Cast your Grasp with Paper Pulp Clay
Hi there, and thanks for your support and solidarity towards Ireland's creative Industries and its workers. This simple project has been created to show in a visual virtual manner the breadth of cultural workers within our industries. Like so many industries we have been badly affected by the Covid crises and this simple project is to give people and policy makers a “grasp” on what that reality looks like in terms of individuals.
This instructional is to help you on your way to participation. Without readily available air dry clay here is yet another alternative, paper pulp clay. Please note this is worked as a set of ratios rather than quantities so is easy to scale up or down, according to your requirements.
½ roll toilet paper (any type - unused!!!!)
½ Cup of white craft glue or PVA
¼ Cup Salt
½ Cup of Flour (any type - plain white is best)
Mixing Bowl, Fork, Fine Sieve or Colander and cheesecloth or old t-shirt material, Parchment paper, Skewer or toothpick.
Using your mixing bowl, place the half roll of toilet paper (torn into pieces) and add warm water to cover, allow to soak for at least ten minutes.
Agitate with your folk to dissolve the paper into fibrous looking soup!
Over the sink pour your mixture into a fine mesh sieve or colander draped in t-shirt fabric. Drain all the water until your paper pulp breaks up easily yet can still make a loose form in your hand.
Return to your mixing bowl and add your salt, mix well, followed by your craft glue or PVA and thoroughly mix again.
Next add your flour and vigorously mix...at this stage you need to access your mixture by instinct/feel. If your paper pulp is still very wet you may need to add extra flour, add a tablespoon at a time continually mixing with your hands...you are looking for a smooth consistency, similar to a firm bread dough, something that can hold a shape. Whilst holding your mix poke a few shallow holes in your clay with your finger, if it holds the shape without issue you are good to go, if you prefer a stiffer mix add a little flour, but not too much as too dry a mix is equally as bad as a too wet a mix. I told you - Instinct & feel! Do trust your judgement on this one, it's fun to experiment!
Place aside on parchment or other paper to protect your surface, clean up and have a cuppa! You deserve it! That's IT!!! Simple, effective and easily done.
To cast your grasp: Form into a basic sausage shape, protect your surface whilst doing this with a piece of parchment paper.
Depending on the amount of mixture you may indeed cast more than a single hand grasp, but feel free to make as many as you wish!
Now placing the sausage of dough in your lightly floured hand, gently squeeze the dough until it resembles something similar to the sample pictures…Using a skewer or toothpick pierce a hole all the way through the dough at both ends.
Place in a warm place or on a sunny window still to dry…. it is VITAL that this piece is fully dried out and should feel rock hard when complete, depending on the size of your piece this can take up to 24hrs or more.
Lastly, and most importantly, when your unique ‘cast grasp’ is dried, attach a paper tag to the piece with string and complete with the information outlined in the 'participant checklist' (see column here to the left) then take a well lit and clear photograph and post it to your favourite social media platform using the following TAGs
#graspthearts #showofhandsIRE #cultureworks #weareirishculture #mycontributinghand
When posting your photograph on social media do include your name, profession and county location and any comment of support for our creative industry, including the importance of the industry to you, additionally remember to share this campaign with other creative peers, co-workers and friends - let's give the world a “ grasp” on how many of us contribute to our famous Cultural Capital. Thanks.
P.S. It is our intention to make a physical showing of this work post pandemic in one form or another so keep your “grasp cast” in a safe dry place and stay tuned for updates and developments, click the link HERE to subscribe for our news and updates as this campaign develops.
THANK YOU...stay creative, stay sane and if no-ones told you today - You rock!
Comment in support of Ireland's Cultural Contributors or what being part of the industry means to you!