Monday, November 28, 2011

Papier Mâché

I have always thought of papier-mâché as a lower art form with an oatmeal texture, poorly proportioned, and overall, somewhat crude. Lately though, I have seen some examples of papier-mâché on the Internet which have started to change my mind about what can be done with the medium. So I found this book at my local Public Library, and checked it out, hoping to get some ideas of some recipes for making the paste, and some techniques for using it.

papier-mâché artistry.
Dona Z. Meilach.
NY: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1971.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 78-147334

I am also familiar with Ultimate Paper Mache, a website by Jonni Good, who has been making papier-mâché sculpture for over 50 years. There are Paper Mache Recipes on the website. Her Paper Mache Clay looks like it is easy to make, and may be an inexpensive substitute for commercially available paper clay. She is the self-published author of her own book, Make Animal Sculptures With Paper Mache Clay, and there is also a 43 page booklet available on her site titled: Practical Paper Mache, authored by readers of her website.

My own ideas of what to make with papier-mâché range from 1/3rd scale furniture for my 60cm BJD WIP, to sculpture, both full-sized and doll-sized. I am excited about learning how to work with materials and methods that are so readily available, inexpensive, and that do not require any special tools. I am looking forward to becoming familiar with this material, and the methods of using it. I already have some ideas for some whimsical furniture that I can custom make for Aalish when she is finished.

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