then applied and hand-troweled Out of curiosity and discussing the durability of different products, Croft took a penny and scraped it, and discovered that it was the PENNY that got damaged! There was a mark on the test panel of Marittimo, but more like a scrape that was easily rubbed out with his fingertips. This became the primary repeated American Clay demo at PCBC this year, with consistent results.

“The primary historic concern about clay plaster is its lack of durability, especially for commercial or major-builder use,” says Elsaesser. “We’ve continued to counter that complaint through regular R&D which has led to the introduction of the Dos Manos method and now this new mixture. We’ve also found that adding the Add Mix to our original Loma and to Porcelina creates formulas just as durable…thereby meeting the needs and requirements of production builders.”

“The confidence I have in the folks at American Clay is very important as an applicator. I have found that they constantly improve their products and process, looking for superior suppliers for starting materials and adding new products that make projects easier, and make my work more effective.” says Colorado Springs installer Deb Hall.

About American Clay

American Clay products are applied much like a conventional plaster finish, but with none of the intrinsic problems of gypsum or cementitious plasters. There is no off-gassing or inherent waste on-site. Moreover, the plaster is non-flammable, gives additional masonry mass in rooms, resists mold growth, absorbs sound, provides humidity buffering, and is easily repairable. It is a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments that offers builders and consumers a natural and elegant option.

American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is based in Albuquerque, NM, and its product is patent pending. The product and various workshops are available through their New Mexico office or through one of the growing number of retailers and distributors across the U.S. The website, http://www.americanclay.com, offers information on additional products, ordering, technical specifications, product application and additional resources and links.

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Julie Du Brow
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