The Quirky Facts
The Quirky Quote
“I have always enjoyed experimenting with materials that people might otherwise throw away, which is why I started working with toilet rolls; recreating scenes from my surroundings that have inspired me.” ~ Anastassia Elias
Pre-schoolers and crafters may dabble in toilet paper roll art, but I know of two artists who excel
at it in different ways.
French paper artist Junior Fritz Jacquet, born in Haiti in 1979, discovered origami in a Parisian library when he was 15. Although he has gone on to use paper in other amazing ways, he gained fame years ago for his miniature masks made by squishing and folding a single toilet paper roll into an expressive face, then shellacking and adding pigment to them. His intent was “to create funny and jovial expressions.” Mssr. Jacquet’s toilet paper face creations are easily found on the internet here
, and you can see more examples here: https://juniorfritzjacquet.com/jfj/sculptures/
is another artist living in France who creates art from toilet paper rolls, but rather than folding them from the outside, she uses scissors and a tweezer to create whimsical paper scenes on the inside, which she then lights from behind for maximum effect. She has in fact, created a whole book of the images called Rouleaux,
which features 67 paper sculptures that were made between 2009 and 2012, and a total of 157 photographs and 28 sketches. It’s available here
Like Mr. Jacquet, her artistic endeavors go far beyond toilet paper roll art, but she has used that particular medium to help a charity trying to bring better sanitation to poor communities. In 2016, she created a special series of artwork for WaterAid to mark World Toilet Day, (betcha didn’t know about that celebration either) noting that 2.3 billion people – one in three of the world’s population – do not have access to a safe, private toilet.
The Quirky Observations
As you will learn from the quiz, most toilet paper rolls are neither recycled nor composted, although it would be better for our environment if they were, and most of us do not have the talents of our featured artists, but anyone can reduce waste by using toilet paper rolls for other purposes. This article
suggests 16 ideas, and here are three quick ones including two with links to instructions:
The Shameless Request
- Whether or not you do anything to decorate the TP rolls to make them more attractive, they are handy for keeping all our device cords neat and organized.
- Here is an idea for nurturing seedlings until ready to plant or give to others – a thoughtful green gift.
- TP rolls make excellent pillow pouches for small gifts of jewelry, candy, nail polish or perfume samples, or little doodads.
Now that WNW is a double award-winning publication, we think even more people will be interested in it. Please share it, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, send me a note at Kathy@WiserNow.com
. The Questions
The Featured Product
- Do like the art shown here?
- Do you prefer one artist’s work over the other?
- Have you ever thought of making art from toilet paper rolls? Will you now?
- What is the most unusual medium you have seen art made from?
The artists noted briefly above are just two of the many in my Wiser Now Whimsical Art Part 1 – Figures and Faces slide show
, which focuses on art that amuses, awes, and fascinates us. By so doing, it becomes an art appreciation course that anyone can lead, and, I hope, that everyone can enjoy. If you are a teacher, activity director, or other group leader, you will want to purchase the version with the printed leader’s guide
. If you are just interested in unusual – but definitely talented – artists, the slide show
alone with its many blue links is likely to provide hours of pleasure.
Whether or not you were a toilet paper hoarder during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, your household is likely continuing to generate a large supply of empty toilet paper rolls each year, and that is bad for the environment. Can you guess the answers to the following questions? We assume you can only
guess, but this is one quiz where the answers are highly informative, so keep reading!
1. What percent of the world’s people use toilet paper?
a. 25 – 30% b. 40 – 50% c. 60 – 70% d. 80 – 90%
FYI, before you are turned off by this topic, most of those who don’t use toilet paper use bidets or other forms of water cleansing. And that’s all we’re going to say about bottom-cleaning.
2. The Chinese began manufacturing toilet paper in the 14th
century, but when did toilet paper become popular in the Western world?
a. 1840 ___ b. 1890 ___ c. 1910 ___ d. 1930 ___
3. How did it happen that toilet paper rolls
- Japanese papermakers came up with the idea as early as about 1835. ___
- A U.S. paper company began manufacturing their toilet paper with them in 1890. ___
- They caught on with the French in about 1930 and no one ever looked back, so to speak. ___
4. How many rolls of toilet paper does the average person in the U.S. use each year?
a. 50 ___ b. 75 ___ c. 100 ___ d. 140 ___
5. Although it’s possible to purchase tubeless toilet paper rolls, few people do. Furthermore, toilet paper rolls are fully recyclable and can even be buried with your other kitchen compost, but how many tubes are estimated to be thrown away each year in the U.S.?
a. 490 million ___ b. 2.8 billion ___
c. 9 billion ___ d. 17 billion ___
6. Worldwide, how many trees are cut down each year for our toilet paper?
a. 53 million ___ b. 246 million ___ c. 418 million ___ d. 712 million ____
7. Are there alternatives? Yes. Recycled toilet paper. What’s it made of?
a. You don’t want to think about it. ___
b. Mostly from other recycled paper products such as newspapers and scraps which may or may not have been recycled by consumers. It is NOT made from used toilet paper. ___
8. Why don’t more people use recycled toilet paper and roll-free toilet paper?
- There’s the “ick factor” caused by the misunderstanding of what it’s made from. ___
- People in the U.S. have become incredibly spoiled by super soft, tree-gobbling, septic tank clogging toilet paper and are unlikely to change easily. ___
- It can be slightly more expensive, and people still tend to shop for bargains. ___
- All of the above. ___
I wrote this WNW originally because I wanted to feature the artists above, but when it came to trying to figure out an accompanying quiz, I had to check out a LOT of resources. Here are some: