42 Responses

  1. Sharon Klein
    Sharon Klein at |

    Here is the model now standing with the 2 body pices taped together…=)
    She is now waiting for the tinfoil added to give her the bulk she needs for the clay to adhere to…=)
    Then “BETA” will be ready for the paper Mache Clay to be applied…=)

    Horse Armature for Paper Mache

  2. Sharon Klein
    Sharon Klein at |

    Here is the picture showing the toilet roll inside..=)

    Horse Armature for Paper Mache

  3. Sharon Klein
    Sharon Klein at |

    Hi Jonni.
    I came across your book while looking up “How to sculpt” offered on Amazon….Which led me to looking up your website…And, oh boy, what an inspiration you have become to me!!!!.
    I REALLY LOVE your work, and REALLY LOVE a “NEW” form of Paper Mache clay to be able to try…..You are such a talented lady, and I am also soooooo thankful that you are such a willing Artist, that shares not only their works of art with them, but your techniques and ideas behind each one too!!!….You are a rare find Jonni…=).

    17 years ago, I was sitting depressed in a Motel room, while we were in the process of moving house, because of my Husband’s work, and only had my one special Breyer model horse with me at the time!!…I was bored, so I began to study the measurements of my model, which led me to making a wire armature out of some beading wire, elmers glue and strips of paper from paper napkins at the time…and produced a standing Part Arabian Stallion model horse…(Breyer Model Traditional 12 inches in size!!.)
    I was thrilled to bits at how he turned out and called my wire/paper horse…”ALPHA”…meaning…”First”.
    He still needed some kind of paper Mache outer layer though to add the details etc onto him, and hold him together better.
    The sad thing about it all….is that I never got a chance to finish him!!!!.
    My life went into a whirlwind and he was put aside and eventually put away into storage, when my family went through yet another move of house….
    9 years had passed since I had made him to that point…..and a bad storage fire ended up sealing his fate and my lifetime collection of model horses, along with all the rest of mine and my families belongings to the famous Florida Hurricanes…..My family and I was REALLY devastated…but there was nothing we could do to bring it all back!!!!….Everything was gone!!!!.
    Over the years, after that,I have slowly been able to buy a model here and there to try and put back the model horses of what I lost…But NEVER tried again at sculpting……But something inside of me, my creative side, was nagging….wanting me to eventually try again at sculpting my very own.
    Especially when I went on the internet and saw soooooo many beautiful sculptures of sooooo many different horse models that I would absolutely LOVE to have….But they were like $200 up for each individual model horse!!
    So that’s what encouraged me that day to look up…”How to sculpt”….and what led me to your website Jonni…!!!.

    So….17 years ago……I made “ALPHA”…!!!!!!……..

    TODAY………Thanks to your website and encouragement to help build my confidence level back up in myself….I have started my cardboard armature of soon to be…”BETA” meaning “2nd”.
    She is going to become a standing, with neck arched and turned, pregnant Arabian Mare…..Hopefully when finished will stand about 12 inches so that she will fit in nicely with my Breyer Horses that I have in my small herd right now.
    I have just managed to get all of the ingredients to your paper Mache clay, so as soon as I finish bulking Beta out on her inner body work….then I will be ready to add the clay….=).
    I was looking for your Tutorial on the webpage of your horse that you have advertised in your book…not the large foal one that you did…But I haven’t been able to find it!!!!….Maybe I am looking in the wrong area or something!!!.
    But, Jonni if you still have the Tutorial on your website about your miniature horse could you please link me the page….As I really need the guidance to help follow…=).
    I have just done some of the armature different and added a toilet roll filled with scrunched up toilet paper for a little filler for to help separate, my cardboard pieces out for the structure….(As you will see in the pictures that I have included so far…).
    I have also done the legs and body as one whole piece, and will re-enforce the legs by adding wire to help make them more stronger.
    I have coated the cardboard pieces in clear contact paper instead of clear tape, to help make the cardboard more sturdier, before the wet, paper mache clay will be applied…=).
    So, that is as far as I have got so far, and will be taking my time with her especially when getting the feel for working with your clay, and applying it to her.
    I know I can’t expect her to be as perfect as I would like her to be on my FIRST try out once again at sculpting after all of these years…But, I just REALLY hope that I can get the detailing on her as possible, to look as close to an epoxy made sculpture…but yet in Paper Mache Clay!!!!….=).
    If all goes well with “Beta”….then I am going to make a nursing foal to go with her…..and then…finally……Re-Make……”ALPHA- PHOENIX”….=)

    Also, I was wondering…do you use anything to hold the sculpture still while applying the clay mixture, especially to your miniature sculptures???.
    Well Jonni….so sorry that this was a long winded conversation…But I just wanted to thank you soooooo much once again for “YOU”, your talents, teaching and sharing…and this website….And most of all, for giving me the confidence without you even realizing it…..back to me….to try sculpting again…=)
    Thank-you soooo much.

    Horse Armature

  4. Van toiletpapier tot chimp – From Toiletpaper to Chimp — Ingrid Gans

    […] van de dingen die mensen van fimoklei maken zien er hetzelfde uit, maar tot mijn vreugde vond ik Polymer Clay Daily. Zo ontdekte ik dat er prachtige kunstwerken van fimoklei te maken zijn. Fimoklei wordt gebakken in […]

  5. Pat
    Pat at |

    I used ceramic clay … with paper pulp added.. it is supposed to be strong enough with the paper pulp added that you can use it without firing. As you can tell it is not quite finished yet. When it’s dry I plan to seal it.. match the finish of the horse and then might still mount onto a wooden base. Simply due to the size not sure I am comfortable with the stability of the paper clay product. If I had it to do over I may have used your paper mache clay and covered the foam core base he started out on? Guess I got a little over ambitious for a first time learning project with your recipe!!!!!

  6. Pat
    Pat at |

    Just wanted to thank you for such wonderful tutorials and the paper mache clay recipe. Am sending a picture of a horse sculpture I am in the process of with your “clay” recipe. The close up of the mane shows how I defined the hair on the mane.. I used a wooden skewer and drew in the “hair”. Not happy with the horses head and may add some more clay definitions… have you ever added more after painting? Am hoping I can work on his eye sockets some more even though I have painted already.

    Paper Mache Horse

    1. Pat
      Pat at |

      close up of mane

      Paper Mache Horse's Mane

  7. Ann Thompson
    Ann Thompson at |

    Also I was wondering if you had ever considered using paper tape, like they use in hospitals, to connect your pieces? I would think that clay would stick very well to it. Don’t know how strong it would be, though. Just an idea!

  8. Ann Thompson
    Ann Thompson at |

    This sculpture is so beautiful! You gave the chimp the most serene smile. And I love the antiquing effects you do! I was reading your tortoise blog about making sculptures of endangered species being a good job for an aspiring artist~~~ why not you? You certainly have the talent for it!
    Your devoted fan

  9. Ben
    Ben at |

    Thank you. I hope the weather gets better for that type of stuff.Good luck!I will try to start on the marionete and post pictures of the process.It’s the last two days of school for me and I still am geting homework to do,but I gues they need to get as much grades as posible. I’m ok with that I just can’t wait to start a new prodject .
    Thank you

  10. Ben
    Ben at |

    How did the solar drier work out,was it faster?
    Thank you

  11. Ben
    Ben at |

    Thank you so much beth for the helpful tips on making a hollow sculpture

  12. Beth
    Beth at |

    Most of what I’m making lately needs to be hollow, so I have experience with cutting the hardened clay off the armature. I’ve found using a small pull saw is the easiest way for me. I think my saw is a Shark Fine Cut.

    I cut it off the armature after the first ‘rough’ layer of clay has hardened, and it’s hard enough to hold it’s shape. I then glue the cut sections back together with hot glue, and then add a couple layers of paper strips over the cut just to reinforce it. Once that’s dry, I can add the detail clay layer and smooth out the joined place so it doesn’t look any different than the rest of the piece.

    I do try to cut on an angle, so the piece will be easy to put back together, and if I’m making multiple cuts I’ll mark the sections (A, B, etc.) so I’ll know what goes with what.

    It’s pretty quick and easy and since what I’m working on these days needs to be hollow, it allows me to do more complicated shapes than I would be able to otherwise. And if you didn’t need the paper strips to reinforce, you could start on the detail layer as soon as the hot glue was dry – so you wouldn’t be adding much time at all.

  13. addie
    addie at |

    great…i love the life in his eyes. i quickly skimmed through the comments to see what glazing liquid was…its this what you use in ceramics? i would like to give it a shot.
    have a great day!

  14. Lesley
    Lesley at |

    as usually a great job and the wonderful gift of your knowledge, thanks Jonni. I love the little chimp, but to me he has a frightened, searching look on his face, something like ” how do I get out of here, back to the jungle”. Maybe just my mood, he’s fantastic and so realistic that I can see a feeling in him. Thanks again Jonny.

  15. Robin
    Robin at |

    The eyes in no way look painted! This is unbelievable! Love this site….

  16. Xan
    Xan at |

    Nice step-by-step on the painting, Jonni. I’ve fallen behind! Clay armatures? Hm! Have to read back and see what that’s about. Doesn’t it keep the paper clay damp, absorbing the water from the clay?

    1. Laughing Hyena
      Laughing Hyena at |

      I’ve taken ceramics courses: If paper mache can be baked in a oven, that water based clay can quickly stiffen up in a really hot dry day, and that water based clay is cooked in really hot kilns:
      I’m sure you can bake the paper mache covered clay in the oven. Or you can dry out the clay so much before doing paper mache on it. True, the clay will get slight cracks in it from drying outside, but you can still use paper mache on it afterwards.

      I used it making masks without a plastic cover (This was way before Chimp example by Jonni) and let them air dry in the hot California weather: No problems with it. Just make sure to use more than three layers of paper strips on it and it’s fine.

      Also you could look into/for drying cabinets. The ceramics classes over at the local college use them to completely dry out the clay before even putting them in the kilns.
      Please note, they are costly.

  17. Ben
    Ben at |

    Thank ypu so much for the tutorial.It realy helped beacause I was having trouble figuring how to make the sculptures look life like.I love it!GREAT WORK!
    Thank you so much

  18. Collin
    Collin at |

    I really like your chimp! Maybe you could name it something like Booker, since this was the project you were working on when your book came out. :)
    Good luck on your book sales. I hope you make lots of money!

  19. neli
    neli at |

    i really love your blog!!!!!

  20. Donna
    Donna at |

    Absolutely wonderful. You’re so inspirational. I can’t wait to get your book and start sculpting. Just curious, I know that you just started experimenting with paper clay over pottery clay so I’m guessing this method isn’t in this book? Maybe the next one?? :) Also, am wondering about a comment on a prior post about cutting the paper clay off the armature after it dries. Is it fairly easy to cut once it’s dry? If so, what would you cut it with? Thanks.

  21. Ginny Diezel
    Ginny Diezel at |

    Yeow! This is fab!

  22. Helen
    Helen at |

    You did a fabulous job! The chimp is beautiful–soulful eyes, wonderful expression and excellent painting. Thanks for showing your process and congratulations for completing such an excellent sculpt!


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