Daily Sculptors Page

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14,855 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Jonni,
    How about making gargoyles and grotesques? I love that stuff. Do you think you could squeeze a couple of uglies in your busy schedule?

  2. Hi Jonni,

    My name is Kylie and I am a High School Art teacher working in Australia. I love your work! I stumbled upon one of your tutorials on Youtube where you were instructing viewers on the best way to make Paper mache clay. Thank you so much! I really needed this.

    Next term (in October 2020) my year 9 students will be making Day of the Dead figures (Calacas). I was interested to know if you have ever created anything like this before? I would really love some tips!
    Your work is AMAZING! I really enjoyed viewing it so thank you for sharing your talent and knowledge with us!

    • Hi Kylie. I haven’t made a full skeleton, or a Calacas skull. For the skull, I’d make a form either with crumpled paper and masking tape or with modeling clay, and cover it with paper mache clay. (Actually, since I would be working at home I’d use crumpled foil and hot glue, but the smell of 20 or more glue guns heating up at the same time might not be a good idea. 🙂 )There is a very simple skull form pattern here on my site that I made for sculpting faces, but it might be helpful for your students, too.

  3. Hi,

    I’m working on a large scale paper mache for a project. What’s the best way to sculpt/paint it too look like fur?

    I need it to look kinda shaggy like an otter or dog.



    • Hi Kay. If it’s really big, I’d sculpt the fur bundles or bunches (I don’t know what to call them, but I hope you know what I mean) with crumpled foil and hot glue first, before adding any paper mache. Then you can add fine fur marks as the last layer. If you’re using paper strips and paste, you can use one-ply paper towels for the fur layer and push the wet pasted towels into ridges that go in the direction of the fur. If you’re using paper mache clay, just draw lines or sculpt the fur with a knife.
      I hope this helps. I hope some of our other readers will have some ideas for you too. 🙂

      • I agree with Jonni. After years of trying to paint fur on creatures, I began sculpting a fur pattern with the clay. It seems to be a big improvement in my ability to paint fur. I have about five projects waiting to be painted because of this problem, and today I was actually thinking of adding another layer of clay and drawing some fur or hair lines. We’ll see. Great question.

  4. I have chanced upon this wonderful site and am so happy I’ve done so. What a gift you are, sharing so much information and beautiful work! I have been making papier-mache for a long time using just flour and water but will now try your clay recipe. I write because I want to find a recipe or product to protect painted papier-mache and perhaps even give it a sheen. I use acrylic gesso before painting. Do you have a recommendation? Because of covid I am making a series of masks, hoping to invoke protective spirits!

      • Thanks so much! I am going to try making your papier-mache clay now . . . will share pix when I have success.
        Very grateful to you for your kind sharing of information.

        • Hello again — I made the papier-mache clay and I love the texture, but I think I may have done something wrong with the toilet paper. The clay leaves very small wispy tufts when I spread it with a knife — it doesn’t spread smooth. I didn’t add a lot of flour, is that part of my problem? I am spreading it on a relatively flat (but definitely not smooth) wheat paper paste/paper base.

          • Hi Deborah. The paper mache clay has a lot of paper in it, so it will always have more texture than the air dry clay recipe. If you want your pm clay to be smoother, add a little more joint compound and glue, and mix it some more. The more you mix the smoother it will be. If that makes it too wet, you can add in flour or corn starch, a little at a time, until you like the way it works.

          • I made a batch today, and I learned a few months ago that I need to beat it about twice as long as I thought. I was actually paying attention this time, and I could see the bits of paper, but I kept beating until they disappear. (I have to say this because of tradition, but when I found a texture I liked, I weighed the ingredients. I mix the paper, glue, joint compound, and baby oil first. Then I add the flour (or corn starch). That helps break it down so I don’t get bits of paper in mine. I don’t know, but perhaps it is the mixing and not the recipe. Good luck.

    • Hi Jonni. I make life-size abstract figurative sculpture and am relatively new to paper mache. What video tutorials do you have that would be most appropriate for me?

  5. I am new at this.made the papier mache clay receipie. But it is very sticky. It sticks to my fingers like glue. It does not stick to the aluminium foil. How can I fix that? Please help. Monique

    • Hi Monique. The paper mache clay is supposed to be sticky. If you need a recipe that you can use with your hands, try the air dry clay recipe instead. If you apply the paper mache clay to crumpled foil with a knife, the pm clay will be pressed into the dips and valleys in the foil and stay where it belongs. Is your foil crumpled?

    • I love using my fingers, so I have tried many times to “help” paper mache clay with my fingers. It never works. Use a knife. If you dip it in water, don’t get very much water on the knife. If that doesn’t work, you might try adding a little flour to “dry up” the stickiness.

      If you make air dry clay (which I seem to add as a final layer on almost everything I make), then you can play with it with your fingers. My favorite. Good luck.

  6. Jonni, and whoever has suggestions! , I was researching on this site about painting fur, an in watching the raccoon video, I saw you use Apoxie Sculpt. I’m thinking of ordering some for my next project. Does it work well on the clay? and does it paint well and blend in? Any problems or suggestions you might have?

    There is an encyclopedia of knowledge here and I wish I had a photographic memory!

    • There is a modeling compound and a repair compound. Which is the better one? if at all? Any more videos here I might watch about using it? Or other suggestions?

      • Apoxie Sculpt, the modeling compound, is the one I’ve used. I made my gnome’s face with it, and that’s what your chicken was made with. I didn’t know they had a repair compound until you mentioned it, and Amazon’s sales page doesn’t explain the difference – except that it’s more expensive. You can fix things with the modeling compound, too, so I don’t see why the “fixit” version would be needed.

    • Hi Rex. The epoxy clay I used for my rooster is almost the same as the Apoxie Sculpt. They both stick to just about anything, so they work well with dried air dry clay or paper mache clay. It has no texture of its own, though, so it works well for noses – but if you need it to duplicate a fur pattern, you’d need to work a little harder to get it to blend in.

      • Thank you. That helps a lot. I’m going to order some and give it a try. I don’t venture far from what I do because I get side-tracked easily, but I want to make something with a beak, eyes, claws, etc., and as I saw you work on your rooster, it looked really cool.

        I love your gnome and may try one later. A neighbor down the street is passionate about them. (They own a car shop and picked up my car and serviced it about a month back. Really nice. Have known them for 7 years.)

        • By the way, I have some turtles (large ones) that the neighbors bought me from Mexico. They are getting a little beaten up. Would I be able to put a little Apoxie on them and then repaint? Just thought of that as I went out the door for a walk.

          • Rex, I’m sorry it took so long to respond – I seem to be a little disorganized lately. But the answer is yes, the epoxy clay should stick to the fired clay. If you get some to use for other projects, test it on a hidden spot first, though, to make sure it will work. After I made my gnome with an epoxy clay face and waterproof grout for the rest of it, Eileen mentioned that different materials expand and contract at different rates with changes in temperature, and she wondered if that could cause the connection points between the two materials to fail. I don’t know the answer to that yet (gnome is still doing fine) but it’s worth a try. Good luck with it.

            • Thanks, Jonni. It’s a little difficult for me to expand into any new areas, but your rooster is pushing my limits! That’s a thank you. Head problems keep me from getting much done, but I did order some.

  7. Hi all. A question about the drywall joint compound for making the Paper Mache Clay Recipe.
    I am from the UK and understand it can be called joint filler. I have been looking on the DIY Shop Website and I’m not sure what to buy. There is one from Wickes which is called “British Gypsum Gyproc Ready Mixed Joint Cement”. This however is in a big 12 litre tub and is expensive. Can someone direct me as to the correct product to buy in the UK which they have used successfully as I don’t want to buy the wrong thing.
    Kind regards

    • Hi Jackie,
      You need ready mixed decorator’s filler. I use the cheapest one I can find from the poundshop. You get 750ml for £1. Think decorator’s filler, pollyfiller etc. rather than drywall compound.

    • Hi Jackie –
      I’ve been using Jonni’s recipe (modified for UK materials) for some years now. The joint compound I use is obtainable from B&Q. It’s called ‘Ready Mix Joint Cement’ (by Gyproc) and comes in a 12 litre tub. One of those will last me for over a year and costs about £18 at the moment (discounted). They also sell a good PVA glue in a 5-litre tub (Diall brand) for £15 – again, lasts for ages.

      • Hi Nev
        Sorry I did reply to your message, but I must have done something wrong. Anyway I have searched the diy stores including B&Q, for the ‘Ready Mix Joint Cement’ (by Gyproc) hoping to get a bargain. Anyway B&Q have none in stock and no other DIY stores near me have any in. Hopefully they are not discontinuing this product. I shall keep looking, but in the mean time I think I shall try Sarah’s suggestion and look in the Poundshop for decorator’s filler.
        Thanks so much for your suggestion.

  8. I am wondering about the fur direction on the giraffe. I think it goes forward on the bridge of the nose, but having a tough time figuring out the direction on the cheek area and forehead. And sides of nose. Does everything go forward on the nose.

  9. I made a paper mache person for my front porch….(three layers- paper mache, toilet paper glue and gesso) Then two coats of primer, 2 coats of flesh colored paint, and then two cOats of something (varnish, polyurethane or something) and she has been out on the Covered porch all summer for the last four years and is in excellent Shape. I cannot remember what I used for the last coats of product to protect her from The elements. I have just finished another person to sit with her and need to pick a weather protectant for her. Has anyone made a sculpture that they have put on their roofed porch and had good weather protection? What did you use, or what would you recommend. Most products say for use on wood, or interior, that isn’t what I want. Any thoughts anyone? Thanks for listening…..

    • That depends on so many variables that you really need to test it for yourself. It depends on the humidity in the air, how much air is moving, how thickly the paste has been applied, etc. If you dry one layer at a time, remember that the second and third and all new layers will be wet, and will soak into the dry layers underneath – so the first layer will dry faster, and the next ones will take longer.

  10. Jonni Beautiful work. Thanks for posting you’re link. That Snowy Owl is beautiful and I’m going to try it. The rest of the animals are beautiful too.

    With your encouragement I’m going to post my work. Thank you for the invitation. I make Wall pockets with clay. I use white, terra cotta and porcelain clay. Thank you for your patience. I’ll get these loaded and post them. Thank you..

  11. Hi Jonnie. I am about to start the life size baby elephant project using strong cardboard instead of plywood as you said it’s not so heavy. Would you suggest using cardboard for the legs as well and then the 2” x 4” pieces of wood as spacers, would that work? Really excited and looking forward to the challenge, as it’s my first Papier Mache project after watching your videos. I took your advice and contacted my local newspaper office and they gave me a ‘sack truck’ of unsold newspapers for a few dollars, enough to make a full sized adult elephant!!!

    • Hi Sue. Yes, if you squish the paper fairly tight when you add the stuffing on the legs, the cardboard should be plenty strong enough to hold up your elephant. I hope you’ll show it to us when it’s done! 🙂

  12. Hi Jonni,

    I just happened on your site while looking for paper maché sculpture.
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with the world!
    I have a realistic human face project and I know your site is going to be of great help! I’m a sculptor, ceramist and art teacher from Belgium.
    Thanks again and I once I get started I’ll share with you what I have done! 🙂

  13. Hi, Jonni and friends…it’s been a while since I posted., but I have been visiting often. I was going to try making that adorable chicken, but I don’t have any newspaper. I stopped delivery when I couldn’t read it. I have a lot of used computer paper and wonder if there is any way that could be used.
    Like always when I am searching for something to do this poem popped into my head so I thought I would share it. By the way, your daughter looks so much like you. She has a lovely site.

    For you

    If I could paint a picture
    To brighten up your day
    I’d paint some happy children
    Laughing at their play

    I’d paint the look on a mother’s face
    As she holds her newborn child
    Or I’d paint a field of flowers
    Growing beautiful and wild

    I’d try to paint a sunbeam
    Or the drops of a springtime rain
    Or the delicate, lacy fingers of frost
    On a winter windowpane
    I’d also really like to try
    To paint a misty rainbow
    As it arcs across the sky

    I’d paint a tiny kitten
    As it frolics on the rug
    And then I’d paint a kiss or two
    And then I’d paint a hug

    I’d paint these images for you
    Though it might take a while
    But it would be so worth it
    If I could make you smile.

    • What a beautiful poem, Joyce. Thank you so much for sharing it. And yes, copy paper works just fine. I hope you have fun with your chicken – and does this mean you’re feeling better?

      • Thanks, Jonni…I have good days and some not so good. On the good ones I think I can get started creating again, but unfortunately they are few and far between. But I have hope and one day I’ll see when I can do with that computer paper. In thr meantime I’ll write poems.

  14. I know there are lessons here on adding one-ply towels to make elephant skin, but I can’t find it. Anyone help me? I’m almost ready to try it. Thanks.

    • Hi Rex. I just did a search for a tutorial I may have done, but the only thing I could find were projects where the paper towels were discussed as part of the project. Nothing specifically for making elephant skin except for the first video on this page, starting at about the 2:15 mark. It can be done in several ways, but for the wall elephant I used a thin layer of paper mache clay that had more glue in it than usual, laid the towel on top, and squooshed it around to make wrinkles. This works on a large sculpture but could add too much thickness for something that’s smaller. Another way that works well is to just mix up some regular flour and water paste, or the “DIY gesso” mix with about equal parts of joint compound and glue. Brush it on the dry paper mache clay or dip the paper towel pieces into the paste, lay it on the sculpture and move it around in the spots where wrinkles are needed. In this method the “skin” is paper thin. If you use the gesso you can brush a little on top of the paper to give you a nice hard surface for paint.
      We can’t wait to see your elephants!

      • I believe I heard the paper towel idea for the baby elephant lessons. Because the bumpy paper towels make good “skin”

  15. Hello, we have bought the giant bullfrog trophy head and were wondering if there are step by step instructions for this please for my daughter and I to follow? Many thanks Justine

    • Hi Justine. There are two videos here that show you how the bullfrog goes together, and how to finish it. The pieces are all numbered, and their placement is shown on page 2 of your pattern. I hope this helps – let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂

  16. So Jonni. what is the verdict on the clay made without joint compound? Does it need refrigeration, how is it with mold, how long can you store it???


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