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Paper Cello by Chris Tsonias

Environmentally Friendly Cello

Using his own patented process, Greek artist Chris Tsonias created this environmentally friendly cello out of recycled paper. Tsonias has made four cellos.

He started making cellos to have another instrument for an ensemble made out of recycled paper and textiles.

Construction Process

Other than the fittings, a support, and strings, Tsonias made this cello entirely out of recycled paper, using a decoupage or paper mache technique.

In all of his instruments, the basic glue is environmentally friendly, made from flour, water, and wood glue. He also uses other adhesives at some stages in the construction as well as a water-based varnish.

Although his instruments are primarily constructed out of paper and/or textiles, Tsonias uses some wood or aluminum to support the tension of the strings.

Some people mistakenly think he creates his instruments from wood and covers them with paper. This is not the process. The bulk of each instrument is constructed out of paper and/or textiles.


He does his work entirely by hand and each of his instruments reflects his own personal style.

It takes him a month or more to complete a cello. He explained:

It depends on how difficult the construction of the cello you want to make is. For example, at the moment I have started making an acoustic cello, inspired by Salvador Dali – a melted cello.

The Challenges of Working with Paper and Textiles

Tsonias explained that although the sound quality of his instruments is very good, the instruments tend to be less powerful.

Another challenge is to maintain the strength in construction. In the heat, the varnish and glues soften. However, he is working on a solution and plans to patent it.

Patented Process

Here is Tsonias’s patent:

Industrial Property Organization of Greece

Patents by Christos Tsonias No.: 1007747  (INT.CL8 ) : G10D  1/00     Title: “Stringed musical instruments made of soft and flexible materials”. (such as, paper, textile-fabric, synthetic or used leather, cardboard, etc)

Hear Tsonias’s EcoArt Band

This group includes the cello and some of the other instruments Tsonias has made for his performances.

Commission a Cello by Chris Tsonias

This cello has been sold, but if you are interested in commissioning a cello or other instrument by Chris Tsonias, contact him via email: christsonias(at), Artmajeur, or through his website.

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Chris Tsonias

Chris Tsonias was born in the north-eastern Greek city of Komotini in 1968. It’s a city with an eclectic mix of European and Western influences, but at the same time a place which has absorbed the influences of nearby Asia.

For the last 9 years Chris has worked as a sculptor, designer, and maker, experimenting with found and discarded materials like paper, card, and fabric. He developed a construction process - imagining, designing and building objects of unparalleled skill and beautiful form. Through extensive research he has created an innovative method for recycling a variety of materials into forms such as musical instruments, sculpture, and functional audio speakers. These forms have acted as a canvas for Chris’s own imagination. Traditional musical instrument shapes exist in their own right, but are often re-imagined and enhanced with a vivid array of original design elements. Sculptural forms bring to life artistic imagery but also act as a canvas for other artists to explore their practice.

Recognising the often devastating impact on the environment of current processes used to produce musical instruments and audio speakers, he has created the Piano Bike Bar, an organic product. Chris has engineered an innovative process, which turns wasted and found materials into one-off unique objects. This process, with its very low impact on the environment, demonstrates a commitment to environmental sustainability and the world we live in.

Chris’s work has been seen throughout Greece and exhibited in London. Music performed on his instruments has been played at European Union events, at conferences, and at cultural festivals in Greece and beyond. Chris has also formed partnerships with commercial businesses and international brands.

Commission a Cello by Chris Tsonias

This cello has been sold, but if you are interested in commissioning a cello or other instrument by Chris Tsonias, contact him via email: christsonias(at), Artmajeur, or through his website.

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