Shreds of life

Between Christmas and new year I had a bit of a clear out, which involved emptying various files and shredding lots of documents. I had assumed that the shredded paper could go in the recycling bin, but then I discovered that our local council doesn’t accept shredded paper for recycling.

I certainly didn’t want to throw this all away in the normal rubbish, so I started researching what else to do with it. Apparently it can be used as a mulch (though I’m not really sure I want my garden covered in bits of shredded paper) or composted (better!).

Another suggestion was to soak it and then squash it into balls or bricks that could be burnt after drying out. I did try this, but they took a long time to dry and it seemed like a lot of effort for not much return.

So in the end I thought I would use the shreds like papier-mâché to make some bowls. I inflated a balloon, brushed it with PVA glue, and started sticking the paper shreds on. You can’t see the balloon in the photo below, but this is the work in progress.

After four layers I popped the balloon – and voilà: a papier-mâché vessel!

This one was made out of old T-mobile bills (the pink is a giveaway!). I’m not sure whether to trim the rim – I quite like the random organic edge.

I then made a couple of others: the one in the photo below with red and green shreds is made from nPower gas bills, while the one with green shreds is Egg credit card bills.

I think I could create a whole installation of these and call it “Shreds of Life”. What do you think? 🙂