Daily Sculptors Page

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15,120 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

    • I used your papermache process to get the main part of my project. Instead of cardboard I used styrofoam sheets and rebar as reinforcement. I had to put cement on it to make it weather proof to live outdoors.

        • Julie what a great idea, your lion and fox are positioned perfectly. I hope you do a guest post for Jonni and all of us 🙂

            • Hi Julie. I can see that I’m not the only one who would love to see how these sculptures were made. A guest post is easy – you write it, I post it. 🙂 The easy way to get it to me is to use the new form. You will probably need to send more photos, but I’ll let you know how to do that just as soon as I get the text of your post.

              I’m excited about this one – I know you’re going to get a ton of feedback when it’s posted!

        • Julie, Wow! Your mountain lion and fox are mighty impressive. Very realistic- I imagine people may take a step back when they first see them in your yard. I also encourage you to do a guest post.

      • When I saw the lion I said “Wow!” That is so beautiful and so is the fox. I really would like to see your guest post.

  1. Thank you all for the nice comments. I’m so glad I found you all 🙂 you’re so creative, and I am learning so much from you. I have always played with paper mache, but not at this level. Jonni, I will be taking a little of everything I do to this show: pencil sketches, watercolor painting, and embroidery ( it is like painting with thread ) and now paper clay/ paper mache / air dry clay. I’m nerves and excited all at the same time, when I think of doing a show.

  2. I finally finished my puffin, he was great fun. Now on to chapter 6 the piglet ( or maybe a fox, not sure yet). Thank’s again Jonni, I’m having so much fun doing this 🙂 I hope my the picture uploads.

  3. Hi Jonni I used your process in a large way. I created a mountain lion for my back yard. I used styrofoam instead of card board and my son make a rebar armature for me. After forming the sculpture with styrofoam, news paper and masking tape I put a layer of your paper mache clay. Then I put a layer of concrete so it could live out doors.

  4. You are just nuts! I mean that in a good way. I love your stuff. And I like that you showed how you did the bas relief. I’m definitely going to try that.

    My dog won’t let me put clay on his face, so your son is a better sport. Thanks.

    I love the giraffes, too.

  5. I was getting mold in my clay after a few days (I live 30 miles from the ocean – an 1.5 hour drive). I put a little bleach in the toilet paper water (as suggested on this site) and have had zero mold since then, even when the clay is a month old. I usually keep it refrigerated.

    Good luck with the heron. This type of information is very useful for those of us who don’t want to find out the hard way. I hope I don’t.


  6. Here’s how I make “cones”. I bought a cheap plastic funnel from the dollar store and coated with a “non stick” product. I use “Zero Friz” which is a hair product I have handy. Once you layer the outside with paper mache, you can flip the funnel, supporting the stem. I used a plastic jug as pictured. Now your able to paper mache the inside of funnel which will yield 2 cones when dry. Rince and repeat for as many layers as you’d like, letting them dry between coats (I do four). The paper funnels will just “pop” off the plastic funnels with very little effort.

  7. I watched a youtube video today showing a gentleman using a textured paint. I was wondering if anyone here has tried using something like rice or sand scattered onto a coat of paste to get a similar effect? I wonder if that plus varnish would hold it on well enough to be useful.

  8. Thanks Jonni. Yeah I wish she had some tutorials somewhere out there in internet land, but I have yet to find any. I did find a picture of her armature process however. Ill post it, its the armature of one of her life size giraffes.

  9. Hello all- there has been questions recently about how humidity affects paper mache. I must tell you about 2 things. We have had about 2 weeks of really wet and humid weather here in eastern Pa. Too hot to put on the heat to dry things out, too cool to use the air conditioner to keep things dry. Just a tough time that sometimes happens.
    I have been doing paper mache since last summer- I guess the air conditioning was on as I have not had any problems until now. One, I made up a batch each of Jonni’s clays. I needed them both for a beaver sculpture I am attempting. After about a week of this weird weather, the air dry clay totally molded! Black and disgusting! It was kept in a sealed bag but not refrigerated as Jonni suggests. Guys- refrigerate it!
    Second and much more disturbing, I have a completed blue heron, painted, varnished for about a year. With this humidity, it started to lean to one side. I dont know what it would have done if I had not caught it. I was able to prop it up against a wall and it was fine after a dry day. I am really upset as this particular sculpture is being featured at an art show in October, I am committed already to this one. I dont know what to do except to perhaps have a care sheet including instructions on climate control, etc. Do any of you have any further suggestions? Would adding more layers of varnish, or a different varnish help? I would really appreciate any advice.

    • Hi Eileen. We’ve been having exactly the same kind of weather here in South Dakota. Strange! Humid, cool but not cold enough for the furnace, etc. We’ve had so much rain the farmers are complaining – the same ones who had crop losses last year from the drought.
      However, none of my paper mache clay sculptures have suffered any damage at all, and my house is full of them! My unused air-dry clay grew mold much faster than I would have liked, so I started adding the bleach, which I never had to do back in Oregon. I also make up just enough to use in a day or two, because fungi are smarter than we are – they can live in just about anything if there’s enough water.

      If your blue heron was completely dry before you sealed it, and it was sealed with a good acrylic varnish, it should not be having any problems. But, obviously, it is. I would get it dried out totally, maybe by putting it in a closet with a fan and a heat lamp or something (stay safe – I don’t want you burning down your house!) and then give it a good coat or two of varnish.

      By the way, did you put any sort of reinforcing in the long heron legs? Is it possible that it isn’t the humidity or mold causing the issue, but just a problem with the legs not being strong enough to hold up the body of the bird? Sometimes a problem like that can take a long time to develop – I didn’t see any cracking around my lion cub’s tail for a year or more. But eventually, gravity won. If that may be causing the problem, you may need to rebuild the legs with rebar inside. Not what you wanted to hear, I know. But finding the real source of the problem would be the first step.

      • Do you put a layer of modpodge on before you seal it with the acrylic? I put a thick layer of mod podge on and then spray it with acrylic sealant. It’s pretty rock hard when I get done with them .That’s what I do and haven’t any problems yet.

          • HELP! I seem to have gotten over excited on mod podge….I put some over the gesso…..& thought about it afterwards (I still need to paint it). Can acrylic paint go over the mod podge? It’s a Mother’s days gift & I would hate not to be able to paint it. Do you think if I sand it first it would help?

            • I’ve never used Mod Podge, but I did a Google search and it looks like you’re OK. I found the following on this page:

              Is Mod Podge paintable? After I do a project and want to add some additional color can I paint on top of the MP or will it ruin it?

              Yes, you can definitely paint on top of Mod Podge. I’ve only done it with acrylic paint, but it worked. You will have to seal the paint with more Mod Podge over the top though so it doesn’t come off.

      • You know, the legs seem rather strong, they are not bending in a weird way or anything- I think the problem is the ankles and feet. All the weight of the sculpture has to be balanced on the feet and ankles. I was never so good in the physics/engineering part of sculpturing. Not to go into it, I did reinforce the legs a lot. I don’t think modge podge will work as it is really only thin glue. I think I have decided to re-work the legs with rebar like you suggested , then imbed them into a wood base. I might even use the plaster cloth for the first coat as that dries fairly stiff. I just can’t stand the thought of putting out an inferior product- especially for an art show in which it may be purchased. I am just nervous about re-painting and getting the right blend of colors.
        I went and examined the rest of my guys and the only other one showing the same type problem, again, is two legged, the Canadian goose. She seemed to be tilting too and it appears to be at the ankles. That one will be easier to reinforce as the legs are a bit thicker. How is your dodo bird holding up? I know those legs are pretty thick but it also has a bit of weight to the body. I feel fairly certain that I let everything dry on those two sculptures but now I am second guessing. Oh well, back to the drawing board! Yet another challenge! Thanks.
        Mike, your work is very nice- I especially like the teak wood relief. It makes me want to try it.

        • It sounds like you have your work cut out for you – but I agree that you need to make sure the sculptures will hold up well, since they will be sold/ It’s a good thing you discovered the problem now – it would be disappointing to have a buyer bring them back and demand repairs.

          The dodo is holding up well. I used heave wire, that goes from the end of each toe, up the leg, and then around the lower portion of the body, sort of like a cradle. And the toes and legs were wrapped with plaster cloth. The legs are much thicker than you could get awat with for a goose or heron.

          • Hi Jonni- I did the same thing with each of the sculptures, the heron also reinforced with a thick foam and a dowel, the goose with tin foil. I cradled the wire as well which is making me really nervous about doing surgery on the legs.
            Have you ever worked with rebar? I went to Lowes today and spoke with a lot of the sales people about my problem. To cut rebar, one needs special tools, to bend rebar, one needs a blow torch- both of which are expensive and dangerous. I dont know if I am up for that. We talked about using other things like copper tubing or PVC pipe, but I need them thin and they might not help. One of the sales guys suggested using several layers of coat hanger wire, twisting them together. They would be strong and bendable. If that fails, who do I try to approach to cut and bend rebar? I dont know of any metal forges around my area. What do you think? I hope I am not being a pest with all these questions.

            • Eileen, you can cut rebar with an ordinary hack saw. I’ve done it lots of times. Bending, though, is difficult if you need a really sharp bend. This page tells how to use leverage and a long pipe for bending the rebar. If you use the thinnest available rebar, this should work – as long as you aren’t trying to do anything too fancy.

              My dodo’s leg and toe wire is about the thickness of the old-fashioned coat hangers. I agree that you need wire at least that strong to hold up the weight of a standing bird.

            • I have cut rebar hundreds of times with a hacksaw. I would caution you not to hit it too hard with a hammer. I have a nice scar on my right hand from that! Good luck with the heron. Be brave!

            • Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! That is really good information, though it does not inspire confidence in the salespeople I encountered! No- they were doing their best. Now braced with this knowledge, I am going to tackle the issue and come out triumphant-that’s me being brave. Thanks Jonni and Rex- I will let you know how things turn out.

  10. And the last African teak wood inspired piece Ill throw up here. These started out as just flat silhouettes with a little paper taped to em. You can see the stages of my “very rushed” art on my FB page https://www.facebook.com/LifeSizeMache . Ive been having fun lately with just regular old Toilet paper which is not only cheap, but very easy to put on.

  11. A lamp stand I made from some scrap around the house. Pretty much just rolled paper, mache (mache clay to make lumps like gnarled wood) then painted. Was actually a funner project than I expected.

  12. My first attempt at a relief done to kind of imitate the Teak wood reliefs you see from Indonesia.
    Ive to just a bit more detail to do and one more coat of varnish before its done.

      • I only used 3 colors. black, which I used only in a few places, trying to get something that resembled shadows, brown and white. Started with a brown background, added a little white to the palette and dry brushed a little, added more white, dry brushed some more, ect, until it was done. About 49% of my brain wanted to add color (elephants, leaves or even some red for sunset), the rest of me stuck with the teak wood carving idea. I actually really like the “relief with mache” idea, you can do so much with it. I just have to build up enough experience to really get what I want out of it.
        I just recently found that if i add some of the detail, paint, on top of one of the layers of varnish, it gives it allot more definition (like for eyes and fine stuff like that) problem is, im not all that good with detail, i lose perspective real fast, so its hit and miss with any desired effect until i do a few more.

  13. Hi Jonni,
    Im doing an art essay on sculpurtists that inspire me and you are definatly one of them. I was wondering if it would be possible for you to send me some informtation about yourself e.g. birth date a and place, education etc. My email address is; hayley.louise1995@live.co.uk
    It would be much appreciated if you could, thank you



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