American Elements provides numerous raw materials to visual artists and art studios for use in finished art pieces. Our product catalog of fine art materials includes colorants for paints and ceramic glazes, metallic powders, metal and alloy parts in various forms including wires, foils, and sheets, chemical solvents, and others. Custom formulations and shapes can be manufactured to customer specifications.

CEO Michael Silver is an active philanthropist in the arts and a trustee of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Sarara Initiative in Northern Kenya, and serves on the councils of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu. Mr. Silver has underwritten artists in residence at the UCLA Hammer Museum and made in-kind donations of artwork to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC and sponsors “Science as Art,” a competition during the Materials Research Society’s annual meeting spotlighting the ability of technical images to transcend their functional use to become aesthetic objects of art in their own right.

Innovation Case Study #26: American Elements Creates Rare Earth Colorants for Laguna Clay

#26: American Elements Creates Rare Earth Colorants for Laguna Clay

The Challenge

The science of producing ceramic glazes has been with us for several millennia. New glazes do not come along often. Leading national producer of art supplies Laguna Clay sought to develop new colors for ceramic glazes and paints. The new colorant formula needed to function at very high temperature for kiln firing. Laguna Clay turned to American Elements.

The Innovation

To achieve the higher temperatures needed for ceramic glazes, American Elements researchers first applied the original technology developed in the middle ages for stained glass colorants and reached to inorganic metal oxides. Most have been considered for hundreds of years, but not the high technology rare earth metal oxides. Of these 14 elements, 3 showed significant promise. Erbium produced a cotton candy pink unique to glazes, Praseodymium created a unique yellow-green and neodymium a blue-purple.

The Result

Laguna Clay launched 3 new ceramic glazes unique to the centuries old tradition of ceramic making produced for it by American Elements. Since the introduction, American Elements has distributed these 3 colors through numerous art suppliers and developed a version for glass color bar and frit working with Spectrum Glass of Seattle, Washington.
Below is merely a selection of the full catalog of Fine Art Materials products that American Elements manufactures. If you do not see a material you're looking for listed, please search the website or contact

Selected Products Supplied to the Fine Art Materials Industry