Paper Vases

2019

Handmade paper using a variety of recycled, discarded and foraged materials. See Paper Inventory for more information about these materials.

Paper Vases is a research-based project investigating the use of discarded household materials (mainly paper) as “raw” material, similar to clay. Recycled paper, food scraps and other accumulated domestic items were blended into a pulp. The pulp was pressed into sheets, which were then rolled into coils. The coils were stacked on top of one another forming the shape of a traditional ceramic vessel. This form of intimate recycling is done by hand, in “house” rather than transported and processed by machine at an industrial facility, off-site. I consider this project to be an accessible, creative way of processing “waste”, and decreasing “waste” while simultaneously probing the following questions:

Can paper (a lightweight, short-lived, material) be manipulated to mimic ceramic (a precious, long-lived, fragile material)? Does this mimicry give paper more value, as it take a more “precious form”? Or less value, since it’s porous and wouldn’t function as many vases do? Could the absorption of water be a function of a vase? Is it reasonable or perhaps favorable, to have objects which intentionally deteriorate with time? What functions could a paper vase have? Would you treat it like paper, or like a vase? What can we learn about ourselves through observing the dys/function of a paper vase? In a relationship with one other, where one of you is a flower in water, in a paper vase, and one of you is the paper vase, would you consider yourself more of a flower, or a paper vase? Is this relationship parasitic or mutually beneficial, or both?

These vases were featured as center pieces at A Meal Among Friends, an evening of cooking and community, hosted by the League of KitchensListings Project, and Lorem Ipsum at Lee’s on Canal. All items were foraged in Ridgewood, Queens.