Daily Sculptors Page

Join the conversation and share your paper mache sculptures with our supportive community.

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14,802 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Today I ask for serious advice.
    The little aluminum claw turned out to fit perfectly her arm, her body size and the shovel’s rod she’ll hold in her left hand.
    Now: What material should I use to first stiffen the limbs of her fingers between the joints until I find the right posture for arm and hand? Just small paperstrips dipped in glue? In glue with flour? Glue with flour and linseed oil? What ratio?

    Reply
    • Sabine, since you are just trying to keep them where they belong while working with the arm and hand positions, I would just use the paper mache glue (whatever you normally use) and paper strips. Jonni has paste recipes above if you haven’t made glue before. They work great. Good luck!

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  2. Thank you so much for your encouragement Christine, Holli, Terry, Sue, Irini…!
    Thursday I was standing in front of my favourite bookstore in town, thinking it might be absurd to start a project as big as the garden Lady with no pattern (I only have her in my mind), so little experience in paper mache, and to start a conservation in your group with so little English skills – when a pink post card catched my eye:
    “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. Albert Einstein”
    Thanks (who ever) for that sentence in that very moment 🙂
    Thank you all! I’ll go on.

    Reply
    • Sabine, your image is only 85 pixels wide, so it gets stretched to fit its allotted space. Usually, people upload images that are too big to fit, so I have some code installed that shrinks them to fit the column. In this case, it went the other way, so the image gets pixilated. If you have a bigger one, you might want to try again. I know people would love to see how you do those hands. (350 to 400 pixels wide would be perfect. 😉 )

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      • Thank you so much for your help, Jonni!
        I’ll try to load another (hopefully better ) one up in a minute.
        Right now I am sitting on my bed, cutting out a little palm from cardboard in order to hotglue it to the aluminum wire fingers (pic) tomorrow.
        It’s already bed time in our part of the world. Guess I will share my bed with some cardboard bits tonight 🙂

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  3. Oh no Irini, I only have to take her off her chain in the bath room and move her into the hallway before April 6th, as she blocks the shower.
    Plans are to get her finished in summer (hopefully 2013!)
    Yesterday I only started with one of her hands. Not much yet. Looks so strange! 🙂
    Besides, I’m more a weekly than a “daily sculptor”.
    Now I’m unsecure if this really was the appropriate thread to introduce what I’m working on…
    Today it was snowing on and off all day. It does’nt feel like Easter at all!

    Reply
    • Sabine, you’re more than welcome to show off your sculptures on this page. “Daily” is just wishful thinking for most of us – even when we do work, we don’t always get something done that we want to show off. Besides, the conversation and community is the important benefit, anyway – and we all love seeing each others work, when we do have something to share. Right, everyone?

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      • TOTALLY RIGHT!! I love seeing what everyone is working on. And I even love seeing bloopers – makes me not feel so bad about some of mine! 🙂 Please keep posting your pictures Sabine. And thank you for sharing.

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        • It has been said that art comes out of our mistakes, not our successes. For every success I had in my art and crafts projects, I could tell stories of how I got there and the stuff that went into the trash or taken apart to be repeated. What does not work makes the success all that sweeter. I had to edit a lot of my photographs as I was filling up disk space faster than I could fix. I kept a lot of my mistakes to show how not to do it as a future book. Unfortunately, I got way too many not to do it’s and had to keep only a few and delete a lot. That is what I do with my photos now. The fun is in the discovery, the prize is the finished product.

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          • Boy isn’t that true! Sometimes my “mistakes” actually turn out better than what I originally intended, so I’m always proud to say that “I don’t know how to sculpt/paint/garden/whatever.” People think I’m picking on myself, but really, it’s just a way of celebrating the experimental process, and knowing how much fun it’s going to be to learn the next thing.

            So, did you really write a book? That sounds like a good subject, and I’d love to read it.

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    • We all love seeing the process Sabine. That is what art and learning are all about. This is the perfect venue to see the process of how your creation progresses. If any one has any ideas how to help you, we can. This site has artistic levels of all kinds. This is sort of the artist’s help line and I have gotten a lot of great ideas just by following this site regularly.

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  4. Good morning from Cologne! After hesitating a long time to peek out of my cover as mere reader of your wonderful website, Jonni, I finally want to stop feeling like a mental thief tiptoeing secretly around.
    I love your little easter bunny, Sue!
    Will you make it weatherproof for hopping around outside?
    I am working on a little garden lady who is supposed to move one (far away) day to a backyard in Switzerland, i. e: she will have to stand rain, snow, windgusts, freezing cold, sunshine and probably ants and other critters and (aggressive!) bird’s droppings too.
    Besides, for the moment my bathroom serves as “studio” ?
    Here is her state of being:

    Reply
    • Hi Sabine,

      Hello from Stuttgart! 🙂 Nice work! May I ask you what material you use, since I find it hard to find the suitable components in Germany. Joint compound is hardly to find if not powedered and lately I tried a very fine Artist Filler (Struktur- oder Spachtelmasse) or joint compount which isn’t too sticky. Have you got an idea?

      @Sue: I love your rabbit, too, especially the photo in the grass :-)!

      Reply
      • Hi Irini,
        so good to meet you here! Yes, the stuff we get in our hardware stores in Germany is so much different from the material in American markets, specially the joined compounds for inside work and outside work. Before I discovered Jonni’s great web site I used to cover smaller projects with joined compound they sell in tubes, but that would be rather expensive for this (rather big) little garden lady. I also used kind of “fake wood” they sell in tubes. Now I found something new called “Molto einfach glatt” , a joined compound which comes in a 8-kg-bucket they sell at… gosh I forgot. OBI? I will give it a try as ingredient in Jonni’s clay. But it is not save while working with children ?
        Until now I used for the figure only materials I found in my household: cardboard, paper, lots of adhesive tape, a hot glue gun, a wooden rod, a cardboard box and a little bit Styrofoam from internet shopping , plaster bandages to stiffen it and her lower body, so I can work on her better than before, four corks from Rioja, Spain and an old canon ball from the Danish-German war in the 1860s as counter weight to hold her upright. Oh ja, I did buy a chain to fasten her via ceiling lamp to the canon ball! ?
        For the moment she grows in my bathroom (between toilet and shower cabin).
        Hopefully I can unchain her before the 6th of March, when a bunch of friends will visite me for a garden party and sleep over in my house….

        Reply
        • Hi Sabine,
          How is your garden lady doing? Have you hat time to continue? Since you want to make a garden party on March 6th, she must have been pretty far with finishing her!? However, I doubt, that we will be able to make a garden party by the 6th March in Germany regarding the winter weather 🙁 we have at the moment.

          Well, yes, I know Molton, but I’m not quite sure, if it is a premixed joint compound or if it is powdered? First, I sold joint compound in tubes, too :-). Jester, my first guinea pig, was made with that. (It’s the brown-and-white-one). And yes, I think, OBI was the only hardware store I found a premixed joint compound. But the one I sold at a store for Artists for paintings (Strukturmasse) I nice to work with, too. However, it smells very much from solvents.

          So, I am quite curious about your garden lady – I think, as we all are!

          Reply
    • Nice work Sabine! My bunny has already been kidnapped by my daughter, she’s holding on to it and has it in her room on a shelf. I look forward to see your garden lady finished.

      Jonni I hope you don’t mind if I come over and take a look at the things others are doing . Thank you.

      Reply
    • Sabine – I can’t wait to see your Garden Lady finished! She is looking very nice already. She also looks like she will be quite large. Will you share with us how you plan to water/snow proof her?
      Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      Reply
      • Thanks for your interest, Terry!
        I myself would love to see her finished too .
        Now ! 🙂
        When I started I had no idea how much work it turned out to be.
        Ja, I’ll share from time to time all good results if you like – and the fiascos as well.
        Right now I’m struggeling with the shoulders and the question how firm I should press the paper…

        Reply
  5. Hello Jonni, I am only a beginner in this wonderful art and here’s my very first Paperclay project. I finished it 2 days ago and I’ve really enjoyed working with your Papermache clay. I’m really looking forward to start a new project , I’ve fallen in love with this art.

    Reply
  6. Hi Jonni,
    thanks for your quick answer, co I leave the pictures here if you can´t open it in email… Still I don´t understand very much which king of black colour is used for covering the statue. Is it acrylic, or watercolour or something else? It can put off so easy. The pictures of dragon are from youtube and show this technique, then you can see the picture of my dragon and a head of my dog. Could you try please to explain me the kind of the black colour to cover the clay, I want only the folds stay black… I am not good at english, I hope, you understand me 🙂

    Reply
    • Great dragon! I use acrylic paint, but for the final glaze where you want to pull some of it back off, I add the acrylic glazing liquid. Ordinary acrylic paint dries too quickly for that purpose, I think. If you can’t find acrylic glazing liquid in your country, you might be able to use black oil paint instead, but I’ve never tried that.

      Reply
    • Your dragon and dog’s head are really nice! I can’t see the colored dragon real well, but he looks like he has a cute expression on his face.

      Reply
      • Hello, thank you very much 🙂 It is a kind dragon, not bad 🙂 So, it has a cute expression… I will give some better photos here after finishing it 🙂

        Reply
  7. Hi everyone. I’m hard at work on my next book, and I have a new recipe that I’ll be sharing with you in the next few days. It’s a lot smoother, and acts more like Activa Paperclay, so I think you’ll like it.

    In the meantime, I asked web developer Tom McFarlin to help me get a handle on the huge images that people have been uploading to their comments. Google was getting upset with me because the pages were taking too long to load (and we don’t want Google upset!).

    So from now on, images over 250KB won’t upload. That’s plenty of file space for a low-resolution image that will fit inside this column. I’ve been manually editing big files lately (to make Google happy, you know) but it occurred to me that if you have a camera, you also have a way to make your pictures smaller, just like I do.

    So – if you try to upload an image and nothing seems to happen, your comment probably went through without the image because it was too big. A red error message will show up right below the comment box when that happens, but you’ll have to scroll down to see it. Just put your image into your image editing program and make it smaller. A perfect size is 72 dpi and 6 inches or less.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing the recipe! I can’t wait to use it! Do you still need to do a “base frame” (which you stick the clay to), or can you mold a sculpture directly with the stuff like you do with clay?

      Reply
      • I’m still using an armature, but I don’t know that you can’t use the material without one. The thicker it is, the longer it will take to dry – and it’s possible that it could crack. However, there’s only one way to find out – if you experiment, please let us know how it turns out!

        Reply
        • Will do! I’ve been wanting to make some of my own dolls. I like Star Wars figures, but it annoys me you can’t remove their clothing usually. I also like Monster High dolls, but those are so flimsily made.

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  8. Hi all- I am in the process of making a small bunch of Canadian geese goslings out of paper mache. I want to ask you all if you have any ideas on how to achieve that soft fuzzy down that is so precious on baby geese. I plan on using Jonni’s clay but want them to look so soft that one would want to touch them. I’ve looked all over this website but couldn’t find the look I was going for. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Eileen, it might be possible to get this texture with the new compound I’m experimenting with right now. I’ll try to get a video up today, and you can experiment with it. It is difficult to get a very hard substance to look soft and fluffy, of course. Have you seen any ceramic sculptures that capture the look you’re after? If we could see an example, that would be great.

      Reply
  9. Hi everybody,

    I haven’t written for a long time, but I have been busy anyway. I found a new teacher for my paintings, but I did also some papermache things…. Everyone here is sooo talented and I have the feeling, I can’t do it like you do :-(. I’m not quite sure why… but sometimes I have the feeling that either my joint compound or the glue is very sticky… and I can’t model the way that I like to… It’s very difficult to find the components I need in Germany.

    One time, the papermache clay was so sticky, that I put it on a canvas and created a horse’s head. Then, again, I tried some guinea pigs. These two are my favorite animals :-). So, have a look!

    Reply
    • Welcome back, Irini. You might try adding a little more flour to your paper mache clay. That seems to reduce the stickiness. Products are different everywhere, so we all have to experiment a little to make the recipe work.

      I absolutely love your guinea pigs – when I first saw the photos, I thought you were showing us the real one you used as a model! Very nice!

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for encouraging me! Well, yes, for the parts like eyes and nostrils, I have used more flour to form them, but I thought “That’s not Jonnis papermache clay :-(” But anyway, I love modelling and my big aim is to make a horses head in life size and my dog who is an Australian Shepherd, too. Meanwhile, I am training with guinea pigs 😉

        Reply
    • Hi Irini, one of the things that I found out in arts and crafts that mistakes lead to discovery. I have had an idea I had in my head only to find the execution of the idea not as easy as I thought it would be. I have ended up with pieces that were far apart of the original idea but the fun in discovering something new, was half the fun. There is no failure in art. That horses head is wonderful as you made do with what you had and if for any reason you want to use the product again you know what properties will give you the best result. The horse head is a beautiful piece of art.

      Reply
      • Thank you, Christine, for your encouragement! There’s no failure in art” – that’s what I always tell my mum ;-), to encourage her to try something. I should apply this advice on my own 🙂

        Reply
  10. Hi Jonni, thought you’d like to see my first attempt at my sculpture of my Labradoodle, I did it in five days, could not stop! Thanks so much, I’m now hooked and will try one of my cat.

    Reply
    • Diane – that is so adorable! So lifelike – are you sure you’re not pulling our legs by sending us a picture of your real dog? HEE HEE! I can’t wait to see your cat!

      Reply
  11. Hello all-
    Last week I was juried for an art show- I had told you all about it and posted pics of my heron, fox, turtle and rabbit. Well, I am pleased as punch to report that I got in the show! Words can not express the excitement I feel right now! The show is not until October so I’d better calm down. Thanks to all for the kind words and encouragement-it means a lot.
    Eileen

    Reply

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