The FABLY Revitalise Concrete & Recycled Paper Collection

Wednesday, 21 July 2021  |  Faryal

The FABLY Revitalise Concrete & Recycled Paper Collection

Through a combination of seeking solace and distraction in a time of uncertainty, and a growing curiosity in repurposing materials already in the home, I happened to come across two things. 

One was the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophies, of which a key philosophy relates to the beauty of imperfection and impermanence in nature and everyday objects.  The second was a building material first developed in the 1920’s which uses cement, but in larger parts paper, to insulate walls in buildings.

I would say that within the last decade the amount of paper that comes through my home has noticeably reduced.  Yet, the amount of paper going into the recycling bin would suggest there is still some way to go before organisations can do a full switch to virtual communication.  Plus, the festive season had just passed and having young children generally equates to large amounts of Christmas wrapping paper!

Whilst the use of paper for building material (generally referred to as ‘papercrete’) may not be suitable for our UK climate, it caught my interest as a possible eco-friendlier alternative to 100% concrete for household objects.  From further research, I found some outside of the UK are using papercrete to create decorative objects and so I tried and tested this material and successfully created a sturdy but light-weight plant pot.

As an experiment, I left an object in water for 24 hours to find out how it would fair and was pleased to find it was still in a solid state.  But, I will only be recommending the collection for indoor use.  Research done into the material for buildings has shown it is not suitable for pro-longed exposure to damp.

The paper is recycled into a pulp before combining with cement and an aggregate. The water used to re-pulp the paper is all that’s needed to combine the mixture.  The mixture is unlike regular concrete, it’s thick and can be moulded by hand.  It then takes at least two weeks for an item to cure and be ready to paint. 

 

Damaged Wabi Sabi Cup

Wabi-Sabi interiors take influence from nature, appreciating simplicity and the weathered, and have a calming, spiritual tone. 

There is also a view point that a damaged item does not need to be discarded, known as ‘Kintsugi’.  The item is repaired in a manner which embellishes the cracks. 

This is where the inspiration for the paint and using a hydro-dripping technique came from, so each piece would produce a unique marbled finish and emphasise the rugged texture.

Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash  

 


Caring for the concrete paper plant pots

On its own, concrete is porous and prefers to remain dry.  The Revitalise plant pots are sealed with a sealer specifically for porous surfaces however, they are best suited for indoor use and succulent plants that require little watering.  Or, if you would like to pot a thirstier plant, line the plant pot with a plastic liner.  Repurpose plastic packaging you already have at home.

Caring for the concrete paper trays

The Reviatlise tray is intended for use as a decorative piece, however, if you would like to use it as a tabletop tray, then gently wipe away any spills immediately to ensure the tray doesn’t discolour.  The trays are also sealed with a sealer specifically for porous surfaces, and you will need to apply a sealer every year to ensure it’s protected for use as a tabletop tray.

This sealer here* is recommended.


 

Christmas wrapping paper and junk mail have been given a new lease of life! And there is a satisfaction in re-pulping the paper myself for a new purpose, combining and moulding the mixture by hand and pushing how far it can be taken as a decorative structure.  I’m still experimenting so expect to see more designs added to the collection.

So if you see a little piece of coloured paper in the pot, you can take some joy in knowing there is history behind it, it's likely an ecstatic little person on Christmas morning ripped that paper off a gift hurriedly, and now it’s in your home making more memories.

I hope you enjoy the Revitalise collection.  I’d love for you to share a photo of a Revitalise piece in your home on Instagram or Facebook, tag @fablyhomedecor.

And make sure to sign up for the newsletter so you can be the first to hear about new collection releases.

Faryal x

 

*Heads up:  This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those affiliate links you won't pay a penny more but I'll get a small commission.

 

 

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