Shredding Democracy

I ran for election (successfully) as a Lancaster City Councillor on two occasions in 2017 and 2019, accumulating a huge pile of electoral registers and canvas sheets that had to be shredded as they contained confidential information.

These have sat in my office for years, but when I started shredding them recently I had the idea to make Papier-mâché from them, and make an object that makes a statement about the introduction of voter id helping to shred democracy.

To make the Papier-mâché I soaked the paper overnight then used a hand held mixer to blend it into a paste, then mixed in flour.

I had intended to make a full size ballot box, without any slot for entering votes in, using a large pastic storage box. However, I soon realised that I didn’t know the qualties or capacities of this material, or even whether I had made it (from a recipe I found on the internet) properly.

Instead I used a sandwich box, and the lid, as a mould.. It took several days for the papier-mache to dry sufficiently to remove it from the mould, ansd as can be seen from the photo, it has warped and broken.

I am going to give up trying to make papier -mache paste, and try glueing strips of the shredded paper to a box instead.