Converting Hazardous Bamboo Byproducts into Functional Items
Mega Puspita (ID) x Hanna Elisabeth Jones (UK)
Through Bonding Bamboo, Mega Puspita and Hannah Elisabeth Jones have elevated the value of the bamboo dust and strands. They transformed the hazardous bamboo waste into a range of functional and aesthetically pleasing items.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials in Indonesia – it is a circular, local, and highly versatile material. In addition to this, the bamboo products at Mega’s Studio Dapur provide a vital source of income for the local artisans.
There are three different byproducts from Studio Dapur’s bamboo industry: the nodes, the shavings, and the dust. The local community uses the nodes and shavings as kindling for starting fires, but the dust goes completely unused. The dust is a wasted natural resource, and it also poses a breathing hazard for the workers.
They went through several iterations of finding the correct form. They mixed the bamboo dust with vegetable glycerine to form a leather-like material. They also experimented with the bamboo shavings by combining them with sodium bicarbonate, a type of mineral, and developed into a sturdy textural form.
The pair played around with the mould to achieve certain shapes of vases or holders. Since they did not have a 3D printer, Hannah used her pet rabbit’s syringe (used to feed her rabbit when it is unwell) to form long, narrow shapes and weaved them to create the base of a holder.
Using the marbling technique, they combined all the natural dyes and created products such as trays, vases, and bowls. They also used a woven technique to develop a woven-like bio concrete material, which could be transformed into a protective mat for hot objects in the kitchen or some lovely decorative items.
Mega and Hannah also explored the potential of using bamboo strands as packaging for these products. The strands could be turned into a moulded form so that it’s tight around the product. You could also twist these bamboo strands into cordage.
All photos are courtesy of Altermatter Participants.