Nidhi Hira

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Making with Humble Materials

Project Kagaz (paper) began with the curiosity of exploring the potential in Humble materials- the materials that are simple, familiar, and low fidelity. It unfolded to become the discovery of the slow process of letting cellulose fibres bind into forms that are more than flat sheets of paper. 

My first explorations led to the making of brick-like forms with scrap paper and egg cartons. A combination of the right geometry and compression strength to bind the fibres, without the addition of any external adhesives or synthetic glues, makes them structurally strong.

The objects created- vases, wall hangings and propositional pieces of furniture serve as an invitation for you to (re)familiarize yourself with the material you already know as paper.

Handmade paper making is a bespoke process, one that requires trial and error, listening and responding to the material. To share and document this tacit knowledge, I decided to take a less academic, more poetic and visual approach. I wanted my process to be accessible as an open-source resource for people to discover their own ways of making.

Working with the abstract forms that the material was comfortable with, I took a more intuitive approach to making. The bricks were carved into dry flower vases, geometric and tectonic. The big broken slab supports and is supported by some bent metal rods. The warped sheet gets to sit on its own, custom metal frame. 

All artefacts of the process are left on the pieces as hints for people to discover how it was made and find their own practice with a Humble material of their choice!

Special thanks to my mentors: Keith Doyle, Sophie Gaur, and Christian Blyt

And to shop Technicians: Brian, Joe and Ian

for all your knowledge that informed my project!

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