Paper Mache Animals

Make William the Blue Egyptian Hippo – Adding Paper Mache Clay

William the blue hippoThis is the second video in this three-part series, showing how I made a copy of William, the blue Egyptian Hippo that is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He got his name from a children’s book that was written in the 1930’s, featuring the famous little blue hippo.

In this video you’ll see that the paper mache clay batch I used is much wetter than the original version, but more or less by accident. It worked out really well, though, because the wetter PM clay, along with the mixture of Elmer’s Glue-All and water allowed me to put on a paper-thin layer of the clay, and get it nice and smooth. I’m really happy with the way it came out.

I mixed up just half of the paper mache clay recipe, and still had lots left over. It would be really fun to mix up a whole batch and invite a few friends over to make hippos with you. Creating the armature and adding the paper mache clay was a full one-day project for me. Then the PM clay needs to dry – if you do this with friends, let the hippos dry for a few days or even a week, and then come back and add the coat of blue chalk paint and the lotus flowers.

It would be really fun to see how differently they come out, even though you’re all using the same source photos. No two would ever come out alike.

If you decide to try using your convection oven to dry your Blue Hippo, be sure to keep the temp low, no more than 100° F (37° C) so you don’t burn him. You’re just drying him, not baking him. If you don’t have a convection oven with a fan inside, just put him in front of a regular fan, or over the heat register from your furnace. The important thing is to keep the air moving.

William, seen from the other side.

If you make your own copy of William, remember to come back and show him off. We’d love to see how he turns out.

You may also like:

How I painted the Unicorn.Unicorn Pattern
Hyena Mask PatternHyena Mask Pattern
Life Sized Paper Mache Baby ElephantLife-Sized Baby Elephant

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