Healthy Art Resources

This is a list of resources that can help you get started on a Healthy Art Path. In order to make the world a better place for art, we’d like to invite you to contribute to this list.

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Eco Art Supplies

It is difficult to find Eco Art supplies in store. A few website have a selected supply of sustainable and healthy art materials. With small manufacturers not everything has been tested or has gone through a supply chain assessment. The Art Inspector does not endorse any of these products. If you would like to review of of these products for The Art Inspector please fill out this form and we will feature your review in our blog.

Photography

Eco Pro photography chemicals. It’s a bit of an oxymoron to say “Eco Photo Processing.” While digital printing may be the safest way to process photographs using soy-inks and recycled paper, some photographers prefer the darkroom. This set of Eco Pro products has a bit less of the harsh chemicals that come with other processes.
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Textile supplies

Earth Friendly Goods - Has some resources for fabric and twine.
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Laguna Fabrics - This has recycled threads, hemp, bamboo, flax and organic cottons.
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Sew Ecological - Organic Cotton canvases certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. This is a rare find, however the colors are quite dull and are on the pricier end.
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Felt Rug Pad - This is a thick pad of felt using no adhesives and can be used for cool textile products. Its advertised as a rug pad but can be hacked into a creative project.
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Hemp Traders - This site has a wide variety of hemp products including twine and fabric.
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2D Supplies

Natural Earth Paint - These products are DIY kits that include earth pigments, oils and other materials needed to mix the paint yourself. They are also based in the US so shipping and production is domestic. They carry face paint, oils and childrens products.
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DIY Markers, Paints, Etc. - This is a work in process and is a call and description of artists who are making materials from the environment while removing some of the environmental toxins.
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Eco Choices - This site has a decent variety of papers, paints, waxes, markers and other 2D small project materials that you actually can purchase. While a lot of these materials may be better suited for the craft market they are worth attempted for a formal art practice.
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FSC Certified Paper List - Forest Stewardship Council is a 3rd party agency that works with paper and wood manufacturers to make sure they are logging legally and sustainably. This is a list of paper manufacturers. It is not a site you can purchase directly from.
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Earth & Rowan - Bio Watercolor, Egg Oil paint, Raw Drawing Materials and Natural Pigments. These products are made in Europe so shipping may be a while.
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Real Milk Paint Products - It’s hard to tell how “Eco” these paints and products are. On paper they seem like they would be using milk base and toxins. They also sell other products like Citrus Thinners and Waxes and a Soy-Base paint stripper. I don’t see any MSDS sheets on this site
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FSC Certified Stretcher Bars - These are great for painters who want to make their own canvases. These bars are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council of Europe. The only problem is they are coming from Europe.
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Terraskin - This paper is made from minerals and an eco adhesive. There is no tree involved so it does not have a grain line. However it is incredibly smooth and can come quite thick. It also is processed with a low energy rating. It is great for illustrators.
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CeCe Caldwell Paints - These paints are used primarily for wall paint but are Non-VOC and with the spread of colors can be used for other paint applications. They also carry a wax and clay based paint.
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Plutonium Spray Paint - There is no true “Eco” Spray paint. However if you plan on using one this line of cans claims to have 50% less of a carbon footprint than other spray paints. It is manufactured in the US and us 70% pigment.
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Stockmar Artemis Plant Color Pastels - This company is based in Germany and makes several products using plant pigments. It is not certain that they are 100% Green materials but advertise as a non toxic low-voc product. You can purchase these through third party retailers.
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Clementine Art Supplies - This manufacturer has several children based products that run in a short run of colors and in small quantities. They have crayons, markers, colored pencils and paints. Their website looks like they are launching something new. Perhaps they will expand their line soon.
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Glob Iton is another company that has children eco friendly art supplies. They carry bamboo brushes and face paints. Their supply is limited as well as the color pallet.
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Construction and Commercial

Materia is a great site for new and developing materials using nano technology, green technology, bio mimicry and other processes. They don’t sell products directly but have a huge database of possibilities. It is a great place for material hackers.
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Building Green has a long list of Green Manufacturing materials primarily for construction grade. This is not a site to purchase materials but has review of a variety of options. In order to access this list they require you pay a member fee.
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GreenSpec similar to Building Green has a list of green building supplies. However this list is open to the public and does not require a membership. There are definitely places that are lack and the research is based out of Europe.
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Safety Stripper - This is primarily for jobs where you need to remove large amounts of paint. Instead of using a chemical this product heats the product until it comes off. I would be cautious about this one, it is not necessarily a better solution to reheat paints that may have toxins in them.
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Good Guide - This is a retail product guide for a broad spectrum of products from cleaning products, food, clothing etc. It has rating based on environmental, social and personal health. While this is not directly targeted towards artists, many of the products in this guide can be part of the studio transformation process.
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Eco Bond Adhesives - These adhesives contain no CA Prop 65 materials and are nontoxic. However they only come in these tubes which could be a bit of a problem and messy if you want to use it for a variety of applications.
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Eco Craft Sites

These sites are primarily self proclaimed Eco Craft resources with an UpCycle focus.

Eco First Art - E-Commerce site, primarily focusing on furniture, fashion and objects.

Research Resources

Often commercial applications of materials and process can be translated into art making. These are research resources with databases, case studies and broad areas of green technology.

EPEA USA. Integrates science with industrial innovations to recreate materials, products and supply chain partnerships so they have positive impacts. This is a partner of Cradle to Cradle.*

Ethical Fashion Forum. This site is geared towards those working in the fashion industry.

Global Green Building Material Market 2012-2016. This is a report that looks at the prediction of green materials in the market place. One of its key findings is a need for green materials in the marketplace.

Center for the Built Environment - is a place where prominent industry leaders and internationally recognized researchers cooperate to produce substantial, holistic, and far-sighted research on buildings.

PopTech Eco Materials Lab There is a report around the reflections of this lab from 2010. It has a lot of product design elements in it.

This Lean, Energy & Climate Toolkit offers Lean implementers practical strategies and techniques for enhancing Lean results—waste elimination, quality enhancement, and delivery of value to customers—while improving energy efficiency and reducing energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, costs, and risk. The toolkit is also intended to introduce Lean practitioners to the extensive array of energy management resources available from EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and other organizations.

Eco Textile Labels - This site has a ton of information that can help you make decisions when purchasing textiles. It explains the science between different products. To access the full site you need to have a full membership.

ASTM International - This is a huge database of standards and practices. There are several environmental, health and other standards created for Art Supplies. This does have a fee associated with each report.

NAMTA is the International Art Materials Association. This is an industry member association which compiles reports and has conferences geared towards material manufacturers and retailers. There is a fee to become a member.

US Department of Consumer Safety - Art Materials Business Guide. This breaks down the art materials needs for craft, children and adults.

Exhibit Seed is a project looking at the Life Cycle of installing and creating an exhibition. It looks at the Environment, Sustainability and Economy. It comes with tools and checklists to help you make the right decisions when putting together your exhibition.

GREEN Theater Categories & Sustainable Guidelines by Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company. This project guidelines was created in 2007 and a start to looking at the environmental impact of Theater making.

The Environmental Impact Of The Retail Photoprocessing Industry In Santa Clara County: 1996 Vs. 2006 by Benoit Delaveau San Jose State University. A masters dissertation around the environmental impacts of photo processing.

Green Art Organizations

These are organizations that are working beyond the traditional eco art practices and looking at impact of artists and the environment. The work these organizations brings forward focuses on solutions or social impact dialogue.

Land Art Generator The main goal of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is to design and construct public art installations that have the added benefit of utility-scale clean energy generation.Each sculpture will continuously distribute clean energy into the electrical grid, with each having the potential to provide power to thousands of homes.

Green Art Guide A selective guide to websites which show the work of creative artists concerned with ecology, nature, environmental and social issues in their themes or in the techniques they use; ecological exhibitions; green places to visit and ecological ways of getting there (and some artists called Green).

Reading

These are books focusing on topics around Eco Art, Health and Safety of Art Making and Green Materails.

Avant-Guardians - Textlets on Art and Ecology by Linda Weintraub with Skip Schuckmann. AVANT-GUARDIANS The series demonstrates art's crucial role in attending to the well-being of the planet. At the same time it identifies numerous prospects at the eco-art frontier that are awaiting exploration. For this reason readers are invited to activate the environmental principles and dilemmas articulated by the text.

To Life! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet by Linda Weintraub. A compilation of Eco Arts and the history of the Eco Art Movement.

Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety Books by Monona Rossol, M.A., M.F.A. Industrial Hygienist.

Health and Safety

This list is resources for safety and personal health when working with art materials. There are dozens of art related diseases and long term health problems that are caused by the artist working environment.

AMIEN - The Art Materials Information and Education Network. AMIEN is dedicated to providing, without regard to aesthetics, the most comprehensive, up-to-date, accurate, and unbiased factual information about artists’ materials. The information is based on the most current scientific knowledge from peer-reviewed sources regarding quality, durability, and health hazards, and on original research conducted at AMIEN. The information is not prescriptive: AMIEN does not tell artists how to make art. We want artists to be able to make intelligent choices about any material used to make art, and we want to help artists make art safely.

Nontoxic Print. This website has a lot of health and safety alternatives. It describes the risks of printmaking and alternatives.

How Good is MDF? Medium Density Fiberboard is one of the most used wood products on the market. It is cheap and easy to make. However it can be toxic and cause a variety of health effect. This article goes over some of health consequences of MDF Board.

Art Hazards Project at King County, WA. This website is full of great resources on how to protect yourself and your studio. It has information on what products to avoid and what safety protection you would need. *

University of Illinois Heath and the Arts Program. This is the only program in the country dedicated solely to the Healthy and Safety of Art Making. They have a ton of information that is yet to be categorized.

The Wood Database is a fantastic go to site for everything you need to know about wood. Not all wood is created equal. Trees are plants and some have toxins that can harm us. This site gives a bit of information around safety precautions for certain wood types.

Chem See is where to go when you don’t know what the effect of a chemical is. If you are using a product and concerned about some of the product materials this would be a good place to start. It describes the chemical, symptoms, treatments of disease and precautions.

Disposal

Where can you get rid of old supplies and products? This can vary depending on what state you are in. However there are some great resources that allow you to contribute to the UpCycle supply chain.

Can Love for Spray Paint Cans. This is based in New York City but they accept donations by mail. They turn the old cans into art.

PaintCare.com is a site that gives instructions on where to dispose of house hold paints. Right now its only available in Oregon, California and Connecuit.

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