Thursday, January 28, 2010

Learning the Art of Troweling

A couple of weeks ago I took a class to learn how to use American Clay. I was looking for something to expand my mural and decorative painting offerings and started researching plasters. Initially I wanted to use Italian Plasters but then I found a place to learn American Clay close by and signed up. I really enjoyed the class although I must say troweling is NOT easy. I hope to try to use it on a couple of walls in my bedroom and will hopefully hone my skills further with that project. I took the class at Tuscan Impressions. Eve is the owner and a very talented artisan. She was out of town for my class but her husband taught the class and I learned a lot from him, one of the other studio artisans and a professional Italian plasterer also taking the class.

I've since met Eve and she is very friendly and she creates absolutely beautiful Italian plaster finishes and American Clay walls. She can definitely create a creative and beautiful plaster finish in a variety of looks and design styles.

The American Clay is very forgiving and can be easily repaired, even if it gets marked on with crayons or pencils, you can fairly easily remove the marks unlike with paint. Even better it is a natural product that is environmentally friendly and non toxic. Using American Clay in the construction of your home or business can earn you LEED credits as well!

Below are some of my sample boards I created and one I used some decorative techniques on. I look forward to using it on my walls, the only downside as it takes a lot of equipment and tools I don't yet have : ( Oh well.. I don't think my husband will object to me buying more tools!
This is the Loma finish:
Here is the Porcelina. After starting out practicing troweling on the wall I was quickly developing a sinking feeling because it was so hard to catch on. But then I jumped into a bicolor application on smooth Porcelina and it turned out well much to my relief. I think I will stick to Loma and Porcelina finishes for now.

And then the Maritimmo which was actually quite difficult due to the type of finish it results and the necessity to NOT overwork it. I admit I had a good bit of help with this board ; )

And finally what I really want to use this for is the decorative applications. Here are a couple of things I played around with.

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