Concrete Lion Head Sculpture is Done

lion mask patternNote: I recently created a new pattern for a paper mache lion mask. It’s a great choice if you love lions but you don’t want to hand-sculpt a lion’s face out of clay and cast it in concrete. The downloadable lion mask pattern is made with cardboard pieces taped together, plus one layer of paper mache and that lovely raffia mane (made with a cheap table skirt). It isn’t waterproof, though, like the concrete lion in the video.

And now, back to the original post:

The concrete lion head is finished – at least the concrete part. I’ll probably add some sort of final finish to it after it’s fully cured.

The first one had a lot of air bubbles on the surface, so I made a second one with a thinner mix of Quikwall. Next time, I’ll try sculpting directly over an armature that’s made just like the ones I make for paper mache, but with a plywood pattern instead of cardboard. Stay tuned!

Also, I was wondering what you all think of me starting a Kickstarter campaign to help me buy a better camera for these videos – one with an external mic so the noise problem would go away. (I taped a rather long segment for this video out in my back yard, because I thought it would get me away from the traffic noise at the front of the house. When I checked the video, all I could hear was the whooshing noise from the wind. The only part I could keep was the few seconds at the beginning. Dang – what a colossal waste of time! It’s really starting to take the fun out of making these videos.)

If you think a Kickstarted campaign is a good idea, what do you think it would it take to bribe people to contribute? Or do you just think it’s a silly idea? Let me know in the comment section.

44 thoughts on “Concrete Lion Head Sculpture is Done”

  1. Jonni,

    Have your Mask book and was viewing your website and ran across the lion, pretty neat, can’t wait to try something using this method. Thanks for doing the field work and sharing, I’ll be sure to do the same….Peace


  2. This turned out so beautifully! Really fantastic work:) Thank you so much for your site, your posts, and your vidz! Finally finished my functional gnome house lamp with your help! Complete with gnomes that can all fit in the house:D Thank you!!!

  3. hi jonni its raining no pouring an the sculpture is holding up well, i hope its waterproof or i will have a fish that doesnt swim anymore. love to experiment though.
    found a blog you might be interested in i dont know the persons name but a fantastic artist using papercrete. google ” papercrete frog sculpture and the follow the right hand arrows to get to the beginning of the project , i thought of you right away , might be the next book garden art. regards sally

    • Hi Sally. I found this one, and you’re right – it looks great. I wish they told us exactly how they made their papercrete. When I followed the google results I also found this forum post, mentioning a lion made with paper, joint compound, and Portland cement. That reminds me of a comment left a few days ago, where Sally mentioned adding cement to the Paper Mache Clay recipe. Unfortunately, the lion’s forum post was a long time ago, and the links no longer work. I really would have liked to know how well it held up in the weather.

      • Wait – that was you who mentioned using cement in the paper mache clay! I should not try to write so early in the morning. Brain still fuzzy… 😉

        • hi glad you found the frog. fabulous. papercrete is basically news paper, cement. and sand . here is what i used so you can experiment [i put 1 cup of cement into your mix original clay ] but then found i needed to put a cement skin over that, once dry

          ,skin ingredients 3 cups cement 1]2 cup pva glue and a little water to make it spread like icing . this might give you somewhere to start experimenting , regards sally ps i don’t wake up on full throttle either , our age we don’t have to do we.

      • Hi, has anybody found that recipe for papercrete? I have a great olive tree plaque mold I would love to try it on…thanks

  4. Considering all you give of yourself through Ultimate Papermache- your expertise, your suggestions, your enormously generous time, your encouragement, I would FULLY support your idea to jumpstart a campaign to help you purchase and use better equipment to make the videos for Ultimate Papermache. ABSOLUTELY – no one is more deserving than you!!! I’m in with support of the idea and would back that up with a campaign contribution!!

    • Thanks, Jackie. I’m still thinking about it. It’s hard to ask people for money, since I do support this site (and pay for my cat food, of course) with the money I get from selling my books. For some reason it doesn’t feel quite right to ask people to give me money if they don’t get a book in return, but I’m still considering it. Maybe I’ll just stick a PayPal donate button on the sidebar or something, and see what happens.

  5. Thanks Jonni for your generous comment you left me. You do realize you are instrumental in teaching me how to sculpt in paper mache, right? Couldn’t have done ti without you.
    Thank you Xan for letting me know you visited.
    And thank you too Eileen!

  6. Hey Jonni,
    So yesterday I watched all of the how to make a paper mache cat tutorial and decided to do a horse head that I can mount on my wall. So far the armature came out great, but looking ahead, I have a question.
    I’m having trouble deciding what to use for the mane. I read your post about using burlap on your foal but I’d like to use something different. I experimented with yarn, which looked awful. Some kind of doll’s hair, maybe? Silly question, but if I did something like that, how would I attach it? I’ll send you a pic of the finished product (if it turns out!)
    Thanks so much… you’ve taught me a ton!

  7. Thanks for all the positive feedback, everyone. I checked out Kickstarter, and it looks like they’re strictly for creative projects, and that’s perfect. But now I have to decide which creative project to do next, so I’ll have something to post on their site. Here’s my big quandary: I have really enjoyed putting the doll book together partly because I once made a living by making the dolls and selling them. That was back before the Internet, but a national magazine ran an article about them, and I got orders from gift shops all over the country. I really like the idea of showing people how to make something that they could make and sell, if they wanted to.

    I also know that there’s a store in every town that sells cast concrete garden art, like the lion I just made – but the hand-sculpted concrete items that I’m thinking about making over an armature would take so long that I doubt any normal person could afford to buy one. So the potential for making a living at it is slim, except for the few exceptionally talented people who can get big bucks for their work. However, it would be great fun to make them for our own yards, and that has merit, too.

    So, in these economically uncertain times, which book (and video) project should I pursue next? Should it be purely for our own creative enjoyment, or should it be teaching how to do something that people could use for extra income, if they wanted to? Any thoughts? Which type of project would you be most excited about helping with?

    • Well, you brought to light some good points Jonni.

      Obviously you can’t start a long drawn out project to post on Kickstarter. Getting your new equipment as soon as possible ought to take first priority I think. Something less time consuming so you can get that video done and a new book on the market too I would also think. And considering what would attract the market, you’re right of course, the present financial state of this country has produced a need for artisans to find projects to invest their talent in that will help them meet their financial obligations.

      So, I hope you’ll get many responses to your post to see what the rest of us would appreciate you turning your creative talent to. Sorry if I didn’t address any of the point questions you asked for feedback on. I’m just excited about a cement sculpture I want to try my hand at next, thanks to you. LOL

      Of course I’ll be happy to help with any type of project you decide upon, if you need.

      • Sharon, what kind of sculpture are you thinking of trying? So far, I’ve thought of a baby giraffe, a fawn, and a garden goblin. Jessie suggested a hippo in underpants, and my step-mother would like to see a kangaroo. (Actually, she wanted a kangaroo doll, but my book ran out of pages, so no more room. A garden sculpture will have to do, maybe a wallaby…) What did you have in mind, if you don’t mind me asking?

        • Hahahahaha
          A hippo in underpants. Excuse me Jessie but I can’t help myself. hahahaha

          Of course I don’t mind you asking me silly woman! LOL

          Well, eventually I want to sculpt a big mountain cat similar to the one I did in paper mache….But I thought first I ought to get my feet wet in this new venture with a madonna and child similar to the one I did in p.m. Oh, and when I really get the hang of it I want to do my lobo. Created a wolf pup in p.m. and I LOVE him but I think the paint is what really made it and I don’t know what a plain cement sculpture of him and his bros. and sis. and mama (which I have not gotten around to creating YET in p.m…..but I plan to) actually will look like.

          Would also like to do some garden moon rocks in cement for my garden similar to my ornaments too.

          Should I stop now???? hahaha

          Big aspirations, right?

          If you have facebook access, please stop over at my facebook page and take a look at what I’m talking about, and let me know what you think. I’ll upload my Madonna here just in case and you can get an idea of what she would entail since she’s probably the easiest to start with. I think this is the correct link. i had to rely on my granddaughter to figure that one out for me.


    • Jonni- both of your questions have merit. Maybe you should think on how long each project would take. I say this because of the time of year. For a lot of us, now is gardening time and we would love to add a cement sculpture to our garden this year, but if the video would come out in October, the timing may not be the best. Then maybe you should put out something that people could sell as the fall is big for craft sales. Also, people may like to make Christmas gifts. Timing is important. Personally, I would love to see a fawn, in cement or paper mache.
      Sharon, your sculptures are absolutely beautiful! No wonder you got all those awards.


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