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.
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.
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.