Pig waste

Physical copy available

We have a physical copy of this material in our library at the Jan van Eyck Academie.

Pig waste

Hidden Beauty

Each year more than 60 billion animals are slaughtered globally.

Therefore, animal remains present a constant and significant waste stream. Abattoir waste consists of blood, bone, fat, skin, hair, animal trimmings and urine, all of which can be hugely problematic to the environment by overwhelming natural eco-systems including, rivers and oceans.

The mountain of animal waste we create daily is culturally associated with dirt: it must be cleaned, destroyed or disguised. Consequently, and due to the increasing costs of removal, slaughterhouses often dispose of their waste through the sewers, landfills or on farmland. However, even when this waste is incinerated, it releases dangerous heavy metals into the atmosphere [sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides], all toxins that are extremely detrimental to our air quality and human health.

Through the crafting of everyday functional objects, the project of Clemence Grouin-Rigaux aims to not only practically reduce the mountain of waste we generate every day, but also help to change our perception of it, both as a valuable commodity but also culturally as something that doesn’t need to be discarded.

As a matter of availability, Grouin-Rigaux focused on sourcing all his waste materials from pigs.
Pigs' meat is one of the most accessible meat to find, as well as its remains ( blood, bones, skin, hair). We tend to think that a hog is an animal whose every part is reused or eaten. However, many components of the animal are thrown and wasted.

Clemence Grouin-Rigaux sourced all of his wasted materials from meat markets (Smithfield Market, Borough market) and local butchers (Turner & Georges, Caledonian Road meat shop).

After focusing only on pig's blood, he extended his investigation towards further other by-products, including bones and skins. He started digging into the 18th and 19th centuries when scientists began experimenting with animals in search of plasticity.

Additional information

All of the Hidden beauty objects are made mixing bone glue or skin glue (which forms the central part of the material) and colored with blood powder or bone char pigment). In thin layers, it can create a flexible and robust plastic, similar to leather or certain textiles. In large amount, it's a durable material, similar to resin.


Pig waste, bone glue, skin glue.


Clemence Grouin-Rigaux


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