Paper Mache

After my discussion with my tutor about how I felt the modroc wasn’t doing enough for me, I decided I should try the method I mentioned before, paper mache, to see if it’s anything like I want it to be. I’ve never actually used this method before so it’s completely new to me, but what’s good is I have a friend who has done it many times before and she offered to teach me tips for getting the texture and thickness I want.

For a start she helped me decide which material to use, paper or kitchen towel, as paper is thin but can become very hard, whilst tissue is thicker but doesn’t set as hard unless coated quite often. She also showed me the different pastes you can use, one being wallpaper paste, another being flour and water, and another being pva glue and water.

In many guides I found it mentioned ripping the material and dipping it into the paste and then applying it to the object, but I found this to be a bit difficult as I kept feeling that the paste was on too thick even when I stripped of some of the pva on the edge of the bowl it was contained in, so she showed me another method which agreed with me more. This method featured using a thick brush to coat the object first, and then applying the material afterwards, then coating the material again, in a sense coating both the object and the material.

To learn this I used a hand statue I had brought before to do another hand piece. I was able to make the fingers longer and sharper, and made the knuckles look shiny to resemble skin stretched over bone too much. Unfortunately I left the experiment in the studio, in the hopes of photographing it in a better environment than my home, and it disappeared.  Although I asked around no one saw it and it’s thought that my work got thrown away. However I know from doing this experiment that it would look interesting on the skeleton, and I plan to use paper mache to cover the ribs and possibly the rest, especially considering how the tissue felt after the pva touched it, it felt very strange and quite ghoulish. I think if I can make it that unpleasant to touch again then it would add another layer to the work, adding in the ability for the viewer to recoil if they touched it.

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