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May/June 2010 – Cardboard

This page and its similarly titled Submissions sub-page will show the experiments, thoughts, and final submissions reusing all types of cardboard. Please submit projects by June 30, if at all possible.  We plan to post submissions at the beginning of July.

Reused Cardboard

Cardboard comes in many different forms.  It can just be a heavy-duty paper or it can have a corrugated layer, either on one side or sandwiched in between two flat layers.  Many types of cardboard are made from already recycled paper.  And most cardboard is recyclable.

There is absolutely NO WAY you don’t already have some cardboard in your house, just waiting to be reused.  Here is a short list of things you will probably find in your home right now that are made from cardboard:  toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, shirt boards (if you still get your shirts drycleaned and folded), poster rolls, shoe boxes, cereal boxes, heavy delivery boxes (mostly corrugated), some book covers, poster mounting board, 6-pack containers.

An historical note:  According the Wikipedia (in turn citing a history of paper) corrugated paper (also called pleated paper) was first patented inEngland in 1856, and used as a liner for tall hats, but corrugated boxboard (with the flat board on both sides) was not patented and used as a shipping material until December 20, 1871.

A brief waltz through the internet yielded many amazing examples of artists working with carboard and corrugated paper.  Two years ago, Weburbanist posted information and images about the work of 5 artists.  Amazing!  Alex Uribe’s work reminds me of some of the simple but elegant forms we created in a class I took in college called Projects in Three Dimensions, in which we tried to express the unique qualities of materials purely through the forms they alone could create.  Uribe’s explorations of the qualities of one-sided corrugated paper are lovely.

Source: Alex Uribe

Also mentioned the Weburbanist article is Mark Langan, whose focus on corrugated paper is even more intense.  His site has information about the material he uses and how me makes his pieces, as well as an art gallery and links to other green endeavors.  Thanks to Erwin Timmers for providing the link a few months ago – glad I could finally add it to a materials page!

And last fall, Weburbanist did it again with an article about twelve cardboard artists.  I’ll only add images of two of the artists’ work here, but do check out the full article to see some wonderful and inspiring pieces:

Source: Village of Joy

Junior Fritz Jacquet turns toilet paper rolls into faces (left)

Source: Culture Vulture, Art Business

And Ann Webers large lacquered sculptures are stunning (right)


Here are some verbs that may be helpful to you as you start to play with the material and explore its possibilities (please feel free to add a comment below with more relevant verbs):

bend, fold, cut, rip, burn, singe, peel apart, shred, soak, incise, pierce, weave, crumple…

OK, now go have fun and don’t forget to send in images of your work!


You may add comments here about the material (frustrations, triumphs, specific resources, etc.) all month long as you experiment, or you may wait until the end of the month.  Text-only comments about working with newspaper can be added at the very bottom of THIS PAGE.  If you have commented on this blog before, your comment will be posted immediately.  If you are new to the blog, your comment will go through the Administrator for approval.
If you wish to submit a final project or summarizing comment (especially if you want to include images or links), we suggest that you do it in the form of a post on the sub-page, since those posts (unlike the more simply formatted comments on this page) can contain links and/or images.  If you wish to add a post, please contact the Administrator through the contact form immediately below and we will tell you what to do to get your post published.

Contact form for posting images and links about reused cardboard:

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