Artist Wangchei Mutu, whose seven-foot-high bronze sculptures were the first pieces of art to be displayed in the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, works in many media, including drawing, painting and video. To fuel her creative output, she constantly experiments with natural materials, many of which she finds or builds from scratch. One of these is Paper Pulp, a porridge-like fruit from which he made five orb-sized “Earth Android” for the book “Open Studio, Do-It-Yourself Art Project by Contemporary Artist” published last year.
Mutu first came up with the formula when he wanted to recreate the organic look of the mud-brick houses traditionally built by women in Kenya, adding the final layers to the Afrofuturist sculptures he created for the 2015 Venice Binelle. You can also use his original recipe to create what you want: a vase, a bowl or other tabletop object that is meaningful to you.
Start by clipping the newspaper like confetti, and then mix with glue and water. Soak the Connaught in an airtight container for about a week so that the paper is completely pulpy. Adjust the color and texture to your liking, which you find around the house – food coloring, ink, flour, glue, salt, coffee grounds or even dirt from the backyard – that identify the place and Can bring emotion. Mutu often uses red clay from Kenya to remind them of home. The idea, she said, is to learn about the new material, “allowing them to express themselves as much as possible and be resourceful.”
Two cups wood glue
Backyard or clay plating
Liquid dyes (ground coffee or tea leaf or any ink color of your choice)
One-gallon container with airtight lid
Shed enough paper to fill a one-gallon container. Fill three-quarters with boiling water. The paper will absorb the water. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon
Add two cups of wood glue, and stir until all the clipping is soaked in water and glue. The glue mixture will be light and full. Cover the container with an airtight lid and set the mixture aside for a week.
After the mixture has been sitting for a week, the pulp will have time to rub. Place a sieve over a bowl and pour the paper mixture inside.
Press on the pulp in a sieve with a spoon to remove excess liquid; Discard the liquid. To kill the bacteria, add half a cup of rubbing alcohol to the remaining paper pulp. The texture should be consistency of porridge.
Wear plastic gloves, mix handfuls and make a ball. Knead and shape it into your hands.
Place the ball on a flat surface and sprinkle with coffee grounds, tea leaves or paint pigment on the surface. Compress the ball and add more pigment and color coating to stain it further. Add more liquid pigment to the mixture for additional color.
Shape the clay mixture into a sphere, sausage or whatever shape you like.
To bend your soil in a clack bowl, place a small bowl upside down on parchment paper and cover with cling wrap. Mold the soil on top of a tightly pressed bowl.
Set the form to dry (ideally outside in the sun), where the color will change and cracks can form. Once dry, remove the bowl and cherish your new idol.