Marieke de Hoop & Rik van Veen

Crafts Council Nederland

Product | Craft | Material | Research

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In the universe of things, paper usually takes on a supporting role. Paper often functions as a carrier, for example of text, image or objects. At the same time, paper is an interesting material for autonomous design. It exists in endless varieties, and can be produced sustainably from waste materials such as used textiles or vegetable leftovers. In short, paper is a material for the future.

From this perspective, papermaker Marieke de Hoop and product designer Rik van Veen researched the potential of paper for the creation of three-dimensional shapes, to experiment with various paper qualities and to discover new applications. De Hoop and Van Veen focused on paper handmade from asparagus peels.

The use of leftover materials characterises the work of both De Hoop and Van Veen, who produces design objects by cutting and heat-fusing found plastic elements. Besides, he makes bespoke CNC-milled moulds for the plastics industry. However, while plastics are usually flexible, paper is a stiff and brittle material that is not easily pressed into shape.

Together with De Hoop, Van Veen delved into the process of making asparagus paper, in order to find out at what stage of the process the paper would be easiest to set in shape. Initially, they tested spraying, pouring and smearing the wet paper fibres across different 3D shapes. In the end, the solution turned out to be wetting the paper and modelling it over a mould. The asparagus paper, remarkably, turned out to be more stretchable than many other types of paper.

The moulds for this lamp were digitally designed by Van Veen based on the stretchability of the paper and made with a computer controlled milling machine. Presented here as a light object, instead of being a carrier, the paper is being carried for a change.

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Text: Nora Veerman
Photography: Fan Liao

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