Four paper pulp vessels held in decorative frames suspended from oak wall mount

Features of the Sustainable Design

Our plant-mobiles are horticultural kinetic sculptures and can be suspended or wall-mounted.  With a push a plant’s position can be moved into the light.  Apart from being aesthetically appealing they enable multiple pots holding trailing succulents to occupy a small space.  The planted paper pulp vessels can be rearranged within the plant-mobile as they can be lifted out of their frames, while the handles of the frames can be unhooked from the branch. This means that if a plant grows and the balance changes, the arrangement can be reconfigured.

We can be found on the Crafts Council Directory

Paper pulp vessels and recycled material frames

The vessels are made from paper pulp and other ingredients (read more). The recipe used produces rigid vessels which are “micro-porous”, water will evaporate through the wall of the vessel if not absorbed by the plant (like unglazed terracotta plant pots). My oldest paper-pulp vessels are two years old, still solid and suspended holding plants. They are not designed to degrade like mass produced paper pulp pots.

The vessels sit within frames.  These are circular and are either bands or discs. They are made from recycled and upcycled materials.  Each material has it’s story which is explained in Green Earth Balance (click on above link).

Trailing succulents

Balanced-Earth trailing succulents

All the plants in the images of the Balanced-Earth mobiles are trailing succulents or compact rather that ones which grow tall (these are most likely to over-balance). The vessels are empty for you to fill with your own plants, although a soil mix is supplied.

KW at London climate change protest

For over three years Balanced-Earth has emerged from a “compost” of interests, materials and making skills.  I am now in my 50s and have worked as a creative person throughout my working life.  First as a designer-maker of nylon jewellery through the 90s, exhibiting and selling internationally through galleries and museum stores.  Then, when I became aware of climate change, this motivated the shift to working as an environmental sculptor using waste plastics (artwork can be found on www.axisweb.org/p/karenwhiterod/) and providing workshops in education and community settings as “Footprint Arts”.
Needing to re-think  my work-life due to health reasons I work from home.  Making and thinking creatively is vital for my own well-being.  The lifestyle  and exercise/rest issue is connected to balance.  Over the years, I have regularly returned to explore my fascination with balance and made my versions of Calderesque mobiles as a physical manifestation of this.  I’ve always lived with houseplants, they are so life enhancing.  Balanced-Earth has developed from this situation.

B-E Philosophy and Approach

I try to take a “do no harm” approach in my lifestyle, so I’m endeavouring to have B-E follow this philosophy.  Moving out of my studio at Muspole Workshops in Norwich after 20 years I realised the quantity of materials I had accumulated. These are a mix of “waste” off-cuts from various processes, over-ordering while experimenting and suppliers having minimum order quantities. Also I’m offered scrap materials and unwanted items which I think have “potential”.  Wanting to utilise the materials, which are my responsibility, gave me the challenge to find techniques to use these.