Talking All-Natural Plasters with American Clay’s Carol Baumgartel and Croft Elsaesser

October 22, 2010

Carol Baumgartel and Croft Elsaesser and  are the mother-and-son team at American Clay, based in New Mexico. Elsaesser had been working with plasters for years as a finisher on building projects, but was feeling the negative effects of the toxins within these products. An all-natural solution became his #1 goal. Baumgartel, who has a fine arts degree in ceramics, was a natural addition to the team, with her full knowledge of clay properties. She quickly recognized that a healthful, eco-friendly solution would not only benefit Elsaesser, but also many others that were suffering as well. The product has expanded beyond high-end residential use to multiple kinds of commercial purposes. “From the beginning, we considered the carbon footprint aspect in the manufacturing — per pound, American Clay has the lowest carbon footprint of almost any commercial material,” Elsaesser reveals. “This is a no-VOC material. It makes for a very healthy space.”