Diana of Clementine Art on Eco-Art Supplies


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A longtime children’s art teacher, Diana Mercer began
making her own line of art supplies — Clementine Art — as a safe and ecological
alternative to commercially available materials. Join me in learning about her reasons and her products.

***Note: Readers will have a chance to win a set of six Clementine Art paints at the end of this interview.***

JEAN: 
Diana, I understand that you used to teach art to children. Can you tell
us about that? What was it like having an art studio for kids?


DIANA:  I loved it with all of my heart. I started my
teaching career in the kindergarten classroom and was lucky to teach in a
small, progressive school that valued the development of the whole child; head,
hand and heart. I was free to teach through play, and to weave all kinds of
colorful, rich, and vibrant art and music experiences into our days. During
this experience, I began to dig deeper into the idea of process art for
children and I learned more about the philosophies of Bev Bos, MaryAnn Kohl,
Rudolph Steiner and Reggio Emilia that encouraged children to explore,
experiment, and express with beautiful, natural materials and lots of freedom. 


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I opened Clementine Studio in 2003 because it seemed clear to me that modern
children weren’t getting enough time to ‘play around’ in an unstructured way
with lovely art materials. Most of the artistic choices available on the retail
shelves seemed skewed toward creativity-free and direction-heavy craft projects;
choices that struck me as inauthentic and contrived. I wanted children to have
a place for open-ended explorations that provided thoughtful support,
interesting art materials, and a lovely environment.

JEAN: 
Will you share a bit about your decision to create your own line of
ecological art materials?


IMG_0503 DIANA:
  During a tot’s art class at Clementine
Studio, my art space in Boulder, CO, a parent discovered that her toddler had
placed a spring green paintbrush in her mouth, much like a lollipop. We both
flinched as the paint smeared around her little girl’s lips, fully coating the
inside of her mouth. Springing to action, we rinsed and wiped her daughter
clean. This mother turned to me with a worried look and asked, “Is this really
ok?”
 
“Our paint is non-toxic.” I replied with assurance.  For more than 20
years as a teacher, I had understood that non-toxic is as good as it gets for
children’s art supplies. The label ‘non-toxic’ means that a product is not
related to any toxin or poison. I am confident that this means it will not kill
anyone. For many years, The American National Standards Institute (ASTM) has
been certifying that art supplies meet non-toxicity standard ASTM D-4236 and
that any toxins will be clearly listed on the label.
  
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has this to say: Parents and
others buying art materials, school supplies and toys such as crayons, paint
sets, or modeling clay should be alert and purchase only those products which
are accompanied by the statement "Conforms to ASTM D-4236."
 
Like many people, I have lately become concerned about the environment and more
aware of health issues as they relate to my food, cosmetics, and other consumer
choices, I buy organics when I can, bring grocery bags to the store with me,
and ride my bike instead of getting in the car so often.
 
After the paint-in-the-mouth incident, I felt besieged by unanswered questions
about what children’s paint is made of. I wondered why the ingredients aren’t
available to me on the label? The colors, odor, and seemingly infinite shelf
life of children’s paint made me wonder what kind of chemicals, synthetic dyes,
and preservatives were contained in my non-toxic bottle of paint.
  
As a consumer, I have been concerned by news that widely distributed toys from
China were discovered to contain excess levels of lead paint; that children’s
dough is reportedly made using a petroleum base; and that art materials contain
synthetic dyes that have been linked to a wide variety of health issues in
children including allergies, ADHD, and a variety of cancers. In fact, The
Center for Science in the Public Interest just published a report entitled
Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks
urging the FDA to ban the use of artificial colors. 


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I love art, and children. As an art teacher, I want to provide children with
safer choices. On my short list, I’d like a product that is made with natural
ingredients that I can pronounce. I’d like to purchase them from a company that
is honest enough to list their ingredients right on the package. I want
art materials that are safe for children, and the environment. 

Clementine Art was founded on the principle that we can do better for children.
Clementine is committed to providing all natural, and non-toxic art
supplies for children made from simple, and wholesome ingredients. 

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JEAN: 
What was the process like in coming up with the recipes, creating them,
testing them… Did it take over your kitchen and your life?

DIANA:  Oh my, yes. It did take over my life…in a
good way. I felt a bit like a mad scientist, but the process was fun,
challenging, and much harder than you might imagine. Natural colorants
are notoriously unstable, so finding the right mix of stability, acidity, ph
balance, texture, and natural preservative was interesting, and often
surprising. One time, I made a big batch of lovely purple dough,  and then
went for a walk. By the time I had returned an hour later, the purple dough had
turned into another color completely (sort of a pinkish grey…). The ph was
wrong and it turned out that that particular color was very ph sensitive.

Did it take over my kitchen?  Yes indeed!  I am still scraping wax
splatters off my cabinets, my measuring spoons have been donated to the
Clementine cause since they are so coated in wax, and my car stubbornly smells
of natural cranberry extract after I spilled an entire bottle in there. We have
moved into a warehouse for research and development, and now have US based
product manufacturers who are in charge of the messy work now, thank goodness. 


ClementineCherryCreek026 JEAN: 
Can you tell us about the ingredients in your own Clementine Art products versus what is in commercially available art supplies?
 

DIANA:  All of Clementine’s products are made with
all natural ingredients, no chemical dyes or colorants, and no petroleum
products. We are the first company to list all of our ingredients right on the
box so that you can see for yourself what’s in them. More specifically, our
crayons are made with earth based, oxide mineral pigments which means they have
been simply treated with heat to get their vibrant colors. The crayons and
rocks are also made with soy and beeswax instead of paraffin wax, a petroleum
product. Our paint contains pigment, water and vinegar as a gentle
preservative, while who knows what’s in conventional paints? Our glue is a
strong, clear craft glue made with wheat starch, and our markers are colored
only with plant and vegetable dyes like elderberry, turmeric, and annatto. Our
modeling dough is made with many of the ingredients found in freshly baked
bread, and colored with spinach, turmeric and other natural colors. I’ve been
trying to find out what’s in conventional dough for several years, with no
luck. Here’s a link to our podcast on the subject.

JEAN: 
If you could encourage parents to seek out an alternative to one
commercially available art material, what would it be and why?

DIANA:  I would personally be most concerned about
the product that spends the most time on the skin, like finger paints, modeling
dough, and markers. Our skin is our largest organ and is used to both
eliminate, and absorb, toxins and chemicals. 


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JEAN: 
What role does education (of parents/consumers/teachers) play in your
mission?


IMG_0439 DIANA:
  One of our most important goals is to
encourage the development of creative families. I’ve seen a lot of parents who
are hesitant to bring creative explorations into the home because they don’t
feel creative themselves. I hope, through helpful articles, resources, and art
ideas, to take some of the mystery out of art development and to introduce
children and parents to an artistic life, well-lived.

Raising the issue of natural
ingredients is always an education – for ourselves and hopefully, for our
customers. We believe that the bar has been set too low for children’s art
products and the status quo is to simply accept what’s available. We’ve been
wondering, and we hope our parents will join us, why we don’t have more
information about what ingredients are in children’s art products. In the
meantime, Clementine will continue to provide clean, wholesome art products for
children with a level of transparency and honesty about our ingredients that is
unsurpassed.

JEAN: 
Anything else you’d like to add?

DIANA:  I believe everyone is an artist…even if you
don’t feel like you can draw a dog that looks like a dog… Realism is
only one genre of expression. There are many ways to enjoy texture, color,
shape, and design in a more abstract, free, and expressive way.

JEAN: 
Thanks so much for sharing, Diana! Hearing your story and what has led you to start Clementine Art and your line of child-friendly, eco-art products is a first step for many of us.

Visit Clementine Art to learn more about, or purchase, her art supplies. Diana also has a blog, darling clementine, where she shares fun, process-oriented art projects featuring clementine art products (such as these melted crayon monoprints or these summer paintsicles). You can also follow her on facebook.

—–


Paintretouchedsmall

Readers who leave a comment to this interview by Thursday, July 15th at 12 midnight EST will be entered in a random drawing to win this set of six tempera paints by Clementine Art. They are colored with Mayan mineral earth pigments and are free from chemical dyes and petrochemicals.

The random number picked #108 so Leslie wins the set of paints.

We are
JUST starting art, these would be GREAT!!!

I just heard from Diana that she's willing to offer another set of the paints to a second winner!! The random number generator picked #2 this time, so Emma wins the second set.

what great
products, I'd love to try these out with my kids – thanks for the
giveaway!! :)


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205 Comments

  • Reply
    jen
    July 12, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Love Clementine Art products. I first found them at Whole Foods in Toronto and we use the crayons and (happily) now the glue at home! Also have tried the lovely play clay!
    Would be delighted to try these paints, they look fantastic.

  • Reply
    Emma
    July 12, 2010 at 7:41 am

    what great products, I’d love to try these out with my kids – thanks for the giveaway!! :)

  • Reply
    Katy
    July 12, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Wow! This would be fantastic for our little ones. The baby needs paint!

  • Reply
    diber
    July 12, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I LOVE this!!! I’ve been intrigued by natural coloring for awhile
    now.

  • Reply
    Butterfly Nest
    July 12, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Thanks for this interview…. I’m just discovering the world of “natural” art supplies (and other things :) and need all the suggestions and help I can get! I’ll definitely check out her site :)

  • Reply
    Susan
    July 12, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I also have always assumed that “non-toxic” was as good as it gets. I’m glad to hear of people who are questioning that!

  • Reply
    Michele N.
    July 12, 2010 at 7:56 am

    These look beautiful! I would love my kiddos to give them a try.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 12, 2010 at 8:10 am

    We love the Clementine soy crayon rocks – they are so smooth! Would really love to try the Clementine paints (especially with our new easel!). Thanks for the chance to win (and thanks Ms. Mercer for developing a better product that allows them to be creative and safe at the same time).

  • Reply
    melissa
    July 12, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I saw crayons make by Clementine at a Starbucks once. By the time I got back to that particular store (after thinking it over and consulting with the kids) they were gone and none of the employees had a clue about them. It was a sad, sad day for me.

  • Reply
    Sarah F
    July 12, 2010 at 8:18 am

    these products sound wonderful! i’ve also had the paint-in-mouth scare and would so appreciate setting up my little one with these supplies instead!

  • Reply
    Lesley
    July 12, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Love it!

  • Reply
    frivolitea
    July 12, 2010 at 8:38 am

    oh my goodness please enter me in this drawing for the paints! sounds like great products!

  • Reply
    Elissa
    July 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

    What a lovely and valuable resource! My daughter (and I) would love to try these out! Thanks for this!

  • Reply
    Lisa {milkshake}
    July 12, 2010 at 8:57 am

    What a great idea. I love the packaging, too!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    July 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Fantastic giveaway! My girls would love to try out some new paints!

  • Reply
    Allison
    July 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

    THANK YOU, Diana!!! You are a diamond in the rough & I am very grateful that there are people out there who care about more than getting rich off of mass producing toxic products for our children.

  • Reply
    Sally
    July 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I hadn’t seen these before now, so thanks for the introduction! My little artist would be thrilled to have some new paints!

  • Reply
    michaela
    July 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

    What a great giveaway – and now I need to worry about toxic kids’ art supplies. Sigh….

  • Reply
    Maria
    July 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I’m so impressed by these products and the commitment this woman has made to safe alternatives for children’s art materials! Thank you for featuring her!

  • Reply
    [email protected] Relaxo
    July 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I would love to try these.

  • Reply
    rae
    July 12, 2010 at 9:07 am

    i am thrilled to know of these products! thanks for the opportunity! ;)

  • Reply
    tammy
    July 12, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I am so happy that there are more natural products becoming available. Thank you for sharing your findings and a chance to win some paint!

  • Reply
    Pichet
    July 12, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I desperately need art supplies, especially quality ones like those. Thank you for this giveaway.

  • Reply
    Dawn Lange
    July 12, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Wow, I am blown away by what she is doing!! Her art supplies look fantastic.

  • Reply
    Alison
    July 12, 2010 at 9:19 am

    This is awesome. I have green leanings in what I buy and always wondered about the art supplies that I buy. I’m glad to know about these products.

  • Reply
    shanna
    July 12, 2010 at 9:20 am

    We have a now “mishmash” of the clay and would love the paints!
    It’s always nice to see a face behind the product.
    Thanks for the interview!!

  • Reply
    Shelby
    July 12, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Oh, how my kids would love these! Thank you!

  • Reply
    FroggyMama
    July 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Wow – what a wonderful interview! Those paints look absolutely divine. The colors are so beautiful. Thank you for the great opportunity!

  • Reply
    August
    July 12, 2010 at 9:57 am

    How exciting! My daughter is 16 months so a lot ends up in her mouth still which makes me nervous to do art projects with her until she’s older. At the same time this is such a beautiful age to explore colors, textures, and getting messy:) this line is wonderful- thank you!!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    July 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

    how exciting! these are beautiful. excellent timing – my 1 year old is suddenly very excited about art – markers, paint, anything she sees her older brother doing, so i have been meaning to investigate some resupplying of more eco friendly supplies :) fingers crossed for the giveaway!

  • Reply
    Susan
    July 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Oh, these look beautiful! Thank you for this interview and this opportunity.

  • Reply
    Heather N
    July 12, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for the giveaway. I would just LOVE to win the paints. I have been trying to switch to more natural products as I find them. Having a child really changes your perspective!!!

  • Reply
    Kristin
    July 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Some interesting information there – thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Karen
    July 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Clementine Crayons are the best we have used. I was afraid that non-toxic art products would mean sacrificing the colors, but I was wrong. The colors are vivid, the crayons are smooth, and they’re a pleasure to work with.

  • Reply
    Julie
    July 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I found this interview really interesting. I hadn’t really considered what goes into paint etc. before and if I would be happy with a child eating it. Thank you.

  • Reply
    andrea
    July 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

    i’ve been curious about these products! seen them at the local whole foods, but have yet to buy! what a great opportunity this would be to win some! thanks!

  • Reply
    Jennie
    July 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Wow what a great product. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Reply
    Alison
    July 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I would love to try these out! I’ve seen the play clay at the store but hadn’t taken the time to read about it before. After this interview, I think I will be buying some when I don’t have time to make my own.

  • Reply
    Erica
    July 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for introducing me to these products– they look fantastic!!

  • Reply
    www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1484358327
    July 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Would love to win! They look so Yummy!!!!! Thanks for this amazing giveaway!!!

  • Reply
    Carrie at Rhubarb Sky
    July 12, 2010 at 10:51 am

    How wonderful! So glad to see such wonderful products for the kiddos.

  • Reply
    kiko
    July 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Wonderful giveaway!! Perfect for our summer projects!

  • Reply
    CindyC
    July 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I recently heard about Clementine Art and would love to try their products!

  • Reply
    Jane Maritz
    July 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

    These look like great products!
    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  • Reply
    Heidi
    July 12, 2010 at 11:23 am

    This was yet another fantastic interview…I learned so much! Thanks for sharing with us Jean! :)

  • Reply
    Amie
    July 12, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I love my Clementine paints! I also just bought some wax paper to try one of your projects! Thank you for caring so much about the environment and the safety of children. ~Amie

  • Reply
    Brandi Long
    July 12, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Since our schools are cutting our arts and creative classes next year, I’m starting Art and Photography classes next spring for kids 4-17 in my hometown. Collecting supplies now. Would love to try these paints.

  • Reply
    vegbee
    July 12, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I think most readily available art supplies for children (don’t even think about stuff geared towards adults) are suspicious at best. I’m very excited about Clementine Art products, count me in :)

  • Reply
    Bobbi
    July 12, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if ALL paint companies had this kind of natural commitment? I’d love some paints to try with my girl who eventually likes to body paint every time we paint! Any idea why the Clementine markers don’t say they are washable?

  • Reply
    Maureen
    July 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Wow – you can tell by the number of comments this is a popular product. I’d so love to win the set of paint – their stuff is gorgeous (and I love the packaging). Thanks, Maureen (jnomaxx at hotmail dot com)

  • Reply
    Jessamyn
    July 12, 2010 at 11:39 am

    As always, a wonderful and informative post about art-making with our kids. You’re our favorite blog to “raid” for ideas–thanks!

  • Reply
    Cassandra
    July 12, 2010 at 11:51 am

    It’s really inspiring to see someone taking on such a huge project!! Thank you, thank you for providing such a great alternative!

  • Reply
    Chandra
    July 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I saw some of these products at the store the other day. I’d be curious to try them out with my son.

  • Reply
    Jill
    July 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for this fantastic interview. Ms. Mercer has given us all a gift with her research and vigilance in producing these products. The Clementine colors are beautiful and clear and the products are very appealing in their design. Whoever wins the paint set will be lucky indeed – we hope it’s us :)

  • Reply
    erica
    July 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

    great interview – and these will be ordered for my almost one year old artist:)
    thanks for the chance to win these, too!

  • Reply
    Kerstin
    July 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I will definitely have to try out some of these art supplies with my little ones!

  • Reply
    jbe
    July 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Now that I’m working part-time, I’m trying to do more creative activities with my two girls. Diane’s comment about the parent not feeling creative definitely hit’s home for me. I’ve really enjoyed your blog as a starting point for new projects and would love to add these paints to our increasing collection of art supplies.

  • Reply
    Anna
    July 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I have seen these products before on the web, it’s nice to hear from the creator!!!! Thanks for a chance to win some of her products!

  • Reply
    Melia
    July 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I would love to have the crayon rocks for my 2 year old. Love the natural art supplies! Thanks for the chance to win some!

  • Reply
    lizabeth
    July 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    i am so happy and encouraged to see that quality art products for children can be made from natural (and truly) nontoxic materials. looking forward to trying out some of the products and spreading the word!

  • Reply
    Dina
    July 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you so much for the interview. And thank you for Diana who dedicated her time to create such wonderful products for us. We use your soy crayons & glue. Would love to try your other products.
    http://blog.madewithbliss.com

  • Reply
    Amy
    July 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Thank you for this interview and for the CPSI article on food dyes!! We’re starting an art coop group and have been searching for materials that won’t pose health risks to our 3 and 4 year olds ~ I’d love to try these paints. I am also so inspired by the many wonderful projects on the Clementine Art blog, we’ll be trying some today!

  • Reply
    lisa
    July 12, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I’ll be looking for these locally. Can’t wait to try the rocks!

  • Reply
    Jill
    July 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Wow, thanks for introducing me to this wonderful line of art supplies!

  • Reply
    mara
    July 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    AMAZING. I just added her blog to my RSS reader and can’t wait to try out some projects with my daughter Audrey. I would love to visit her studio… I am so inspired to go and create something new!

  • Reply
    Amy Adams
    July 12, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    My little girl is still mouthing things, so it’s so nice to hear what is in these paints! We love the crayon rocks! Thanks for giving us the chance to win!

  • Reply
    Amy
    July 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    What incredible colors! I am always looking for truly safe paints, since my boys tend to finish off paints on their bodies.
    Thanks for another great interview.

  • Reply
    Susan H-M
    July 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    These sound wonderful and would begin the next step in our family’s process of removing artificial colors from our lives. We’ve completed food, next is art supplies (especially considering how often marker is used as “makeup”).

  • Reply
    Susan
    July 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Wonderful and timely article! My daughter is so into painting with her hands – whether it is finger painting or not…we would make good use of these paints. Thanks for the possibility!

  • Reply
    Amy Pertl-Clark
    July 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Looking forward to trying out these eco-friendly paints as well as the other products!!!

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve been hinting to the grandma that lives near Boulder that these would be awesome for us to have. I would love to win some paints to create with!!

  • Reply
    Amber
    July 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    So glad someone is making quality art products for kids, about time!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win :)

  • Reply
    Leigha
    July 12, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    So interesting! I am an art educator myself, and am not scientifically-inclined whatsoever. It’s great to see an artist and art educator bring an ecological awareness to children’s art products.

  • Reply
    Kristen
    July 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Looks like a fantastic product, please give us a chance to try them out!

  • Reply
    Amy Fields
    July 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Another amazing interview!! I would love to win these!! Thanks for finding such unique products!!!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    July 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    We have been wanting to get away from some of the more toxic paints and these look wonderful. My 2 year old daughter would love them. Hoping we win. Thanks for the giveaway

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    This paints are great and the packaging is just lovely! Of all the giveaways, this one would be a great one to win! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    July 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    They look fantastic!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    July 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for reminding us to be watchful of everything our kids use! Sometimes the days get so busy and we don’t always think about it.

  • Reply
    Anna - Three Sneaky Bugs
    July 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Love the color palette. I get so tired of bright primary and secondary colors.

  • Reply
    Marlyn
    July 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    What wonderful products! I’m headed to the Clementine site to buys some markers for Greggie’s 4th birthday — perfect gift!

  • Reply
    MaryAnn F. Kohl, art author
    July 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

    The paints look lovely! Clementine Art is new to me, and I’m so happy to have heard about it. The Artful Parent is the place I learn and share, and this just adds to the bounty.
    ~ MaryAnn

  • Reply
    Nicole
    July 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    What wonderful products – we would love to win these!

  • Reply
    tina
    July 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    This product sounds awesome! Thanks to Diana for breaking the chain of creativity-free and instruction-heavy art that she has mentioned in the interview.

  • Reply
    Molly
    July 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    What a wonderful endeavor! I would love
    to try these paints with my four year old.
    Painting is one of her favorite things to do.

  • Reply
    Jeannette
    July 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Very cool. Love the colors, too.

  • Reply
    Debby
    July 12, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I love to try these!

  • Reply
    eile
    July 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    This is wonderful, safer and more creative art supplies! I love it.

  • Reply
    jen
    July 12, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    this is such a great and informative interview! i just love these products and all that they stand for. (i also ADORE boulder and miss it so much… i’ll be visiting in a coupla weeks, hooray!) thank you for the work that you do, diana

  • Reply
    Kelly
    July 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Great interview! Can’t wait to try out these products.

  • Reply
    Martha S.
    July 12, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Hooray for more natural options! Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply
    kayte
    July 12, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I have seen these products online but haven’t purchased them yet. I am happy to have read the interview and know it’s a art teacher behind them and not a company trying to make sell green washed products to conscientious consumers. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 12, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    These paints sound wonderful!

  • Reply
    Ann
    July 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I have seen these products in catalogs but not tried them yet. Great interview.

  • Reply
    Theryn
    July 12, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I make cornstarch finger paints so I know what is going on her hands (and stomach and arms and feet). I’d love to have some all natural paints for her.

  • Reply
    Kristine Hansen
    July 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Wow, the colors are great! I have three children who
    would love to have a chance to create masterpieces with
    these paints!

  • Reply
    Sari Harrsion
    July 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I almost feel like a bit of a bad parent for never thinking about organic art supplies! I always thought “non-toxic” meant okay. But like you said…. you can’t trust the things coming out of China.
    Thanks for opening up my eyes! I think I’ll be doing an art supply clean out!

  • Reply
    Margaret
    July 12, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I am enlightened…thank you! I look forward to using your products in my classroom some day.

  • Reply
    jojoebi
    July 12, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    another great interview!
    Messy art is certainly not encouraged in Japan, finger paints are virtually impossible to lay your hands on and heaven only knows what is in the regular paint. I make some paint for painting outside and homemade dough but it would be nice to be able to just do art without me having to whip up a batch of whatever every time.

  • Reply
    Lisa Eidson
    July 12, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Very interesting interview. It’s a shame as parents we cannot feel safe buying art products and toys for our children so it’s always great to hear about safer products.

  • Reply
    Jenniferdknick
    July 12, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    What a wonderful new art product! I would love
    to try these paints with my four boys ages 6, 4, 3, and 9 months.
    Painting is one of our favorite things to do!

  • Reply
    stacie
    July 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    So nice to hear about safer art supplies! thank you!

  • Reply
    heldin im chaos
    July 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Lovely colors! Thank you for the give-away!

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    July 12, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    What wonderful products! Thanks for sharing these!

  • Reply
    Brynn
    July 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I love her products! Right now we have the glue and it works wonderfully. Hope we get to try the paint!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    I’m so happy to have learned about a truly safe alternative for my children’s art supplies!! Especially since my little one puts EVERYTHING (including paint) in his mouth!

  • Reply
    The Orchard
    July 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks for the info and for the giveaway chance. I have just spend the last half hour checking out the Clementine blog. Lots of great art ideas!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Tricia

  • Reply
    Leslie
    July 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    We are JUST starting art, these would be GREAT!!!

  • Reply
    Tracy
    July 12, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Great Interview. I love everything about these products.

  • Reply
    Tracy
    July 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for all the information on product safety and the interesting interview! I look forward to exploring the website.

  • Reply
    AP
    July 12, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks so much for blogging about Clementine. My toddler is finally showing some interest in art, so I’m looking for items to make available to him.

  • Reply
    Julie
    July 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I’d never heard of these paints but now will be on the lookout for them. When my daughter ate a clump of playdough at 13 months, I was pretty panicked. I much prefer using homemade playdough since then. Great interview. I learned a lot.

  • Reply
    melissa grumhaus
    July 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I LOVE Clementine products and so do my kids! I would encourage everyone to buy them!!!

  • Reply
    M. Pearson
    July 12, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I am very intrigued by these natural products! As a mother of five, I’m always looking for the natural alternatives. This is the first time I’ve seen an art supplier concerned about the same things I am as a mother. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Lorina
    July 12, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Love it !!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    July 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I bought the crayon rocks at Whole Foods Redwood City,Ca and we love them. Thanks for making eco kid friendly products.

  • Reply
    natalie
    July 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    one more thing to worry about for my daughter! thanks for giving parents a safe option!!

  • Reply
    Linda
    July 12, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    I too believe that everyone is an artist and that way too early in life most of us develop a block to our creativity and become intimidated to try. I love children’s art and am excited to see more natural materials for them to experiment with. I am a preschool teacher and I am going to check out Whole Foods to see if they carry your products.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    July 13, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I’ve heard so much about these products, how nice to hear about the creator!

  • Reply
    Jamie
    July 13, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I would love to win!

  • Reply
    Liz Hansen
    July 13, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Fantastic products! I’m excited to see what you continue to develop and make available for our children, their artistic desires with safety in mind!
    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Amy
    July 13, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Very compelling reasons to change our thinking of art supply safety. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kirstin
    July 13, 2010 at 12:57 am

    I would looove to try those out with my daughters or my kindergarteners! Thanks for the chance…

  • Reply
    Kate
    July 13, 2010 at 1:03 am

    This is brilliant. And thank you Jean, for introducing us all to the great ideas out there (in addition to your own) for our children’s art. It makes perfect sense to create products and paints that are as good for the environment and our children as buying organic produce and foods. Thanks again for your fabulous website.

  • Reply
    Michele de Jesus
    July 13, 2010 at 3:12 am

    I think people should know that they may be disappointed by some of Clementine’s paint colors as I was. The blue is a very dark indigo, almost black when wet, which dries to a dark indigo — so don’t expect blue paint. This indigo and yellow will not make a good green so don’t expect your young child to use these paints for basic color mixing experiments. That was a huge disappointment to me especially after waiting for months and months for these paints to finally become available. Clementine’s red is reddish enough while wet but dries to a bright pink color. Thankfully red will mix with yellow while wet to make oranges, and red and indigo will make violets.
    That said I commend Mercer for all her conscientious efforts to create more natural and safer paints. Especially with the latest concerns over common food coloring and little ones tendencies to taste materials and paint their bodies. I truly appreciate Clementine’s transparency about ingredients and I enjoy many of her great art ideas on her blog. We also have her soy crayons and glue and have liked these very much. I just wish the company was more up front about the paint colors provided so that parents have the correct expectations.

  • Reply
    Mea
    July 13, 2010 at 3:23 am

    Thank you for sharing this new product line with us, and also, for alerting parents to specific ASTM standard conformity. Count me in!

  • Reply
    Agnes
    July 13, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Thank you for introducing us to an eco-friendly art supply co!

  • Reply
    Pamela
    July 13, 2010 at 6:16 am

    I have been hearing a lot about clementine art lately and would love to try the products.

  • Reply
    Sara McClelland
    July 13, 2010 at 7:01 am

    These look fantastic- I teach at a preschool, and they would be perfect! I’ll have to order some, even if I don’t win. :)

  • Reply
    Josephine Tale Peddler
    July 13, 2010 at 7:38 am

    They do look good enough to eat. I have often been concerned about how toxic some of these paints are for children. The face painting that is so popular now makes me shudder when you see how heavily the paint goes on their little faces and we don’t know how stringent the controls really are. Interesting interview. xx

  • Reply
    grace
    July 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Great interview. What wonderful art supplies. Next time I need to replenish the supplies, I’m going to look at Clementine Art.

  • Reply
    Sue
    July 13, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Wow! Never considered that it could get better than nontoxic! Great giveaway.

  • Reply
    Kris
    July 13, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I have to admit, cranberry extract is much better than some car smells! Thanks for the interview and give-away!

  • Reply
    Sam Butler
    July 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Oh they look lovely. I’ve been really worried about some of the chemicals that are in the commercially available art products. I will definitely be trying them out (as long as you ship to the UK).

  • Reply
    Erin
    July 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

    oh my! What beautiful colors! What a nice read your interview was.

  • Reply
    Christina
    July 13, 2010 at 11:43 am

    What a wonderful idea. I’ve been quite concerned about food dyes for a while know and would love a safer alternative for art supplies since my little one is really getting into art right now.

  • Reply
    Teresa
    July 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    What a fabulous line of products. As a parent and a teacher of small children – I am always concerned with the problem of accidental ingestion. I can’t wait to order some paints and markers that I won’t have to worry about. Thanks for the introduction to these products.

  • Reply
    Erin
    July 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    What about washability? I encounter many parents concerned with the ability to get the natural dyes out of childrens clothing.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Hancock
    July 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    What great products she has made!!! It’s nice to know there are better art supplies out there for our children free of toxic junk. I’ve been looking for a more natural art product for my kids and these would be great to win.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    July 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    These art supplies are so beautiful. What dedication to making them!

  • Reply
    annette standrod
    July 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    This is so awesome. we are getting low on paint. I hope I win!
    [email protected]

  • Reply
    Nina Laight
    July 13, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    have never heard of these before, but I love the idea, and they look soooo beautiful!

  • Reply
    Ava
    July 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    This sounds like a great idea… I remember when my siblings and I were little, my brother loved to eat play-doh…so my mom found a recipe for homemade dough, which she colored with unsweetened kool-ade mix(which also made our dough smell like different things). It sounds like Clementine takes that to the next logical step:-)

  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 13, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Looks like great stuff – would love to try it!

  • Reply
    Emma
    July 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Wow – they are the cutest things (other than my children of course!!) I’m actually loving the ‘rock’ crayons – I’ll have to look out for them in the UK. Thanks for another great moment of inspiration.

  • Reply
    Mindy
    July 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    I love checking in on Darling Clementine to see what new project has been done. I hope you do well with your products.

  • Reply
    Erin
    July 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    The colors are beautiful! thank you for the introduction to Clementine Arts.

  • Reply
    Helen
    July 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Thursday is my birthday, so I would love to win these paints for my girls!!

  • Reply
    April @ Team Tottle Wellness
    July 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I’m excited about this company! I hope I win but if I don’t, the Grandparents will be getting a link to Clementine, lol. It’s so good to know that there are retailers who care about the health and safety of our children.

  • Reply
    Erin
    July 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    We are in need of some of paint, how timely!!! A local store just started to carry these products, yay!

  • Reply
    Carol
    July 13, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Really informative interview… and the colours of the paint are so vibrant!

  • Reply
    Amanda J
    July 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    This is one of those “I wish I had thought of that” moments! Good for you, Clementine.
    Oh, and those colors of paint are gorgeous!

  • Reply
    tan
    July 13, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Would love to try these with my own children and with my Kindergarten class… what a super idea!

  • Reply
    Eliza Redlus
    July 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I plan to purchase some of Diana’s products for my two sons to use in their artistic endeavors. I love how Diana is process rather than results-oriented and I try to instill this message in my sons every day in various areas of their lives. So important and inspiring!

  • Reply
    kate
    July 14, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Hope more and more art materials are made this way. Thanks!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 13, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Hello Michele,
    Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. I hope that you’ll try our paint again next month, since I too wasn’t entirely satisfied with the purple and blue. I think you’ll find them much improved, and more fitting with our unique color palette. If you are unsatisfied with the paint, please contact Clementine and we will be delighted to replace them for you with our newer paints.
    Since we are the first company to make such paints, I am sure you can understand that there are growing pains, and that formulas will evolve and improve all the time.
    Thanks again for your feedback and we hope you’ll give our paints another try.
    All best wishes, Diana

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 13, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Erin,
    All of our products are washable with soap and water from clothing, hands and surfaces. We have not tested them on the upholstery, so I would avoid writing on the sofa.
    Thanks!
    Diana

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 13, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    thanks cute melissa! xo

  • Reply
    Michaela
    July 14, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for introducing me to a wonderful brand! I’m making changes in all areas of our life to be more natural and get rid of chemicals and dangerous products, but I didn’t know of any art supplies to try. Can’t wait to give these a go!

  • Reply
    victoria
    July 14, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Great interview. The products sound wonderful!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 14, 2010 at 9:07 am

    So great! This was a big concern for me. Working as a Preschool Teacher I was visiting the infant room one day and they were practically eating the paint, this really bothered me even though it was suppose to be non-toxic. Now with an infant of my own I want to encourage creativity in a safe, healthy way!!

  • Reply
    Chris Leemans
    July 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Thank you for sharing this information with us. I had not heard of this product. As we all try to become more green, I often look at the art cabinet wondering what was really in there… and at clean up time, when we are washing all the mess off and it goes down the drain…. I am off to find more about Clementine products. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    kelli
    July 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    What beautiful paints! I’d love to try them.

  • Reply
    molly
    July 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Wow, great interview again. Thanks to both of you.

  • Reply
    Sandi
    July 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you Jean for introducing me to these products. They would make wonderful gifts. I love the colors!

  • Reply
    maryeliz
    July 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I had never heard of Clementine Art supplies before today. They look beautiful. And I love Diana Mercer’s philosophies on art.

  • Reply
    Sarah Petersen
    July 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I’ve been an elementary art teacher for 8 years and can’t wait to try these! I’m wondering if they’re available in larger volumes?

  • Reply
    Deanna K
    July 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    thanks for the interview – the products look great!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I am also an art teacher – thank you so much for letting me know about Clementine Arts. I would also love to try this out with my 10-month old son – I don’t want him to miss out on experimenting with colors just because he’ll try to eat the paint as well!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 14, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    I’m sorry to say that our products are not available yet in bulk. We do plan to have them available for schools in the future, so stay tuned.
    All best,
    Diana

  • Reply
    Melissa
    July 14, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Thanks for this interview, makes me think twice about the type of art supplies I use…

  • Reply
    Kate
    July 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    I would love to try these with my kids!!

  • Reply
    meghan
    July 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    My almost two year old has been really excited about playdoh lately but still tries to put it in her mouth. I’m excited to check out clementine’s products and not be worried about my little one experimenting with art safely.

  • Reply
    traci
    July 15, 2010 at 7:40 am

    interesting! i was wondering about the turmeric in the dough. turmeric always stains my hands when i’m working… i wonder if the same thing happens to the dough…

  • Reply
    Adelle F.
    July 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

    What beautiful products! Wow, I’d love to win those paints! :)

  • Reply
    busymama
    July 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    FAB FAB FAB! The perfect pressie for my two birthday girls who simply love to get messy and arty!

  • Reply
    Aimee
    July 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I would love to try these out with my students! Thanks for another great giveaway!

  • Reply
    raizel
    July 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Just discovered this blog- I see it already effecting my approach. and wow these paints are amazing! Just starting to get into painting with my little ones and this would be terrific :)

  • Reply
    Jo Jo
    July 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I would be so blissed if I won.xx

  • Reply
    Terra
    July 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I’m always on the lookout for more eco-friendly options for my almost-4-year-old. I love that not only are natural products, but also made in the USA!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    July 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you for highlighting these products! While we’re careful about avoiding coloring added to food, I hadn’t thought of the risks of colorings added to art supplies!

  • Reply
    Stacy Gray
    July 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I am so excited about these products! Good for you for coming up with these!

  • Reply
    Rhiann
    July 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    What an AWESOME giveaway with such wonderful, thoughtful products! I’m alway interesting in things that provide new levels of safety and earth consciousness!

  • Reply
    Marla
    July 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    yikes! never really thought about this before. my little one constantly puts markers in her mouth. i will have to look in to buying those. the paints would be a great start for us!

  • Reply
    Molly
    July 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Oh yay! I am so happy that somebody came up with this, my daughter is nearly 3 and she still kinda wants to put everything in her mouth first. Kudos!

  • Reply
    Erin
    July 15, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    These sound great! I’m definitely going to have to try them :)

  • Reply
    Nancy
    July 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    we would really love to give those tempera paints a workout! thanks for the giveaway. [email protected]

  • Reply
    Robin
    July 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I would love to try these out with my toddler twins.

  • Reply
    Carol
    July 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    i would love these paints for the informal art group that is convening within my moms group.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    These paints looks amazing! I would love to try them.. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    These look so BEAUTIFUL! So inspiring. Thank you for the wonderful, insightful interview and for introducing me to Clementine Art. ♥

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Traci,
    The turmeric in Clementine dough doesn’t stain hands (unlike some other natural brands). We did a TON of testing and got our recipe just right. The color stays put!
    It also smells like lemon with natural lemon extract…
    Thanks, Diana

  • Reply
    Katrina B.
    July 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    We have very few high quality art supplies in our home and would love to have the opportunity to try these. Love that they’re safe for the kiddos, too!

  • Reply
    Cindy
    July 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I have always wondered about the ingredients in kids’ paint–my daughters have eaten quite a bit of it! I have never seen the Clementine Art products. Would love to try them.

  • Reply
    arb
    July 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I am impressed! Thanks for the interview & giveaway, Jean.

  • Reply
    mary
    July 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Great products…grandparents should give them as gifts….

  • Reply
    busymama
    July 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    FAB FAB FAB!!! Just what we need for my birthday girls who simply love to get messy and arty! Fingers crossed…

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    My daughter looks forward to using your cool products!:)

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Awesome! I love your idea and would love to try them! Especially for Special Kids who love to put everything in their mouth!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    GREAT!

  • Reply
    meg
    July 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    what a wonderful interview! Imagine making crayons in your kitchen! Please put my name in the (very big) hat.

  • Reply
    Susan
    July 15, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Those look great!

  • Reply
    amy
    July 15, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Oh I made it in time. I have had her site bookmarked for awhile now but haven’t bought anything yet. I would love to win!

  • Reply
    Michele
    July 16, 2010 at 12:10 am

    I have seen these around and would love to try them out! So icky about the playdough – this article makes me think about the paint situation too.

  • Reply
    heather Gottfried
    January 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I would love to be able to share art experiences with my granddaughters knowing they are safe from toxins. thanks

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