Ever thought your bowl of salad could transform into a bookmark or a lampshade? Vaidehi Thakkar, 33, founder of Pune design studio Spaces Things Et cetera, turns fruit and vegetable wedges into artsy paper, and then fashions lights, wall art, and other décor and gifting options out of it.
Thakkar has made wall art out of starfruit (Carambola) and apple, and bookmarks and lampshades out of cabbage, bottle gourd, kiwi and orange. “Most fruit and vegetables can be used, besides those with high water and sugar content, such as potato, ladyfinger and types of apple, pear and grape,” she says.
It takes about 25 days to form a sheet of paper that are called fibre flats or papyrus, says Thakkar, who learned the art during a stint in the US. After moving back to India in 2007 and some experimentation, Thakkar began officially selling these products in 2011.
While the process and time taken depends on the end-use of the sheet, the fruit or vegetable is generally dehydrated, given anti-fungal treatment to prevent it from going bad, and given fire-retardant and ultraviolet treatment if it is to be used for lighting.
“With natural ingredients, the paper changes colour over time, but not texture,” she says. “I advise clients to use them indoors, away from moisture.”
“I bought seven apple and starfruit bookmarks, and they are stunning,” says Meghana Joshi, 35, a technology writer from Pune. “It’s almost unbelievable to achieve such symmetry from fruit.”
What: Bookmarks, lampshades and wall art made using fruit and vegetables
Cost: Starts at Rs 450 for a bookmark
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