Monday, January 26, 2009

Papier Mache- A Forgotten Art

Papier mache (french) meaning chewed paper, named so for it's appearance and hopefully not a gentleman who spent his time doing such! I don't really want to know. Papier Mache originally invented in China as helmets and ultimately the beautiful lacquered furnishing we see. It has become a dieing art.

It's mostly applied in theoretical or parade floats of today. Meant to be a temporary structure although it's been know to be a room divider and is fairly strong when dried.

The above picture shows the pig molded as paper pulp, today we have what's called paper clay. It's layers of paper which when mixed with water becomes a pliable mold able texture. It's pressed to form objects and can be sanded to a pleasing smooth like appearance.

The more transitional papier mache (sometimes called paper) is done with torn strips of paper laid in a criss cross fashion to form whatever piece is being made. The layers need to air dry unlike paper clay that is frozen in the mold, removed and baked to harden.

I've got a project coming up with traditional papier mache, my first. C&G Design.


Kathleen said...

Dawn, I can't wait to see what your project will be. I remember playing with paper mache when I was a kid (long ago). Love the facts on paper mache too. Hopefully your phone has been quiet in the night. 16 degrees below zero here this AM. Stay warm, hugs XO Kathleen

tina said...

I always enjoyed paper mache when I was a kid. Messy though. Can't wait to see what you are making.

Jean said...

Wow those are all great paper mache items. I love the pig and dog. But what is pig doing hauling Easter eggs? Gool luck on your new project, can't wait to see it.

Kathleen just be glad you are not even farther north. Last night on the 11:00pm news they said it was 28 below in Frenchville. We went to 2 below here. But when morning came it went up 15 degrees in half an hour and still going up. Hopefully this cold will be over with soon.

Skeeter said...

Jean, You saw Easter eggs, I saw potatoes or bread loaves. lol
I remember making a papier mache piñata in school. We took a blown up balloon, Covered it with the glued wet strips of newspaper and once dried, we took a pin and popped the balloon inside. Then we cut a hole and filled with candy for the fiesta! Olay...

Dawn said...

I hope you all won't be disapointed, because I am.
My project can out like the dog, I was visioning something smoother then I found out about the paperclay (imagine). I did this post afterwards.
I also read you can pulp newspaper with sodium bicarbonate. Maybe next time.....I have to figure out what that is first.
I decided I'd go ahead with posting about it because I've spent many hours on it.
Etsy has a seller that makes Mario banks, bombs, chomper, and polka dotted flower plant. Too cute.

Cinj said...

I made a pinata for my son once out of paper mache. It was a death star, his friends were pretty impressed.

Linda Lunda said...

Werry interesting!!!!