Re-Creation21 - Pro-Active Recycling

I am a self taught artist, with an interest in France and the environment.

I use materials which would otherwise be thrown away or expensively recycled, mainly because they are cheap. I see waste material, not as a problem but as a resource.

Not everything can be sourced from waste materials, so I also use eco friendly materials such as paint and glue, until I am in the position to find some such recycled source or can make my own glue or paint.

The main materials I use are paper and cardboard. I have also attempted to use waste plastic packaging by melting down, but after some experiments conclude that this might not be as eco friendly as I would like. For details of what I have used plastic for check out one of my plastic paper weights .




 Unit W6 upstairs on Balcony

Now , More space 





Various type of cardboard, both plain and corrugated are used. My favorite is cardboard fruit boxes, which come in standard sizes, the most popular being 60cm by 40cm . these form the basis of some of my artwork as they are very strong. I also have a small stock of thick corrugated cardboard, which can be used to strengthen the basic framework.

Plain cardboard such as that used in food packaging is used for detail work.





Paper is much more interesting and I use two main types.

Old newspapers - these are torn up into small pieces, then soaked in water over night (I originally boiled up the mash, but have now found this unnecessary). This wet paper is then mashed up using an old piece of wood, and the resultant mash pressed into molds . I believe this is very similar to the original papier maché , but is now referred to as paper casting. No additional glue is added to the mash, and the molded mash, either retained in mold or pressed out onto a tray, is then left to dry in a warm place. Depending on size of item this can take as little as 2 days over a week. The wet mash is heavy, but once the water has been removed by drying, it is very lightweight.

examples here

Cross cut shredded paper - this covers any other paper such as computer printouts or wrapping paper. The shredded paper is then mixed into white emulsion paint , to form a sticky mash which can be applied to various items for decoration. I aim to use old paint remnants, or eco friendly paint, Much of my initial work has used standard cheap paint, but once used up it is intended to use either old paint or eco friendly paint. This paint/paper mash is fairly heavy, compensating for the ultra lightweight mashed newspapers.


an old mirror covered in paint/paper mixture, then painted whilst wet/drying process in airing cupboard

gaps between building sections are filled with paper/paint mixture. when smoothed out, it is very similar to plaster




Apart from basic emulsion paint I have used a variety of water based paint. I have a stock of acrylic paints for model painting, but am trying to move over to more eco friendly paints. One colour I use a lot of is French Blue, and I am working my way through two large pots bought a few years ago. Better to use than throw away!

For other colours I have come across eco friendly paints such as ECOS, and these can be bought in small match pots, ideal for artwork. I have also started used powdered pigments from Earthborn, and would like to try making my own pigments.

I tend to mix colours into the paint/paper mash before the mash dries. This gives a better 3D effect, but can be messy.

Drying is one of the biggest problems, But I do have a mall amount of space at bottom of airing cupboard. In winter there is more heat so molded paper shapes and paper/paint mash can dry is a day or two. At other times it can take a lot longer so alternative drying methods being tested.


  Some more model buildings here