Hi! I am here today to tell you about 2 products that I enjoyed learning about at the NAEA Convention in the vendor halls. What is the vendor hall at NAEA?
The vendor hall is one of my favorite parts of the convention. I love trying out new art materials, techniques and buying art resources! Here are some of the things I got as samples or purchased in the vendor hall. (Most were free!)
In the vendor hall, I stopped by the Arts & Activities booth where they had large magazine covers displayed. I am standing here in front of the magazine that had my interview and lesson plan with William Wegman!
Some of the vendor booths were very inspiring and colorful!
There were a lot of hands-on demonstrations.
Activa Air Dry Clay
Now I am going to tell you about two of my favorite products from the convention: Activa clay (not the yogurt company) and Jack Richeson Collegiate Metallic watercolor paint. I did not get paid to write about either of these products, but I thought they were cool enough to share with you. I am using some Amazon Affiliate links which provides me a small compensation for your purchases, but adds no extra charge to you!
First, I learned about ACTIVA Plus Natural Self-Hardening Clay from Ruth Post, who is a representative for the company. We have been friends online and had a chance to hang out at the conference. I had actually written off air-dry clay because my students’ projects always break and crumble. She mentioned how wonderful the Activa air-dry clay was and told me I should stop by her booth. Ruth was an elementary art teacher for 30 years (not sure the exact number, but teaching art was her career) and she said she would never promote any product she didn’t think was great.
Here’s me and Ruth at dinner!
Here’s Ruth at the booth!
–Activa Air Dry Clays
Available in a 1lb, 2lb, 3lb, package or 22lb block. What I like about the Activa clay is that it is very easy to work with and feels very much like regular clay. No kiln firing is required. I made this llama at the booth at the conference and managed to take it all the way from Boston, in my backpack, on the plane, without it breaking. I think that says a lot about the clay! When it is cured after “drying” in the air, it is pretty darn hard and solid. I painted my llama with acrylic paints, glitter glue, puffy fabric paint and Sharpie.
Air dry clay is more pricey than regular clay, so I would use it for small projects with the kids. FREE clay lesson tutorials by Little Budding Artist!
Lesson plans available at:
Ruth’s website is: http://littlebuddingartist.com
She also has a Subscription Box available as well using the same air dry clay if you would like to sample it for yourself. Here is the website link: https://www.theclaybox.org
I love watercolor paints and I collect watercolor sets, so of course I had to try out the Jack Richeson watercolor sets. The regular sets were so-so, but then I discovered these metallic watercolor paints by Jack Richeson which are lovely!
To use them, get your brush wet and rub it around a paint circle. While the paint is getting saturated with water, you need to rub the brush around it and work it a little bit to get the pigment to really show strong. It shows up wonderfully on black paper. Many metallic paints look nice on white, but don’t show up well on black paper. These are an exception! The vendor recommended using the Jack Richeson 135# black art paper. This paper is thicker and sturdier and will hold up to watercolor paints better. Here is how the paints look on the Jack Richeson black paper.
I had a student try painting a doodle on regular “heavyweight” construction paper (which isn’t that heavy) and here is how it looks. Not too bad, a bit wrinkly.
The Jack Richeson paper is expensive in my opinion, so I think I will experiment a little more and see if scrapbooking cardstock would hold up to the paints. Painting with the metallics is very mesmerizing and meditative. If the best option for paper is the expensive art paper, you could always cut it up into smaller postcard size and use small paint brushes. The paints are also not cheap, so I would probably buy sets for 2-3 kids to share and only use it for older children.