Planters Nearing Completion

making planters

The Magnetic Planters project continues. With Michelle and Danielle away this week, the rest of Broken City Lab had to relearn the process of making paper pulp. It was a good night, though we’re hoping to get this project finished in the next week or so. As Intersession begins, we’ll be shifting our Office Hours to another yet-to-be-determined day, and it might even be biweekly until July. We’ll keep you posted.

Nicole and Cristina

First thing of the night – remove the planters from last week from their mold shapes (blocks of wood, plastic containers, etc).


Josh and Darren took on the task of making pulp.

paper pulp

I think the first recipe went wrong for at least a couple reasons, though which ones I’m not entirely sure. I know we tried adding glue, but it didn’t seem to make anything stick, plus the pulp seemed to be much too watery and ground up.

Darren at the blender

Darren brought cassette cases to make planters around.

paper ready for blending

The materials.

first round of paper pulp

Adding pulp to our green container.

making planters

With lots of people helping out again, it seemed like we were going to be really productive.


More blending.

Josh and Nicole

And more blending.

blender and glue

And then, the retirement of the glue. We realized after trying to put together 7 or 8 planters that something was going wrong. The pulp wasn’t sticking to itself, or holding together.

Lebel wall

So, a quick break outside to photograph some potential worksites. The wall of LeBel.

portable at lebel

Here’s the portable in the parking lot that is, as I understand it, no longer going to be used. Either of these sites would be a great place to do some moss graffiti, another (hopeful) summer project.

Jae and Justin

Back inside, Jae from Windsor Guerilla Gardening Collective came by to ask us some questions about the planters and offered some great ideas to help with the growing of whatever we plant, once the planters are out in the wild.

paper in the blender

Back to the recipe, we went with more paper, less water, and lots of flour.

Darryl and Nicole

This mixture seemed to work a lot better. Darryl and Laura went about pressing some small sheets of paper pulp.

Justin makes paper planters

I also tried my hand at making this recipe work.

Cristina sorting through Text In-Transit stuff

Cristina went through the Text In-Transit entries to match up submissions to their colours on our working list of final selections.

everyone at work

It was a good night, lots of great people came out (and Darren learned how to knit!)

The next day, the planters are drying in my studio.

Some of them are pretty big, but I’m certain that all of this experimentation is going to result in some awesome magnetic planters. Soon, we’ll attach the magnets, stencil the planters themselves, and then get them up around the city!

8 Replies to “Planters Nearing Completion”

  1. glad someone got a shot of you and jae too. i had one but haven’t been taking photos much lately. been more into doing stuff. sorry i got distracted with the knitting too. looking forward to CNAP tonight at phog from 6-10. stop by if you like. lots of creative stuff will be going on.

  2. Man these things are sweet! I can’t wait to see the results of this one. Walking by and seeing a group of multi-coloured wild flowers attached to a seemingly unreachable sign up above. Though I might have missed the post but where and how did you get those magnets?

  3. I’m really excited to get these up and glad you’re excited too! Hopefully they’re finished soon! We got those magnets from Lee Valley. They’re rare earth magnets.

    1. I think we should finish these ones (attach the magnets, get the soil and seeds in them), and then put them up around the city. Then we can always start on another round of them after that, but this way, we can do some more tests and see how they do out in “the field” over a longer period of time.

      1. good idea : )

        Tom was telling Nicole and I how much he would love to get a planter or two at Phog, but he’s not sure where he would stick them.

        1. Great! Anything magnetic in front of Phog? I know there’s a metal box closer to the corner of Victoria and University… Start scoping out other areas too!!

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