The stages of turning paper waste into clay

People are always intrigued about how I make my paper clay vases and I can see why. Is it like ceramic? Is light like paper? Can I use water in it? So I thought I'd explain her how I make these artful and decorative pieces from discarded paper and card. 

Before I can start making the vases and sculptures I start collecting any discarded card and paper such as mail, cardboard packaging and egg cartons from local cafe's, shops and even the paper waste from my own home. This is then shredded by hand then soaked into water where I blend it into pulp.

Paper pulp ready to be mixed with the rest of the ingredients

Once the pulp is ready, I mix it with flour and a small amount of adhesive and joint compound which gives the clay it's strength when it's dry. This also makes it into a sturdier malleable clay. The process uses very little water and hardly any clay goes to waste.


Paper clay ready to mould into shape.

I sometimes use recycled jars or objects to start a shape then I organically mould the vase or sculpture by hand to my desired shape. Each part is made separately, left to dry then assembled together to make the finished piece.

Jacqueline hand sculpting a vase.


Clockwise from the left: Noosa II in Pink, Dune Sculpture in Off-white, Mio Vase in Blue and La Lune Vase in a Black Brustroke.

I felt very lucky to be able to sit outside in the garden and make my vases during the summer months. Sometimes I had to work quick as the clay would dry pretty fast in the heat.