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Sunday 16 January 2011

this… it’s a very small papier mache bowl, the first one of a few that i have have been making. this paper bowl has a green-blue-grey stone-like patina with a tarnished gold interior…

paper mache bowl rustic distressed patina - papier mache wabi-sabi vessel

this paper bowl has been inspired by my interest in primitive & prehistoric art, raku ceramics & the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi – the beauty inherent in things that are unostentatious, simple, irregular, used or worn in appearance. finding birds’ nests in the garden probably had some influence in the process. birds will make their nests out of whatever is to hand – often the harmful plastics and manmade fibres littering the environment – a sign of the times. making homemade bread and soup had some relevance too. there is something so very comforting and nurturing about a simple cup shape…

paper wabi sabi art bowl - papier mache - surface texture patina

here, you can see the detail of the eroded edge of the vessel. this bowl is one of a very limited series of papier mache vessels that I have been making in the studio – it is signed and dated on the base. the distinctive patina on this bowl has been created using thin washes or glazes of water-based acrylic paint, which have been lightly ‘distressed’ to create a naturally, time-worn, aged surface – with the appearance of an ancient relic or artefact.

i suppose if one wanted to be ethically ‘green’ i would source and make my own pigments, but here i have used very small amounts of acrylic and it has the added benefit of being water resistant when dry… sometimes the wild harvesting of nature’s resources is more damaging to the environment than controlled, sustainable production (as seen in herbal medicine)… i am happy that i am reusing what i already have, rather than buying even more art materials…

paper wabi sabi bowl - papier mache vessel - textures surface

this paper bowl is about the size of a small teacup and it fits snugly in the hand  – the actual height is 4cm or 1.5” approx, diameter 9cm or 3.5” approx. i previously made some plaster casts of some of my most favourite things such an art deco teacup which became the primary mould for this particular bowl. during the drying stage the bowls warp ever so slightly, becoming more tactile and organic in character… i would like to give these an identity such as the amity bowl or verity vessel (meaning friendship and truth respectively)… the most interesting part of the process is because i have already created the ‘object’ the painting stage becomes quite intuitive…

five small papier mache wabi sabi bowls

papier-mâché is uniquely lightweight and yet surprisingly resilient as a material, made to my own special recipe of handmade paper pulp – mostly offcuts or trimmings of linen or cotton, both rag and paper, combined with recycled scraps of cellulose-based paper such as tissue, cartridge or copier paper. i also add a small amount of powdered chalk, marble or eggshells for additional strength & durability. the small amount of handmade paper that i can make mean that these very vessels are limited in their number. you can see an example of some of my handmade deckled paper here…

papier mache - handmade wabi sabi bowls with metallic patina

i have been working on making them in a range of sizes along with the possibility of creating other 3d forms, which is all mildly exciting stuff for a regular painter – watch this space over the coming weeks and months…

you can see a selection of my papier mache bowls here…

alongside the paper-making & moulding i have also created a new series of collagraph plates also using recycled materials, but i won’t be printing those for a while yet…

all photography © 2011 jazz green – please do not use, reuse or otherwise publish images of my artwork without my consent or permission, thank you…

not quite what you were looking for in the paper art department? why not try wikipedia instead…

4 thoughts on... you might like

  1. charles

    I like the way the interior glaze is golden or silver…. for me, I like the vessel shape which highlights space and makes the negative space inside very important and precious. The form amplifies space. I see it as very zen, the ying/yang, the decaying exterior matter gives away to the golden inside…every cloud has a silver lining…… rejuvenation, reinvention and the cycle of life..natures law. :-)

  2. Jazz

    thank you charles, that’s lovely to hear and very perceptive of you – the rough with the smooth, albeit sometimes a little wrinkled – but that’s life!

    i like the ‘cup’ shape because it signifies so many basic humanistic needs, from peace & security to sustenance and sharing…

  3. James Rowley

    These are exquistite objects, Jazz, in both form (a fine embodiment of the wabi sabi aesthetic, indeed) & colouration (which seems more appropriate, more integral, than ‘decoration’).

    How welcome to read your post – happy new year, I hope it’s as productive as it seems to have been so far for you.

    Best,

    James

  4. Jazz

    thank you for the comment, james – is much appreciated, as are the good wishes for a happy new year…

    productive? just trying out lots of different ways of working to keep myself active in the creative sphere and am pleased if some people take notice (the bowls were started last summer, i am very slow!!)…

    i think, whether or not i had knowledge of ‘wabi sabi’ they would inevitably have materialised as such objects, such is my own interpretation of and ongoing obsession with the time-worn aesthetic.

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