Daily Sculptors

Daily Sculptors Group Page

This is the new official page for the unofficial “Daily Sculptors Group.” Join the challenge to sculpt something every single day — and stay focused on improving your craft among friends.

The challenge is to do the work every single day. It isn’t about creating something that is perfectly finished or gallery-ready. If you show us your daily work it may encourage others to submit theirs, and together we might be able to vanquish Resistance and Procrastination, at least for one more day.

If you want to join us, use the comment section of this page as a journal. Share some of the challenges and insights that you gain from your work, and show off what you made today. Upload photos of your work, so we can see what you’ve been up to. If your images are too big, you can resize them quickly using this free online picture resizer.

Enjoy!

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5,118 Comments

  • hi everyone. This my another creation. A stalking leopard. I thing it has some issues with the face. If you guys can find out some more imperfections it would be a great help for my future projects. Thanks.

  • I have completed another piece, which I have submitted to a gallery for a show. One of the show requirements are that it was not exhibited before, so I can only give you a peek at a small part of it. If it doesn’t make the show I’ll share the full piece with everyone.

    • He looks great, Brian! It’s so fun to see one that someone else put together. What did you decide to use to support the pattern from the inside?

      • I used foil for the nose per your advice, that seemed to work great. I used newspaper for the rest of the cavity. My only worry now is getting the eyelids right, I don’t want to cover to much of the eyes. Also painting the eyes to me seems the most difficult step ahead. I think the eyes can make or break the project.

        • You’re right – if you get the eyes right, the piece works. If not… Some people do the eyes first so they can do them over if they need to – and then move on to the rest. I always think that’s a good idea, but I always leave them to last.

          I can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s finished. Will you be keeping him, or is it a present for someone?

          • I’m not sure what I’ll do with him. I guess it depends on how he turns out, HA HA. I didn’t really have any purpose in mind. I love bears, and I loved yours when I saw it. I also liked the idea that you had made a pattern so it made it possible to have my own. I’m still new to paper mache, so I loved the challenge. Plus the pattern reminded me of a jigsaw puzzle, and model making which I love. Putting your pattern together was addicting, the more it was taking shape the more I wanted to keep going. Thanks

        • Love the bear! Almost as good as Super Grouper! (I have a new hero.)

          I paint the eyes on my projects last, too. I think if I painted them first, they would be messed up by the time I get a project painted.

        • Its looking great already , I cant wait to start some projects Iv just found this page and I LOVE IT THANKYOU

  • This tiger was made back in 2014. there is a plywood frame to hang on wall. I am from west bengal,India where the tiger conservatory of the Sunderban is situated. so tiger is a common animal here.As they are at the brink of extinction I think it will be great to remind all about the magnificence of this animal through my sculpture.It’s my humble effort.if you like it my work will be a success.

      • Sambhodi, that is one mean looking tiger. It is a beautiful sculpture and so are your panda and horse. This medium I can tell you from my experience is addictive. We really would like to see more of your work.

      • thanks jonni.I’ve never done any kind of exhibition at local galleries.I’m an amateur artist so It’s beyond my imagination to do a show.However i’ll try.My first task is to aware people about the form of art,to let people know about it.I teach secondary school students.Some of them also are trying to make such sculptures.

  • Hi Jonni, I’ve made this giant panda with bamboo stick back in 2014. It is about 12″X12″ in dimension. It has been sitting right beside my laptop. It makes me feel good when I glance at it. My family members too love it. please comment so that feel more Inspired and gain courage to make more challenging sculpture. I believe you and my family will always be there to encourage me. Thanx.

    • Great panda, Sambodhi! He looks so relaxed and serene – he would be wonderful company while working on the laptop.

      • Thanx Jonni. It feels great to get appreciation from you. I’ll be uploading more and more sculptures from my collection. Thanks again.

    • Sambodhi, you did a great job on the panda, and I love the nails. (I’m working on 3 dinosaurs and the nails are a problem for me.) I can see why it makes you feel good.

      Hope you will show us other things you are working on.

  • Here are some progress pictures of my current project. Just wondering Jonni, with daily sculptors do you encourage seeing pictures here of day to day progress or do you prefer to see finished pieces mostly?

    The inspiration for this piece was because someone posted a bottle with legs on it on a facebook group which I never thought of yet since I usually work much bigger. I thought that was pretty smart and a great way to recycle AND have an easy start to build up on. This is becoming a Bernese mountain dog that can hold fresh flowers in it’s mouth.

    • What a clever idea, Soul. And I love the look of the Bernese mountain dog. Are they as nice as they look?

      As for what you should put on this page, that’s totally up to you. I mentioned in another comment that I’m thinking about adding the Buddypress social network plugin to the site so readers have more control over what they contribute. I can easily see you starting a group for people who are really into using recycled materials in their sculptures, for instance. Some people might just want to create a profile, upload some of the images, and keep track of comments left by specific people. I know you also do Facebook, so do you think there would be a use for more social options on this site, too?

      • The two bernese I knew and know personally are real sweethearts though the lady (the one I’m making) is into all sorts of misschief too :D.

        I do have a page on Facebook about all the reuse recycle things I make. Managing a group about it would be way out of what I’m able to manage though.

        I can’t really advise you on social media to add to this page. Personally I like Facebook and it’s albums a lot because it is very easy to upload straight from my phone that I use as my camera.

        And Facebook has many options to order and group and keep track of exactly what you want to keep track of and when, that would be awesome if something like that would be available on here too without the email notifications but simply on site.

        Keeping track of things and finding posts back and uploading pictures is quite a bit harder on your site but once my pictures are up on Facebook I can easily save them on my computer to post on here too.

        Here is a little update on the doggy :)

        • What a lovely face. You come up with the most creative ideas! Where did your calf go to live, by the way? Did it get a good home?

        • Soul, everything you do interests me! You always have creative, interesting, and informative posts. I look forward to seeing your dog completed.

          I might add, thanks to you, I have a HUGE sack of plastic bottles in my garage. You are the recycle king! Thanks.

          • Thank you Rex, don’t just keep them in your garage, time to make something HUGE that will be exceptionally light weight thanks to the bottles πŸ˜€

            Update on the dog, not done yet but getting there. Redid the eyes by printing out the actual dogs eyes and sealing them in a small piece of leftover sealer. Worked those into the face. I ran out of black crepe (that was salvaged giftwrap) so had to use the pink crepe for the last patches that will need to be inked or painted black later when all is dry.

    • Soul, you are the master of using recycled materials. What an inventive project and what a beautiful dog to use as your “muse”! I happen to love seeing your progress pics. I am too lazy or maybe absorbed to take them myself. Make sure you show us the finished piece.

      • Thanks Jonni and Eileen.

        Jonni the calf lives with me. The dog is going to be a gift though.

        Good thing the calf lives with me too since yesterday the head came off πŸ˜€

        What I love about paper strip mache is that is so easy to open up and repair. The bulb that serves as the joint to move the head came loose from the head so will need redoing. Among some other repair jobs.

        Eileen I had the good fortune to have people ask me to take progress pictures when I started on my first project which was the paper mache baby elephant from Jonni’s pattern. I wouldn’t have thought of taking pictures otherwise either. It is so magical and wonderful to look back at the progress of things and how they develop that I have been taking them ever since. It also helps in keeping the faith when at some point something seems completely ruined or off track, since now I know and can even look back at all those moments in EVERY creation and they all turned out fine.
        I use my phone camera so it is very easy to upload them to facebook from there.

        I still enjoy going through the albums and seeing how it all came together. It’s a wonder to me too, I just start with an idea what I want to make but I don’t plan things out and if I do they usually completely change on the go. And hopefully it can inspire some others to use what they have got anyways instead of putting more burden on our planet by buying more toxic materials to make something.

        Though often at recycling pages you see that people go look for trash they DON’T have yet, to follow a tutorial, instead of using the trash they DO have for something creative πŸ˜€

        I will defenitely post updates every now and then or you can click my name to follow on the go at my facebook page. At the moment I have to reinvent a way to do the eyes, they looked ok yesterday but today they look like she has a mayor case of stare :p

      • Soul, your dog has boatloads of personality, and when finished that is one gift your friend will be happy to get. Your brand of recycling is inspiring. My cardboard collection is getting humungous. Time to put that to good use.

  • Hi Jonni

    Nancy from Cape Paterson, Australia here. Thank you for your marvellous website. I discovered it recently, after making a few things from the newspaper strip and wallpaper paste method. My small house was strewn with strips of newspaper, much of which was stuck to the carpet, my clothes, the soles of my feet and my dogs (who find the whole thing fascinating). I have now made a batch of your paper mache clay (the first recipe) and will have a go at using it on my next project.

    Here is one of the finger puppets I made … she is quite crude but I like her character! (she’s a foxy moron). Some technical hitches with rushing the painting process but she’s still cute!

  • Hi jonni,As per my promise I’m uploading this one.I’ve used paper strip and paper mache paste for the outer layer.I’ve used a plywood base to make this pose. there are nails as the support of hind legs.The mane is made of wool.I think if the Styrofoam spacers would have been less bulkier it would be better.However I am eagerly waiting for any kind of criticism.

      • it’s about 10″ in length and 10″ in height. I’ve later noticed that the outline of shoulder and hip is a bit exaggerated. I think next time it will not happen. and will you kindly suggest me some acrylic colours? I’ve asked you in past. but may be you have somehow missed that. Thanks

        • I remember you asking about the acrylic paints, but I forgot to answer you. I just use the natural colors in whichever brand of paint they happen to have available in the local stores. Sometimes I use craft paint, and other times I use the Liquitex or Golden brands. I have to admit that I’m not an expert on painting – I just keep at it until I like what I see. Maybe one of our other readers could help out with this question?

    • Sambodhi, I love your horse. I have made 5 or 6 of them and I know they can be a challenge. This is very nice. The pose is very dramatic. I love the face. The shoulders may be a little bulky in front, but the hind legs look great to me.

      If you find out the secret how “wide” to make shoulders, please pass it along! That is one of my biggest challenges.

      Up until a couple of months ago I used the acrylic colors Jonni used in her book, “Make animal sculptures.” What really helped me with color was a book Jonni mentioned, “Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green” by Michael Wilcox. Having said that, I noticed that Hookers Green is made from Hansa Yellow (cool yellow), Naphol Red, and Phthalo Blue (there are warm and cool shades). I find using these colors I can make green, orange, and purple almost any shade I want. I do watercoloring and found that if I use fewer colors I have better control of the colors I want. That is why the colors Jonni mentioned in her books has been such a help because I have never used acrylics.

      Having said that, I struggle with colors mainly because I can’t decide what color to paint things. For instance, I have 3 dinosaurs finished but don’t know what colors to paint them, so I’m playing around with that. Good luck.

      Another thing I might mention is that learning that there are 6 basic colors instead of 3 has been a great help. There is a warm red, cool red, warm yellow, cool yellow, warm blue, and cool blue. How you mix these will make a big difference in the color you get. Wilcox goes through a lengthy discussion about colors and how mixing them produces different colors.

  • Hi Jonni, hi all!
    This time i’d like to share how my Ganesha looks up until now. Same structure as the human birds, same technique with rolls, balls and plain sheets of toilet paper. It has been fun to model the face but I must confess that the arms are making me feel a bit too anxious and as I already gave an experimental coat of paint on his face I noticed a bit more of its texture and … didnt liked! So, even if I coat him with cold porcelain dont know if it will create a smoother skin or else I’ll coat him with air drying modeling paste. Thinking on getting back to my papercrete paste and add a bit of starch, lets see … :)

    • Hi Pedro. We do want to see your Ganesha, but the image didn’t get attached to your comment. I’ll bet it was too big. I do hope you’ll try again.

      By the way, when you mention papercrete, is that the kind that actually has concrete in it, or is a commercial paper mache product that someone can buy at the store?

      • Ok, lets try again then!

        The papercrete paste I use is a paste much inspired on yours. It has toilet paper, a bit of oil, paper glue (the one that people uses to glue publicity posters on walls) and cement powder all mixed. If thin it dries over 1 to 4 days.
        I normally use it to give volume to my dolls (facebook.com/Myroyaldolls).

        By now I already added the starch to it, felt good but I made a new batch(?) without the cement, I guess either I will have to add tons of starch or change glue and use exclusively white glue, but I guess I will, as soon as I’ll have some money, buy the joint compound and try yours (didnt do yet not out of snobery but I do like to try different things :)

          • I think the plugin doesn’t always work. I have no idea why, so I can’t fix it – but thanks for trying it again.

        • Your photo worked this time – and it looks very nice. And experimenting is good – I do it all the time, myself. I don’t know what kind of glue they use for posters, but your recipe sounds interesting – and you certainly make some nice sculptures with it.

  • Hi Jonni,this is one of my past creations. this Polar bear has been made following your recipe. please comment and let me know what improvements it does need.

    • It’s beautiful! I don’t think you should change a thing. He has great texture, his pose is perfect, and I like the details like the small ears and the extra fold of skin under his chin that really makes him believable as a polar bear.

      Do you have any more sculptures you could show us?

      • Thanx jonni for your comment. I do have a few other sculptures and It’s my duty to show you those creations to you because you are my tutor in this art. Please suggest me a few acrylic colors that I should use. I normally use acrylic colors for fabrics. but that do not give the desired hue all the time. By the way I’m from India. so its hard to get good colors in local stores.

    • Sambodhi,
      Your polar bear is so awesome!! His proportions are spot on, making him appear very realistic. How big is he?

      Jen

      • Thanks Rex. believe me in respect of perfection it’s far away to become an “artist”.I’m just an amateur student of Mrs. Jonni Good.

        • Well, Sambodhi, you have a good teacher. My paper mache projects got much better quickly after I read Jonni’s books and got on this website.

    • Heh – I wish I could take the credit, but I have no idea why it’s working now, but it didn’t work yesterday. I clicked a few buttons, changed a few things, and then changed everything back the way it was before. But I’m not complaining.

      How big is your bicycle, and where will it be displayed? I’m sure you said already, but my brain has fogged over with all this tech stuff… πŸ˜‰

      • Haha, oh yes all credit DOES go to you for fixing it. The tech savy people solve most of the problems the very same way πŸ˜€

        The bicycle is 20 cm, wheels 8 cm. I’m not sure if it will be displayed but it was a gift to a bicycle shop holder who does his share in recycling by using old frames with new materials to make affordable bikes with yellow saddle and blue tires as the eyecatcher.

        Because of the brake cord which is essentially a lot of twisted wires it was very hard to get it into the right shape so it’s a bit warped and not the best trademark to show in the shop, haha. I leave it up to them where and if they want to show it or just have it as a fun gadget in the back of the repare place or something.

        It was made with love and received with love, that’s all that matters.

  • I have 2 teen boys and they love both the clay recipe and my 14 year old made this mask. I was impressed since there are so many steps and he usually doesn’t like to do art. He loosely based it on Lord of the Rings. I thought it worth a share.

  • Hi Jonni, Thank you for offering this page/opportunity to discuss what we do with other like minded folk. I am a big fan of yours and you have taught me such a lot about paper! I would really appreciate opinions on this….. I am not looking for much financial gain from my art but I struggle to focus. I have always needed a ‘push’! I need a reason/goal in order to motivate me to make more. Local art galleries aren’t interested, not very commercial/bit to weird, so not sure where they might fit? the weird figures are overtaking my home!
    Have looked into joining local art groups to meet other artists and join in with exhibitions etc but they all seem to be for painters where I live in UK. Any thoughts/advice much appreciated

    • Your sculpture is fabulous – and I can see why you would want to keep making more. I don’t sell artwork myself, so I’m probably not the best person to ask about the business end of it, but here’s my two cent’s worth: You could open a page on Etsy.com, where unusual and delightful works are much appreciated – assuming, of course, that they would ship well. Or, you could bring them down to local art fairs so real people (as opposed to gallery owners) could see them in person. Or, you might consider asking a local gift shop for advice. That’s what I did years ago when I first designed my baby animal dolls. They wouldn’t fit into a gallery, and even if the Internet had been up and running at the time, who would search for such a thing? But a local gift shop owner loved them and gave me great advice, and I then went on to open a booth at the local weekly art and garden fair, where they always sold out. It’s easy to imagine the same happening with your work. What price are you thinking of selling them for?

      I wanted to go to your site and check it out, but my browser told me it has an invalid security certificate. I have no idea what that means, or if it’s just my computer being especially cautious. Is anyone else having that problem when they click on Heather’s name?

      • Thank you very much for your help Jonni. Will check out why my site url is not working properly?.
        Your comments are very helpful. I was advised by a fellow sculptor to ask for Β£250.00 pounds sterling for Erin, the sculpture in the picture made from air dry clay. She isapprox 40 cms tall, and Β£85.00 for Gran in tutu pictured with this message, she is 15 cms tall. So difficult to know what to charge…. especialy when I spend a long time making them.

        • Yes, pricing is so hard – I like to tell people they should ask for the amount that will make them happier than actually owning the thing they just sold. Not very useful advice, but it sounds good… πŸ˜‰

          Good luck with everything. And keep us posted.

          By the way – I had no trouble getting onto your site just now. There must have been a temporary glitch before.

  • Trying again, my post of a few days earlier hasn’t come through it seems.

    When posting I didn’t get a confirmation if it was posted or not and it just redirected to this page again without any notice…

    I’m working on a miniature paper mache bicycle this time, which requires some more precission then the big pieces I usually make working so small. It will be a transporter bike model with a crate for holding businesscards.

    Below are the progress pictures so far.

    • Interesting project, Soul. Be sure to let us see how it turns out. And I wish I could tell you why your previous comment didn’t work, but it’s a mystery. I’m glad you tried again. :)

      • Once again posts aren’t showing up so trying again in the comment section.

        I finished the Cartoon/Claymation style paper mache bicycle out of rest and waste materials.

        Ingredients:
        plastic bottle
        old bicycle brake cord
        glass decoration pebble
        aluminium foil
        cardboard tomato ‘crates’
        newspaper
        left over wall paper glue
        toothpick holder fruits
        scraps of colored paper
        different types of binder wire

        The album with more progress pictures and descriptions can be found by clicking my name for those interested. :)

        • Hi Soul. First, I’ve got to ask – what do you mean when you say posts aren’t showing up? How can you post anything on the blog other than as a comment? Could you give me some more details about what you mean, so we might be able to figure out the problem you’re having?

          And second – the paper mache bicycle is great! And a clever use of the materials, too.

          • Hi Jonni, it’s with making a new post that I’m having problems…
            I thought it was due to using a different browser previous time but it didn’t work on my regular browser either this time.
            Commenting on an existing post does work but making a new one doesn’t for me… But this time I hit post to fast without the picture selected, then stopped the page and tried again with the picture attached. I did get a message that I was sending in a duplicate post but neither have shown up so I’m not sure what is causing it.

          • Hmmm – this is a strange problem. I’ll test it as soon as I’ve logged out. The duplicate issue can be “fixed” by putting an extra word in your comment the second time you hit the enter key. I know it shouldn’t be needed, but WordPress works that way. However, even if your image doesn’t show up in the comment, the comment itself should show up after I’ve had time to approve it.

            Are you using an iPhone or other smart phone by any chance? I’m wondering if maybe WordPress isn’t catching up to the new technology. I know the uploading plugin doesn’t work well with an iPhone, perhaps because the operating system is so different.

            Sometimes it seems like I should go back to school and learn how these things work.

          • I just tested the system, and my new comment was sent immediately to the spam folder. It looks like I’ll have to do some more research to find out why it happened. Thanks for letting me know about this problem – and wish me luck trying to fix it!

          • I think I may have fixed the problem. It seems that certain email addresses were being disallowed (including yours and some of mine). If you’d like to try again to post a new comment, feel free to test it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. πŸ˜‰

          • You DID IT!

            Well done on finding the fix! Thanks!

            I can relate to the feeling of going back to school for all this but I’m afraid it’s not something we can keep up with even if we tried. Development goes so fast and things change so frequently that I just try and learn on the go when the need is there but no more then that πŸ˜€

            No I don’t post from mobile. Just from notebook on Windows 8 usually on Chrome browser.

            Thanks again for fixing it so swiftly.

  • Jonni :) I just wanted to thank you for your very good advice and encouragement on making a PDF on how to make a needle felted gold fish :)
    ( even when it wasn’t a paper mache project) I ended up creating it in Photoshop saved all my files as tiffs and than was able to convert it into a 52 page PDF tutorial that has now been up on my Esty store for a few days. I am getting lots of compliments on it and I have to say that Jonni my fine generous, talented lady that you are the one who helped me step out of my quite corner and express myself. I have learned so much from you and your wonderful site and books! My paper mache is much better than it used to be and my needle felting sculpture skills are directly related to your wonderful ability to teach and explain things. So from the bottom of my heart I give you a very big THANK YOU for being you!

    • Gosh – you’re welcome. I’m so glad you were able to get the tutorial finished and available on your online store. Does the tutorial show people how to make one of those beautiful goldfish that you have on your Facebook page?

      • Yes Jonni the tutorial is how to make the ones on my face book page :) I also have an album on there for my paper mache :) Paper mache is much harder to send by mail though so I’m concentrating on my needle felting at the moment. I think the next step will be to make a book on the gold fish and see how it goes from there :) Thank you again Jonni your the bomb :)

  • Hello and Happy Friday, Everyone!!

    I am excited to get back to my projects. I received my Tiny Dogs book earlier in the week and could not wait to start making a PM of the ‘baby’ of the house. He is an 18 month-old long haired chihuahua/papillon mix named Kip. This little doll is my constant companion and I can’t wait to see him in miniature!!

    My question to Jonni and the group is: why paper and paste over air dry clay? Is there a guideline for when to use one over the other? I loved using the clay on my vintage chicken and dread the mess of paper/paste!!
    This is a pic of Kip and my husband around Christmas time. Kippy is a bit bigger these days!!

      • I think I hit ‘post’ too fast and then then the posting wasn’t approved yet! So here is my tiny Kippy…..

        • Jen, he is a beautiful dog and you have a good likeness going. Congratulations.

          I’m not an expert on hair in any sense, but when I want to do something with a texture, I try to make a stiffer (drier) clay. What this means for me is that I add more flour. Good luck. I look forward to seeing Kip all decked out!

          (I’m fighting with the colors for the T-Rex. Trying to switch from green to purple. We’ll see. It is a process for me.)

          • Good advice, Rex. And Jen, be sure to see our latest guest post, because Pedro may have the answer for you. He does some very interesting things with toilet paper, and you could make fur with his technique just as easily as feathers.

            And Rex, good luck with your T-Rex. I can’t wait to see it.

    • What a sweetie! Kip is a perfect model for a tiny dog sculpture. It looks like he likes to have his picture taken, too.

      I think you also tried to upload a photo of your sculpted Kip, but the image didn’t come through, and we didn’t get to see it. The image may have been too big, or the system just had a hick-up or something. If you did try to send us an image of your tiny dog sculpture, I hope you’ll try again. I would love to see it.

      As for the air dry clay vs. paper and paste, it’s just a matter of preference. You should use the material you like best. I stayed away from the clay recipes in that book because I’d already done books about the air dry clay and the paper mache clay, and I though there might be some folks out there who would like to do it the “old fashioned” way. But you certainly don’t have to!

      • That makes sense, Jonni. I looked at the retriever post (need to watch the video) and saw ur steps with paper towels to make feathered hair. Kip had his holiday haircut in the photo I posted. He really has long hair everywhere!! And a plume for a tail. And honestly, though my family always says he needs a haircut, I love him this way. So, I want to make him with all his long hair. Here is a better pic maybe. He is like ? hair. Is there a way to make strands of hair with the clay or is this the reason to go with paper n paste??

        • Hi again – this image didn’t come through, but you can get a somewhat fur-like look with the pm clay by running a very stiff brush or the edge of a knife through it. But it isn’t strong enough while wet to make into long, separated strands. However, you can use the pm clay as a base and then add “hair” with paper towels and a paste made with joint compound and glue.

          I can’t wait to see how the new Kip looks when he’s done!

    • As far as your clay vs paste and strips, it may depend on how big you plan to make your sculpture. If it is really small, you might want to stick with the strips over the taped wire for the thinner areas, say like the legs. The clay might make the legs too bulky and it is really hard to apply. It looks like your sweet little Kip has tiny legs so they might be tough to capture using clay. I know when I do birds, I use strips and paste for the legs, regular paper mache clay for the body, then the smooth clay for the beak. I keep a stock of both clays in the freezer, use what I need and then refreeze. It works great. You will work out what works best for you.

  • Hi Johnnie well I finally decided what project to do next and here it is ,it started with a balloon that I papered and dried then I added shape with clay and jesso ,finally I built a box and decorated for my head to sit on so here it is

    kind regards Jim

    • Very nice, Jim. By the way, maybe you can offer us some advice. I’ve never had much luck with balloons – is there any special tricks you use to keep the paper mache from wrinkling or cracking when the balloon changes shape? I always seem to have that problem.

      • Hi Johnnie well as you say I very much encountered same problem,as well as my clay cracking, probably as a result—then in the end I even had a huge soft spot on the bottom because of rising damp spot–so my cure was to cut a hole right at the bottom or lets say the damp spot,then I rubbed the inside lightly with a mould killer,then jesso all the inside,so these problems are a huge learning curve for me p.s that reminds me it started with about an 8 inch crack down the side I couldn’t work out why the mache cracked when it was hard and dried kind regards Jim

      • Hi Jonni and Jim, I use balloons a lot and have not had that problem. I have used paper strips exclusively but I use one layer first let that dry outside in the hot sun or the air vent. Then I put several layers. This photo is of a stalled project that has been sitting by my side for the last two years due to artists block. But it is a good example of my balloon work and that is how I started my paper mache vessels.

        • Ooh – you could create so many different characters with these shapes. When you do get these finished, I hope you’ll show them to us.

          I wonder if you have such good luck because the paper strips are drying over a balloon that’s stretched to it’s max, due the warm air. After that, you have a hard layer that holds its shape, perhaps regardless of what the balloon itself decides to do from that point on. I may have to give balloons one more try.

        • This is as far as I got with my stalled project as the brain went south on how to finish this project.

          • Some projects just need to wait a while, I think. When I first saw this photo in a very small size (that’s how images show up when I’m in the blog’s admin area) it looked like the little guy had a round red nose, a pencil mustache and an enormous, lopsided grin – and one Groucho eyebrow way up high. Then I clicked on the image and saw that it was just the images on the paper you used to cover him. I think I have faces on the brain because just this morning I started thinking about starting my next book, about paper mache faces.

            I do admire your perseverance, Christine. When a project just sits in my studio and refuses to speak to me to tell me what to do with it, I tend to chuck it out and move on. You have more patience with them than I do. :)

          • Jonni, when that book comes out let us all know, I will be looking forward to it as it is faces that are my downfall and that tutorial will be very helpful. That is one of my problems with this stalled project.

          • I will certainly let you know. I have to move first, though – I sold my house, bought a new one, and now I’m bogged down with inspections, appraisals, documents, real estate people, insurance people…. But next month I’ll be settled into the new place, and I’ll get back to work.

    • And here is an owl that was supposed to be one ‘simple’ shape so I would have two pieces ready for clay. He had other ideas, however!! He wanted to be fancy! This guy just kept evolving so that 6 hours later, I still needed to prepare the base… and it was 3 am! So here he is in all his naked glory. He WILL be ready for clay in the am.

    • Jen, great job. I love the chicken. Nice shape. I love the owl, too. Can’t wait to see them when you get them finished.

      • Me neither, Rex!!! LOL! I covered about half of each late Sunday night. I used the air dry and didn’t realize how ‘unsticky’ it would be. Loved that I was able to apply and mould with my hands, but was concerned about how it was not sticking to my tape. It was fine in the am when most areas were dry and hard. I will definitely apply the next coat over water and glue, tho! :)

        Will post pics again soon.

  • Hello! I wanted to introduce myself. I recently stumbled upon this site and I am SERIOUSLY HOOKED!!! I have been pouring over past posts, watching your videos on YouTube and also downloaded the Animals book. My Vintage Chicken is all taped and ready for clay. I had a problem finding the Elmers. I finally found a lone 8 oz bottle at Home Depot today. I will try Hobby Lobby tomorrow. Anyone else in Florida with suggestions on where to buy the larger sizes??

    Jonni, you are such a warm, interesting and talented woman. You have brought a ray of sunshine into my life with your videos and with projects a beginner can successfully create. Thank you for all you do!!!

    Jen

    • Hi Jen, I buy mine at Lowe’s. they have the gallon jugs. I went to a Home Depot here in Gig Harbor, WA and I could not find the gallon jug. My Lowe’s does. I ordered from Amazon, but by the time you added shipping, it was just a cheap from Lowe’s. I hope this helps.

      • Thanks for the info, Christine. We do not have a Lowe’s locally, but there is one near my husband’s work. I will have him check there. I was able to find a slightly larger version at Hobby Lobby today, but still not the gallon option. Very strange that they did not carry it either. I did not have time to ask the manager, but plan to the next time I go in.

        • Hi Jen, If you do order from Amazon, they have some for sale at $7.00. But as I said that comes with shipping charges, but if you do not mind waiting, that could be another route to go. I went to Amazon and got a gallon of Elmer’s Glue All gallon jug. I used that up and went to Lowe’s for the next gallon.

    • Hi Jen, I fully agree with all you say, love how much Jonni and everyone else has shared here. I bet many of us also want to see your in progress pictures! I sure do!
      It’s a nice thing to do whether you share them on here or not. It’s amazing how things evolve on the go and it’s often hard to imagine back afterwards how it all started and what hurdles we took. Do share if you feel like it, that’s what daily sculptors is all about as far as I understood it. Not so much about finishing things daily but showing daily progress! It’s magical to see that πŸ˜€

      • Welcome Jen! We all agree with you about Jonni. What a gift she is in our lives. She has changed my life for certain.
        I also find the Elmers in Lowes but Ace hardware also carries it in the larger sizes( if you have them in your area) Please show us your work when you are ready.

      • Soul,
        Thanks for the advice. I have my pics ready to post. I wish I could work on my projects during the week. :( Unfortunately, I am a weekend warrior who starts Friday and works tirelessly until Sunday night.

        Be on the lookout for my pics! I am uploading them next. Any suggestions are welcomed. I feel like I am over-taping. It will be hard to tell in the photos but between the chicken, owl and the beginnings of the piglet from Jonni’s book, I have gone through 1 ΒΌ rolls of masking tape!! Is this too much?

        Thanks again!
        Jen

        • Jen it all depends on what works best for you. I have only bought one role of tape since 2011. I hardly use any tape and I just use trash and leftovers for all my work so far and do not buy materials. It’s my aim to recycle and reduce. There is a lot you can do with simple strips of paper that you would otherwise do with tape but I can imagine it simplifies things to simply use tape and work less messy. Oh and by daily progress I’m not talking about daily being at it, I’m not daily for sure! But the progress of a day (any day) is worth sharing!

          Love seeing your pictures πŸ˜€

          • OMG!!! Not even one roll of tape since 2011? Lol!! That is so crazy to me. Do you use paper and paste instead of tape? Do you use the clay? I would love to see your work. Is there a post I can go to or do you have a website??

            thanks!!

          • One role of tape bought since 2011. So I DID buy one πŸ˜€
            I work mostly with newspaper and wallpaper glue. But have also worked with shredderpaper clay and clay made of softboard that was leftover from the underlay of the laminate flooring (both only mixed with wallpaper glue).

            I build up my work with empty bottles, grocery containers, blister packages, crumbled up newspaper etc. I don’t use tape to shape, only to hold the essentials that otherwise won’t stay put and come lose when just using paper strips.

            I’ve moved house in 2010 and used the materials I had leftover from then.

            You can see all my work by clicking on my name. It will take you to my Trash into Treasures page on Facebook that lists all my recycle work. On there you can find the links to the photo tutorials of anything I made too so you can see more about how I build up and attach things. I don’t buy materials, only use leftovers and trash and what I have already in the house, so I haven’t actually used any of the recipes on here but only used the baby elephant pattern to get me started but not the actual clay.

            Here is a condensed overview on the baby elephant.

          • Soul,
            Your recycling process is inspiring!! I will definitely be looking at your FB page and tutorials for guidance on recycling. As a family of four we produce so much trash. I would love to be able to reuse as much as I can. I have already been gathering all of the cardboard and that in and of itself is quite a lot!

            Thank you very much for taking the time to post. :)

        • Hi Jen, I too use a lot of tape, but that is what helps me put the different pieces together and keep it hardy for the paper mache application. My vessels and my unfinished doll have been taped to death, I guess to tape or not to tape is a matter of choice.

  • Hi! Jonni,
    Like to share with you the work that I done by using your recipe, is my contemplation for this holy week- the king crowned with thorns, I think the greatest power in the world is the strength to bear the suffering with love. Happy Easter.

  • Hi,I’m from India.This is my latest attempt to add another sculpture in my collection.I’ve made a few ‘fake taxidermy’ and some full body animal sculpture.But most of them are not so good that I can post here.:-)however this African Cape Buffalo has a plywood layout so that it can be hung on the wall.But I’m not satisfied with the colour.I think I’ve to sand the colour and retry.I am eagerly waiting for your comments and advice so that my next project can be better than this.Thank you.

    • Very beautiful buffalo. I like the coloring, but I agree with Jonni. She has taught me to add washes to my pieces, and it has made them better. I put a blue and red wash on a white unicorn and then wiped most of it off; one could hardly see the colors, but it made a difference in how it looked. I’ve also added lighter colors to dark colors, and it adds another dimension.

      I would love to see anything you do. One thing I miss about Vietnam is the Water Buffalo. This reminded me of them.

    • I think this piece is amazing. It is very realistic and life-like. I actually like the color but can see why you might consider it too dark.

      I would try Jonni’s suggestion and add a glaze tinted with a lighter color. I would apply the glaze in either random patches or thin streaks as if to give the fur highlights. Doing this will give the sculpture some depth which could bring you greater satisfaction with your piece!

      HTH,
      Jen

  • Hi,I’m from India.This is my latest attempt to add another sculpture in my collection.I’ve made a few ‘fake taxidermy’ and some full body animal sculpture.But most of them are not so good that I can post here.:-)however this African Cape Buffalo has a plywood layout so that it can be hung on the wall.But I’m not satisfied with the colour.I think I’ve to sand the colour and retry.I am eagerly waiting for your comments and advice so that my next project can be better than this.

    • Very nice! If you want to change the color, could you add a glaze of another color without sanding? Or would the paint not stick because of the varnish? It looks very nice now, but I know from personal experience that if we aren’t quite happy with a sculpture, we can’t rest until we’ve changed it. If you do repaint it, be sure to let us see the new version, too!

      • Thanks jonni for your comments. It’s very inspiring for me. from now onwards I’ll try to post each and every sculpture I make. but as I teach school students and also am a musician I can’t devote much time for sculpting. I promise I’ll try earnestly to spend more time in making my crafts as impeccable as possible because for perfection sky is the limit. you are indeed Jonni ‘GOOD’ for all of your fans and admirers like me.

  • Hello from Portugal!
    Just finished these 3 new “pets” recently and thought on sharing them with you, fellow papier mache artists!
    They were made with paper strips on balloons, lots of toilet paper soaked in white glue, air drying moddeling paste for the faces and some washes of cold porcelain to coat the bases …

    • My – what intriguing sculptures. Are the faces portraits of people you know? The techniques you use are also very interesting. I’ve never heard of using the cold porcelain to coat a sculpture. And I’m curious to know how long it took for your toilet paper soaked in white glue dry. That sounds like a great alternative to my paper mache clay recipe, for people who don’t have access to some of the ingredients.

      • As a matter of fact, did you happen to take progress photos of these sculptures as you were making them? If you did, would you have an interest in writing a guest post for us? I know that a lot of our readers would be very interested in seeing how they were made. If you’d like to write a post for us, just let me know.

        • Hi Jonny!
          Your coments made me feel even more excited, thank you!

          I’m planning to start a small series of (sort of) swallow and I’d be delighted to share the “how to” (just give me some days and tell me how.

          No, the faces werent planned, they just “appeared” although they remind me some famous royals (the chicken resembles Queen Victoria, the turkey resembles Louis XIV of France, etc).

          The rest I’ll tell later.

          Thanks

          • Great – you can send your guest post to me by email, and attach the photos you’d like to include. Be sure to let me know in the text where you want the photos to appear. And remember to put “paper mache” in the subject line, so your email doesn’t get accidentally deleted. I can’t wait to see it.

    • Pedro, I love these sculptures. They are quirky, funny and well made. The process you used should be interesting to see in a guest post.

    • Pedro, love your chickens. I can see them in my yard! And I like the way you have created different feathers.

      Look forward to your guest post.

    • I cant post images of my creations and comments. i have tried twice. it showed at the top for once. but as i moved to another page and came back to this one it’s not there. please help.

      • Your pictures came through. But they don’t show up immediately because this is a family-friendly site and I have to approve each comment by hand. And it takes time for me to get to them.

  • Hi Jonni
    After reading Soul’s suggestion about the baby elephants (great idea), I decided to show you mine. I made him last year. I used your pattern but he is only 7 1/2 inches tall. Like Jim and Soul, this was my first attempt. I have since been making tiny dogs from your book. I am hoping to make a life-size animal sometime in the future. Thanks Jonni, you are an inspiration to so many of us.
    Pearl

    • Pearl, I love the expression on your elephant’s face. He’s so sweet! Do you have some dogs you’d like to share with us, too? I’d love to see them.

      • I shared a group of them back in November, but here’s one of them again. I haven’t made any new ones since. I will post as soon as I do.
        Pearl

    • Pearl, I love your elephant. I like your style. My favorite has to be your dog, though, because it looks like my dog! Prejudice, of course. I have a min pin.

      • Thanks Rex. I always enjoy the stuff you make, and your comments also. If you go back to November 27 – 29, 2014 you will see some of the other dogs I made from Jonni’s Tiny Dogs book.

        • I’ll even make it easy for you, Rex. Here’s the permalink to Pearl’s first dog sculpture. But be sure to scroll down a bit and see a whole collection of them.

          By the way, Rex – now that your Labrador is done, what are you working on now?

          • I’m struggling with a pterodactyl and a T-Rex. The pterodactyl needs more paint and the T-Rex I decided it needed more texture, so I’m going to add more clay. Doing an open mouth and teeth has been a challenge.

            Thanks again for this site. Many wonderful artists and inspirations.

    • Pearl, what a cutie!
      Isn’t it wonderful to see how unique all our Ellie’s are πŸ˜€

      Mine is only slightly smaller then Jonni’s but very light weight. And a rougher surface because of using the softboard clay.

      • Hi Soul. I love your idea about the elephants made with Jonni’s pattern. She was so gracious to allow us to use it. It would really be nice to see them all together. I don’t know how that can be done, but I think they all need to “meet each other” because they are “family”. It is strange, but the baby elephant was what got me started doing paper mache. He is special! :)

  • Jonni, Were you successful in waterproofing some of your paper mache sculptures? We recently moved to Louisiana where I spoke with a stucco artist who uses a product called Elastameric ( spelling?) He said its similar to rhino liner. Its painted on and comes in a sanded and smooth finish, is paintable, mold resistant and waterproof. Has anyone tried using this product?

    • I have not had any success so far with waterproofing paper mache. But maybe this product would work. If there’s even a pin hole left uncovered, water will eventually get in, so I’m moving towards using cement for outside sculptures. But this stuff might be worth a try.

  • thanks Johnny thanks to you a great mentor,i learnt so much from you im eternally greatful, and I know ill take a lot of improvement from that project as my skills improve im looking forward to a new project kind regards Jim…….

  • hi johnny this is my second attempt at paper mache thankyou for your wonderful tutorials here is a pic of my elephant please feel free to give me feedback its all good kind regards Jim

      • Terrific video, that was really clever! I used to study animation in college but moved out of it into more traditional art forms. Stop motion sure takes some patience so I totally applaud you! πŸ˜€

      • Soul, your video was interesting and a great job on your calf. I bet it must have really been a fun project.

    • Love your elephant Jim!

      The elephant pattern on here was the first thing to get me started.

      Joni wouldn’t it be wonderful to group all the elephants made from that pattern worldwide together. I bet that would make an awesome gallery and an amazing herd!

      • Soul, that’s a fantastic idea! I wonder if there are any copyright issues if I move images that people put in their comments? Hmmm…

        • I can’t imagine there would if you keep them on this site since they are already on your site Jonni…

          Maybe include a text that if people do not want their pictures included to let you know so you can take them of…

          I’m not sure how my calf post ended up on your posts comments Jim… sorry about that… it was supposed to become a seperate post…

  • Alma , 10 years old 5th grade made a paper mache Okapi model based on your tutorial site for her science project. She was very happy to get the sculpture done. Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial. She will start making more sculpture with paper mache and home made clay.

    • Alma’s paper mache Okapi is really nice, and the science display looks great, too. She must be very proud of it.

    • Hi Midori, for a ten year old, this is a beautiful project and did a wonderful job. I hope your daughter gets a very good grade. The workmanship she did really pulled that out of her.

    • Wow, that is a mighty impressive sculpture for a 5th grader! Us old folks will have to move over to make room for the young talent. Congratulate her, she deserves it.

  • Hi all from Portugal!
    It has been ages since I dwell with notion of “commercial art” – something that always made me shivers and disgust! – but, well, age brought me the serenity that I needed in order to merge between the disgust and the necessary tools to reach the outside world in a more easy way. no way im selling my royal dolls, so I achieved to make the above presented. There is no papercrete because it would make the drying thing to take way too long, so its , on a balloon structure, paper strips glued with flower nd water glue AND toilet paper rollls to create the details ol the body. wings are cardboard with also toilet paper feathers and the face and nails are air drying modeling paste.

    • Hi Pedro, can we see your project in construction and when it’s finished? Just make sure your photo is under 250 kb, or it will be to large for the site to download. Jonni has given a link on this site on how to do that. I hope she will link on this page again so that you can resize your photo. I do mine in Photoshop Elements.

  • Not really a ‘days work’ but I finally finished my dragon head and I really wanted to share.

    • Oh and it is rather big. I added a photo of it’s new home. A game shop called ‘The purple dragon’. πŸ˜‰

      • Thank you Christine. She even feels at home there. But that spot is temporary. A more prominent place has been provided. One of the players has already suffered an injury and broken a piece of her chin. The placed a table under the head to prevent this and… three people busted the table by sitting on it damaging the chin once more in the process. Next weekend I will visit the store to do some repair work and hang it where it is safer….if possible.

        • Beautiful dragon head, what a shame that it got broken. I hope it is an easy fix as it is quite the masterpiece.

          • Thanks Eileen.
            The fix is easy enough. I’m going to drill a hole and insert a bolt with the famous paper mache clay as a glue. Bit of paint and all will be better than new. It will fix any future problem as well. πŸ˜‰

          • That sounds better than how I fixed the ear that broke on my bongo. I just used some hot glue and covered the wound with more brown tissue paper. You can’t see it, but it would never hold up in the environment that your dragon is living in.

    • Nice dragon! I’m surprised that all those people sitting under him are acting so casual – I don’t think I could ignore a creature like that, just a few feet away!

      • Well Jonni, they are playing ‘Magic the Gathering’. Summoning their own dragons is kinda their bread and butter. πŸ˜‰

    • I love your dragon’s head, and the colors are awesome.

      I am working on a T Rex and have the teeth made but do not know how to get them inserted into gum tissue. Can anyone give me any hints. I love your teeth on this dragon.

      • The thing about this dragon that I find really striking is the scale and skin patterns – it’s amazing detail, and very realistic, if you can use the word “realistic” when talking about dragons… :) And I’d also be interested in knowing how those teeth are made and attached. Henk-Jan (or do you prefer PuppyZwolle?) would you have any interest in writing up a guest post for us, showing us how this dragon was built? Did you happen to take progress photos? I know it would be a huge hit, and your dragon would get a page of its very own, which I think it deserves! If you’re interested, just let me know.

        • Thanks Jonny. Request like that brightens my day (I’m under the spell of a nasty flu so I have not done any creative stuff all week. Makes me rather cranky) I’d be honoured. I’ll make a tutorial about the whole process. And an ‘in-depth’ part on dragon dentistry. πŸ˜‰

          I used a lot of your techniques with a twist of my own. But as you always say ‘there is no real recipe’ and that is how I did it; Going with the flow….flow? Add more flower. πŸ˜‰

          • I do hope you feel better soon. The flu sure isn’t much fun, is it? When you’re feeling up to writing your tutorial, you can send it, and your images, by email, and I’ll post them right away. I know a whole lot of us are really looking forward to seeing how your dragon was made.

    • This dragon is awesome! I really hope the artist guest posts. I would love to know how all of the details, like the eyes and scales, were done. A dragon head would make a good 3-d pattern like the frog, I think.

  • Hi Jonni
    Not a post just some personal questions.
    I know that you are work very well in computers and social media so….
    I was wondering if there is any way you might be able to give me some advice on a tutorial I am making for a needle felting project . I have designed my tutorial in Photoshop with both photo’s and text. I would like to sell this tutorial in my new esty store..(never done something like this) It would have be pretty awesome to make a little book of it but I don’t have any idea how:( Anyway do you have any advice for me on what would be the best thing to do for my tutorial. It is pretty long. I was thinking about trying to convert it into a PDF and calling it an ebook. Do you know if that is possible to do? I have saved all the pages in photo shop as .tiffs so the file size is smaller..i think… I know that my question is not paper mache related and hope it isn’t to inappropriate to ask your advice on this..(its the only way I know how to get in touch with you). Even if you can point me in the right direction would help. I have spent a lot of hours creating this tutorial an would really like to get it out there.
    By the way I thought of your right away because you have help me so much with all your tutorials and you not only do them so well but you seem to really enjoy passing on the knowledge to others.
    Hope you can help and that I am not being rude by asking.
    Thank you Jonni.
    Your biggest fan Tammy.

    • Hi Tammy. Yes, you can sell your tutorial as a PDF eBook on etsy, or you could print the pages yourself and mail them to purchasers (I think I’ve purchased both types of plans from etsy, myself.) Your work is beautiful, and it should help you sell your tutorial. The other option is to have the tutorial printed by CreateSpace and sold on Amazon.com in addition to etsy.

      To turn your tutorial into a PDF file, you’ll probably need to put the images into a Word file. You can then choose to create a PDF from the file. Be sure to put your contact information at the bottom of every page in the footer area, along with the copyright info. If the PDF file turns out to be way too big to send to customers by email, you can make it smaller with a free online service I found a few weeks ago: http://smallpdf.com/compress-pdf

      I don’t know how etsy works, but they may have an automated system that will send your download link to the buyer as soon as the purchase is completed. There should be something in the forum about it, if they offer this service. If not, you’d need to watch your inbox and send the download link right away, or make it clear on the sales page that it may take up to 24 hours for them to receive the link.

      As for the download, your buyers can download the file from your Dropbox account, but I don’t know how you would keep people from sharing the download link. There might be some instructions on the site that would explain how to do that. I don’t know much about the service, but I know a lot of people use it. It would be better if there’s a way to upload the file directly to your etsy account, and if their service would automatically encrypt the link in an automatic email so people can’t “share” the link. But that’s a technical problem that I don’t really know anything about.

      If you decide to print the tutorial as a short book, you just upload your PDF to CreateSpace. There’s no upfront costs. Then you can order copies at a discounted price to sell and ship directly from your etsy page, or you can have amazon.com sell the book on their site, or you could do both.

      I hope this was helpful – I know I went over the basics pretty fast. If you don’t have Word on your computer, I might be able to help – you can contact me directly by email.

      Good luck with it! And do let us all know when your tutorial is available.

      • While I have the time for once, I am just going to comment on each post that I have wanted to reply to in the last couple months but lacked the time to do so. On the same type of topic Jonni, I wondered if maybe you would be willing to teach a “class” that would show others how to make the 3-d head patterns? Maybe pick an animal, and then show the process that you go through step by step with the computer programs you use to make the 3-d pattern. You could charge a fee to teach the class, or sell it as a type of video. I think I have previously said how awesome I think these patterns are and if at any point you decide to stop making them I would be heartbroken.

        • Hi Brooke. My grandson happened to suggest me doing a video about the process, too, so I have been thinking about it. I couldn’t feel comfortable charging for it, because I’m such a beginner when it comes to using the software. But since even a beginner like me can do it, I think doing a video would be a lot of fun. And it would be something I can do with my studio equipment packed in boxes for the move.

          Right now I’m working on a Box Turtle (just sculpted, no pattern), but when it’s done I did hope to get that tiger or lion done, too, before I start on my book. Maybe a lion would be a good choice for a video, too. Hmmm…

  • Here is the almost completed Pumpkin Head I have been working on. It is:
    “The wife of Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater.”
    I am not very experienced at painting faces and hope to mix up some more colors to get the face better. As I mentioned in a past post, the face is made from one of those Styrofoam heads (for wigs) which I then covered with papermache clay building up the features.
    I have also made a number of other pumpkins in the last year without faces as well.

    • It’s really turning out nice, Rich. She looks very contemplative. I can imagine people making up great stories with her as the main character.

    • Rich, that is a wonderful idea and I agree with Jonni, she looks contemplative. I love the idea of the face and pumpkin.

  • I purchased your Paper Mache Mask book and this is my first attempt to make a mask. It didn’t turn out how I wanted it but I think it works for a first try.

      • I purchased your Paper Mache Dogs book – as soon as I purchase the correct wire (I only have 20 gauge) I will try my hand at that. :) Love your stuff.

        • Lisa, I like your mask. I love your choice of coloring!

          I agree with the size of the wire. I tried smaller wire and had no success, and have made a few dogs with the correct wire. It made a big difference. Patience! Look forward to seeing what you do.

          • Thanks Rex. I am starting on a paper mache Grey Hound. I was able to get some more appropriate sized wire. I will post a picture when I am done even if I am not happy with it. :)

      • Cherie, Thank you. I can tell you that it is a great book and was definitely worth the money to me. I love the way she gives the instructions without trying to stifle creativity!

  • For those following my paperclay Planter Heads, here is one that I finally painted. For the painting I used a few different colors using “dry brush painting.” The effect I was looking for is for it to resemble a stone or concrete planter with that old pealing paint look of a couple different layers of old colors. For those that did not see the old post, the inserted flower pot has no holes it so the water won’t be getting into the sculpture. I still have to put a plant in it but want to use a “hairy” kind of plant like the one in the picture. I also still need to seal it more completely than the dry brushed paint seals. I will put make a guest post as well as Jonni asked.

  • I have been working in 2D paper mache as much as 3D. For lack of a better term, I’ve been calling them paper mosaic paintings. They’re all magazine scraps on canvas with a polyurethane finish. I sold a few pieces at my last show. That felt great.

    • It’s beautiful – I love the depth and visual interest you’re able to get with the paper scraps. I don’t suppose we could talk you into doing a guest post about this process, could we?

    • I love the mosaic painting! You captured the variations of the colorations in the crow(or is it a raven?) I also, would be interested in a tutorial.

      • Thank you and yes, I will do that when I work on a commission coming up soon. Any tips on creating an effective tutorial?

        • Excellent! I’m not sure you could call this a tip or not, but when I write a tutorial I just explain everything that I would want to know if I was starting to make the item myself, from scratch. It seems to work. We’ll look forward to seeing your post – you can just send it to me in an email, with photos attached. :)

    • Wow, I love it. I used to work on mosaics a long time ago but not as a 2D medium. That’s really clever!

    • I love it Nancy. Very nicely done. I have always wanted to try something like that and seeing yours inspired me the more. Another thing for my growing list of projects. Thank you for posting.

  • Hi Jonni, I wanted to show how scraps and Christmas can go together. I wanted to make my cousin some home made presents and I decided to make doily bowls. all I had to do is put aluminum foil on a bowl and dip the doilies into the Elmers Glue and let it dry. The table or pedestal it rests on was designed to be a table for my doll furniture collection but it became a doily bowl pedestal. I made that table/pedestal out of left over pvc pipe which I used to make a table and I had a lot of small pieces left. I cut out the top of the table out of cardboard and mached the layers and I made the supports also out of cardboard. The cloth on top is tacked into the cardboard to give it that nice draping feel. It has given me ideas of future projects on how to make larger pedestals to photograph my other paper mache projects.

    • Hi Christine. This is a great idea – your cousin must have been thrilled when she got them at Christmas. I wish all Christmas presents could be hand-made – the whole shopping thing is kind of depressing, and I gave it up a long time ago. But this really fits with the spirit of the season. Thanks for showing it to us.

    • Very cool Christine. You must have searched forever for just the right sized bowl to put the doily on- it is perfect all around. Very nice project and thanks for all the description.
      By the way, I love dollhouse miniatures too…something more we have in common.

  • Here is a photo of my first mask. It is as close as I could get to my sister’s first guide dog puppy. Her name was Hester. She didn’t make it into the guide dog program, but she was there to help raise many puppies that went into the program. A special girl.

    • Rex, your Hester came out beautifully! Will this be a gift to your sister? If so, she will be so pleased with it. And did she get to keep Hester, even after she “retired?” It would be so easy to get totally attached to the guide dog puppies, and so heartbreaking to give them up, even though you know from the start that they’ll be getting a job that’s needed by someone else.

      • Thanks for the comments, everyone.

        Yes, this is a gift for her. She did keep Hester until she died, which was a few years ago. I have always wanted to do something to memorialize Hester, and this is it.

        The guide dog program worked like this: puppy raisers would get the puppies at about 8 weeks old. They trained and raised these puppies for 14-16 months. Then the dogs were sent back for final training and at a graduation ceremony, they would be given to a build person. At these ceremonies, the puppy raise would give the dog to the build person. It was very emotional. The most common question, as you might guess, is “How can you give them up?” A question I’m still asking. Dogs usually work for 6 years. At retirement, the build person can keep the dog or the puppy raiser may take it back. In most cases my sister got the dogs back and would live with her until they died. In one case, the owner kept the dog (another mask – yellow lab). It has been decades of service. She retired a few years ago and currently has 4 dogs.

        • This sounds like a fabulous program. Did your sister get special training, so she could give the puppies their “kindergarten” training?

          • Yes, she had a lot of training. She would travel a lot (from L.A. area to San Francisco area) for her training. She also had monthly meetings where they checked on the dogs and for updates. The dogs have to be raised a certain way if they are to become guide dogs, of course. She did this for over 20 years. So Hester saw a lot of puppies!

    • I like your dog Rex…the eyes and expression are really kind and sweet. I knew someone once who took in seeing eye golden retriever puppies. Your dog reminds me of how touching it was to connect with those dogs even though they would have to leave someday.

    • Can you direct me how to post a picture here, a link maybe. i finished some artwork and wanted to post it if i could. Thank you

      • Hi Rebecca. There’s a “Browse” button right below the comment field. Click on it, and it will let you go to the area on your computer where your photo is stored. Once you choose the photo, the file name will appear on the right of the button. Then you can click on the Post Comment button. Be sure to wait until you see your comment at the top of the page, to make sure the photo was uploaded along with your text. If it doesn’t work, you can make the photo smaller, and then try again.

        I don’t have a smart phone, so I don’t actually know how to upload a photo from a phone. But that would be a rather good thing to know. Perhaps someone with a phone could help me out with some instructions?

  • Hi everyone,

    This is a different sort of project from what I usually do. But I had this leftover PM clay that I didn’t want to waste. I also had this super sturdy small tube of cardboard that came from this toy that my kids had. The tube was just holding part of the toy so once you opened it, you were just supposed to throw it away. Anyway, I had kept it…because I figured it would come in handy for something. Well, it finally did. I thought it would make a great holder for some of my paintbrushes. Since it was a tube, I had to make a bottom for it which I did with a scrap piece of poster board. Then I covered the whole thing with the leftover clay and painted it and sealed it. Truly a recycled project. :)

    • Ah! Nikki. I’m going to do that. Maybe today. What a great idea. My brushes need a home and this would be perfect. I’m looking for a tube and I have left-over clay. What an inspiration – and practical, too.

      • Nikki, I finished my brush holder. I got a bit carried away. Thanks again for the idea. This will go on my work table.

          • Thanks, Jonni. It was a fun project. Every tree all the way around is a different color. No pressure! It was a great idea to use some left-over clay I had.

        • That’s terrific Rex!! Your brush holder is really pretty – I love the trees! So glad you used the idea! Makes me want to think of other “recycled” projects πŸ˜€ Although paper mache is already pretty recycled…I save all our junk mail for it and as you guys probably know, they send plenty of it. I don’t ever have to buy paper anymore ha ha :)

          • Gotta love recycling! Did you use something to put some weight in the bottom so it doesn’t topple?

            I love to recycle too, I haven’t bought a single material since 2011 for any of my projects except for one role of masking tape and still have plenty of stuff to use for my paper mache projects. All trash and leftovers.

            Using what mother nature already gave instead of bringing it back to her as trash is so rewarding don’t you think!

            It still has me marvel of the wonder each time some piece of trash finds the perfect place in a to be treasure as if it was meant to be!

    • Very nice. It looks a lot better that empty metal can from my recycling bin that I am using for my brushes!

    • I have some really sturdy tubes that I got from a florist. They had held paper and cellophane and i think that they would be great for making something like that. The lady was glad to give them to me as she would have had to dispose of them herself

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