March 22, 2014 The process of papercrete

start with paper gleaned from the Transfer StationFirst, tear gleaned paper into manageable pieces to later be shredded into smaller bits to fit into blender/cuisinart (see below). Thanks to the red color of the rosin paper that I found, the paper pulp resembles ground beef. When paper is shredded, mixed with water and pulpy, then it is time to strain it.

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Next step, combine paper pulp with concrete mix. I’ve been doing half and half. I scored a huge, full bucket of premixed concrete on my first gleaning trip, so it’s easy to just scoop it out and use, but you could use dry mix also. When the pulp is combined with the concrete mix it’s a fibery, less sticky concrete mixture that feels like clay or a mud pie. It sticks to armatures well and is easy to use.

A few small sculptures..

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07I like the uneven-ness of these models. Chickenwire was manipulated, bent and combined to make armatures for the papercrete to hang onto. I’m working with lines in space mostly here, loopy, curving lines and connecting lines. Bloopy, bloby lines and blobs. I’m interested in what I can do with some very basic design vocabulary; curved lines, straight lines, diagonals, shapes. The composition has to be interesting enough in order for me to want to make it and there are pages in sketchbooks exploring these ideas, but only a few designs make it to the papercrete stage.

I am interested in designs that are lopsided, or, look like they are challenging gravity and will almost fall over. I’m interested in giving an element, as simple as a line, a personality or character. And although you won’t see the human body represented realistically in my work, my sculpture is often figurative. Through the use of abstraction and minimalism is how I choose to talk about the figure. I am working up plans to make a large scale papercrete sculpture now.

One thought on “March 22, 2014 The process of papercrete

  1. What a cool, useful and wonderful explanation of process. I completely love it and can’t wait to see how these evolve!

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