Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eco - Luxury Style ... the Beauty of Natural Earth Plaster

You just can't get any more natural than earth!

It also happens to be one of the products that I most love in an interior to build upon ...

It isn't just the visual aesthetics of the product that makes it luxurious, but the physical qualities that is felt by your own senses. I have used this product and I would include it in almost all my interior projects if the budgets of my clients allowed. When you enter a space with the natural clay wall finish you immediately feel the coolness of the plaster. And since it is reported to give off negative ions, it also creates a feeling of wellness. I was originally struck by the subtle beauty of the product from photographs, but it wasn't until I actually first used it on a client's project that I experienced the material to it's fullest impact.

The color palette has a wide range of pigments to select from, and of course mixing can be done to achieve custom hues. There are also various textures that you can select from.

There are various sources for natural earth plasters, but the one that I have used and therefore can recommend is American Clay out of Albuquerque

Even though many of the pictures in their photo gallery reflect the Southwest style of architecture, there are several that indicate how the plaster looks in contemporary settings, old world style interiors and even a Nantucket style interior. (All photos are from the American Clay gallery)

(taken from American Clay's website)

Negative Ions

Many things in nature hold a negative charge, and humans living close to nature are accustomed to being surrounded by a negative charge in the air, or Negative Ions. Inside today's modern homes and offices there are computers, electrical appliances, electric cords, LEDs and synthetic plastic products (which includes most modern wall coverings like latex paint), all of which produce and maintain a positive charge in the air. Normal ion count in fresh country air is 2,000 to 4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. At Yosemite Falls, you'll experience over 100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. On the other hand, the level is far below 600 per cubic centimeter in an average home, and in a windowless office with computers it can be zero.

Natural clay maintains an incredibly dense molecular structure and shape, giving it the capacity to produce a self-generated negative charge upon hydration. Even the simple evaporation of water from clay has the capacity to produce negatively charged particles in the air. This means that when your walls breathe, or hydrate slightly with changes in humidity and slowly dry out, your interior space is being steeped in negative ions.

Negative ions are proven to produce positive biochemical reactions in humans. A negative charge in a space acts on our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen, causing us to have more energy and feel invigorated. Negative ions also have been proven to increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our feelings of well being.

Surrounding your interior environment with unsealed clay plasters, or clay paints, that produce Negative Ions will not only help neutralize the electromagnetic effect created by computers, appliances and synthetic plastics, but also will help eliminate static charge on walls. Your walls stay clean and will not attract dust! Also, by having clay plaster on a wall, you are helping to filter air of pollen and dander. The negative charge emitted by clay causes particulates in the air to clump together and literally fall to the floor where they can be vacuumed up.

The capacity of clay plaster to "breathe" and release negative ions is unique and not found in any other wall covering on the market today. Concrete, Gypsum, Marble, Lime, and decorative acrylic plasters do not release negative ions, breathe with changes in humidity, or resist dust. American Clay is unique in its ability to literally alter a space for the benefit of those inhabiting it!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Terri, these spaces are beautiful... I like that staircase with the table under the window. This site has a great message and I applaud your style for showcasing these products. I'm going to add this one also to the blog list at Garvinweasel... which is in Tennessee.