Re-purposing Paper Waste
2021. 3 weeks.
The Green Vase is a small business based in the Bronx, NY that makes beautiful paper flowers and plants, all while using sustainable practices, and eco-friendly materials. One issue they didn't have a solution for was all the paper waste created by cut-outs and used die-cut sheets.
Hence, I decided to experiment with moulding the paper waste to create pots for their products. Thereby reducing the number of materials they used, and creating a more circular system for the business.
This is what their paper and scraps look like at the start.
The process, while laborious, resulted in something quite beautiful. To break down the paper, I first separated them by colour. Then I tore them into smaller pieces and boiled them in water to break down some of the fibres. I was looking for a very mushy consistency as that achieved better results in the mould. After breaking the paper down to my desired consistency, I packed them in the mould and let it rest.
Once out of the mould, the part took around a day or two to fully dry. But once it was dry, it became extremely hard due to how tightly packed all the paper was, and interestingly, you could do most things to it that you would wood in terms of finishing. It could be sanded, polished, machined, and take on finishes. But I was so in love with the look and the colours that I left it unfinished.