Annabelle Maguire's playful waste

Annabelle held her workshop 'Playful Waste' at Mudchute farm to introduce her sustainable clay alternative to the public.

The first task we did was tearing up very large sheets of paper in pairs to see if we could control how it ripped and meet in the centre. She explained that all paper had a grain and so one certain direction would be much easier than all the others. We then used these torn pieces of paper to make collages, they could be of anything we liked and in any of the colours, so I made an abstract pattern.


Making the 'clay':

Next, we began making her clay substitute. It consisted of 20g paper, 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup cornflower. The paper had to be shredded and mixed well with the cornflower solution. This then had to be microwaved to bind them together. The coloured paper determined the colour of the clay and most of us experimented by mixing various colours together.

This created the clay, which was kneaded and then could be used to sculpt.

Final made object:

I found this workshop super fun and a really engaging way to think about the sustainability of my practice. Ceramics isn't very sustainable due to the high amounts of energy used to fire a kiln, as well as clay being an eventually finite resource. Glaze materials can also be extremely toxic and hazardous to people and environments. Although I recycle all of my waste and reuse scraps, firing ceramics and glazing is not good for the environment. Could I look into alternative ways of firing ceramics? or if this isn't possible, can I look at ways of offsetting my carbon footprint?

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