London-based designer Jacqueline de la Fuente is committed to turning trash into treasure. She’s the artist behind De La Jardin, which offers decorative vases made from a unique type of cardboard and paper waste clay.
Sourced from discarded or unwanted paper from local cafes and her own home as well as cardboard via everything from egg cartons to packaging, de la Fuente invented the clay recipe herself, taking hints from papier-mâché. The process begins after the artist collects old paper products, shreds the materials by hand and soaks them in water before making it all into a pulp. The result is a malleable clay very similar to ceramic pottery clay.
“Paper clay vases came about organically through my slight obsession with shapes, form and my love for sculptures and vases,” de la Fuente said. “I had always wanted to work with ceramics but being a full-time mum to two young kids proved going to a studio was difficult. This is when I started [to] look at different materials to create objects.” Always conscious of waste, the artist said that the idea of finding a way to incorporate recycling came naturally.
The vases are sculpted slowly by hand, leaving traces of fingerprints and natural curves to create tactile, one-of-a-kind pieces. Some vases are left in their natural pulp finish, while others are hand-painted using environmentally friendly, water-based paints. Although the sculptural pieces won’t hold water like a traditional vase, de la Fuente suggests filling them with dried flowers instead to save water.
Truly unique, each vase is made to order in one to two weeks and ships from the U.K. De La Jardin also features original hand-line drawings on recycled, long-fibered cotton paper that the artist creates “organically” with fine line threads. She also offers her art in gallery-quality giclée prints printed on paper made from bamboo and cotton fibers.
Images via Jacqueline de la Fuente