On paper


Photos – Sarah MacDonald and Brinda Toprani

For the past three years Brinda, an architect and interior designer, has been making colourful little bowls, coasters, jewellery-holders, larger dishes and even decorative butterflies made entirely of old magazines and office paper. They reflect her imaginative spirit and her desire to do more with old paper than simply throw it away.

"Everything is recycled. I don't buy any new paper for this. The whole idea was to make things out of old paper, to recycle it," Brinda explained. "In general being environmental is part of my nature. I don't easily throw away paper. I do my calculations on old paper or use it to have lunch on, too."

The pieces are made from folded strips of paper which are then rolled up or wrapped around each other and glued together until the forms take shape. Sometimes Brinda's creations are planned, but often they evolve as she works on them. One such item was a large paper dish with a small paper bowl inside it and paper tubes decorating the outside. Upon looking at the final product, she realised it was ideal for holding bracelets, rings and earrings.

"I don't always have an end product in mind. Sometimes I find a use for it after it's made. But the more I do it, the more ideas I get," she says.

Brinda made her first paper product as a gift for a friend, and the crafts developed from there. Now many of her friends and family members hope for a unique paper item when their birthdays come around, and she is more than happy to oblige them.

"I feel that when you can make something, why buy a gift? This means more. It's very personal. I feel nice when I visit them and see that they've kept them," Brinda says.

Brinda, who has loved to paint, draw and make crafts since she was a child, admits that her hobby is incredibly time-consuming, but she often watches television while she makes her crafts. Now her hands keep moving even if her mind is focused on the TV screen.

She also hopes other people will be inspired by her work and try it themselves. She thinks it would be a great project for children, one which schools could easily adopt. Families could do it too, since all they need is old paper or magazines and some glue. Unlike many do-it-yourself projects, this doesn't require many tools, just time, patience and imagination.

"It would be good to spread this among kids. There are endless things you can make. People could do so much more with it," Brinda says, her hands deftly folding another strip of paper from a magazine, preparing to make her next unique paper gift.

For more information about Brinda's crafts, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/BeeTee/197779693586404 

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Great work Brinda! Sustainability in true sense. A perfect example for the Cradle to Cradle concept.



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