East London Food & Culture

Plaster Works: help transform local waste into items of beauty

Get hands-on at these pop-up workshops for adults and children to transform plaster dust

We all see it piled up in skips that line the roads of Leyton and Leytonstone (and, of course, beyond). Building waste material is quite literally everywhere, isn’t it? And it’s almost always destined for landfill.

A three-week pop-up project run by E17’s Blackhorse Workshop aims to counter that – as well as turn this scrappy waste into objects of beauty. They’ve partnered with sustainable design studio Good Waste (who sell homeware products made from Selfridge’ss scrap) and Waltham Forest Council to deliver what sounds like an innovative public making experience: Plaster Works.

Transform what would end up as landfill. Photo: PR

Quite simply, Plaster Works is all about showing the design potential of recycled plasterboard, and exploring the potential value of material waste together with fellow residents of the borough.

During this week’s October half-term and on the following weekends, you can get stuck into a fun hands-on making experience, suitable for both adults and children. Participants will crush, mix and create their own unique material to be moulded into a decorative bowl, gaining an insight into the power of transforming mundane waste.


Plaster Works will be hosted in the newly renovated County Cameras shop at Chingford Mount E4, a hop on the Overground or bus. Waltham Forest have recently restored this former iconic store, bringing it back to life to be used for innovative local community and retail projects. For three weeks, it will become an experimental making space, to explore and showcase the possibilities of recycled plasterboard using processes developed by Good Waste and Blackhorse Workshop.

Grinding the dust. Photo: PR

The Plaster Works project is inspired by research into local waste streams which identified skips full of plasterboard, destined for landfill. Exploring how this under-valued and abundant material could be recycled, Blackhorse Workshop and Good Waste developed a process to extract the plaster powder creating a new plaster type material with many applications.

Influenced by Scagliola, a traditional 17th century Italian plaster technique, local pigments from other discarded construction materials, such as brick dust are added to create a stunning new material with a beautiful marble finish. This material has been used to design the shop’s interior and furniture elements to showcase its potential.

Plaster Works challenges us all to re-think about the materials that surround us every day and to see the value where others see waste.

Plaster Works runs from 23rd October – 14th November 2021 at 228 Chingford Mount Rd, London E4 8JL. Book your tickets here: 23rd & 24th October, 25th – 29th October 2021 (October Half Term), 6th & 7th November 2021, 13th & 14th November 2021. Morning sessions run 10 – 11.30am, Afternoon: 2-3.30pm, 4.30 – 6pm. Price £5, more info.

This is a sponsored post in association with Waltham Forest and Plaster Works. If you’re a business wanting to access tens of thousands of Londoners across our north and east London newsletters, websites and social media network, please email info@leytonstoner.london or info@londonbelongstome.com.

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