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15,076 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. I applied Jonni’s lovely recipe for gesso to my figures bowl. I am trying to get it as smooth as possible and don’t know if I am using the gesso properly. I then would like to put a coat of paint over it and varnish it. Should I keep applying layers of gesso and then sanding it to get this result? There are lots of little crevices. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    • I’ll add a bit to Gea’s advice. I do sometimes add several layers of gesso to build up a smooth finish. And wet sanding, or just using a damp sponge, is much easier than sanding, since there’s no dust and it goes faster. You might need to roll a bit of damp paper towel over a wooden match stick or something similar to get into the really small areas.

      Your bowl looks lovely – what a nice idea. How do you plan to finish it?

      • I second the wet sanding idea. I sometimes just use straight joint compound over the really terrible places, let it dry a bit, and then wet sand. Keep in mind tho, that these areas aren’t as tough as the rest of the piece. But you can get a very smooth wet sanded surface.

        But if you’re open to some other thoughts … I spent years trying to get a super smooth surface, and eventually just embraced the natural texture of the paper mache clay. (See skulls photo below). And depending on how you paint it, the surface you have now should work fine. You want to give the eye a lot to look at and take in, so any one thing doesn’t stand out. You’ve already done this with the shape of the bowl. My eye travels along each back, and the arms … it doesn’t want to just stay in one place.

        If you capitalize on that with your paint scheme … (with either a decorative pattern, or perhaps a base coat, dry brushing and then some washes (very watery paint) or glazes (a little paint mixes with a glazing medium) you’d create enough for the eye to look at that the little imperfections won’t be as noticeable.

  2. I applied Jonni’s lovely recipe for gesso to my figures bowl. I am trying to get it as smooth as possible and don’t know if I am using the gesso properly. I then would like to put a coat of paint over it and varnish it. Should I keep applying layers of gesso and then sanding it to get this result? There are lots of little crevices. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    • Hi Pamela

      Some of the people here make realy smooth items. Like the ” velvet” look of Jim Kransbergen his work. The rugged appearance ” stone look” of some work shown here looks good too! Both ways have there charms I think.
      if you robe the gesso with a wet cloth when it’s dry or while its drying it get very smooth indeed! Experiment what you like and continue until you think it’s done


  3. i have desided to make a pecok over the summer. I cant decide though if i should buy the peakock feathers or make them like the paper mache clay butterfly

  4. i have noticed that you use alot of masking tape over the filling and armature i would like to follow in your footsteps but tdont want to buy the expensive masking tape. Is it possible to use blue scotch tape that you get in the painters section at hardware stores?

    • I don’t know – I haven’t tried the blue stuff because I thought it would be more expensive than the old-fashioned masking tape. The tape is definitely the most expensive part of any project that uses a crumpled paper armature. And finding masking tape that actually stays stuck on isn’t easy. If you find a good alternative, please let us know.

    • I’ve used masking tape from the dollar store but it seems to have even less sticking properties than “real” masking tape. Since painters tape is designed to not really stick too readily to something, but rather pull away easily, I wonder if it would have more issues. Like Jonni, though, I haven’t used it either.


  5. OK … finished my Hauntforum $20 prop entry. Phew … sorry I’ve been lax in posting daily entries, but I have been working daily. : )

    The theme was Christmas corruption, and you had to take a Christmas decoration and ‘corrupt’ it for a Halloween decoration. I corrupted a clear glass Christmas ornament, and a string of Christmas lights.

    I started with the story:

    There’s an old zombie tale my great grandmother used to tell me about an ancient zombie ritual. I’ve lost most of the details, but I do remember the chant they used …

    O Skelly Tree, O Skelly Tree, how loathsome are your branches.
    O Skelly Tree, O Skelly Tree, how loathsome are your branches.
    Bedecked with veins, O Skelly Lord
    Now bring us brains for our zombie horde
    O Skelly Tree, O Skelly Tree, how loathsome are your branches …

    • Dang, that last image wasn’t supposed to be a thumbnail.


      • Thanks! And thanks for your help and encouragement along the way. Rich, you really helped me feel like this was a do-able and acceptable activity. Especially when the folks on the forum seemed not to be very excited about the theme …

        Much appreciated to you both (and all you other posters and readers too!) …

        — b

    • Hi B-
      It is nice to see the final result! it does look cool!
      I also like your funny fish but this to has some of your humor ( hello kitty whahaha)
      Please tell us know how you ended in the contest. ( bye the way .. a grandmother telling zombi stories … how cool .. makes a change)


  6. Just finished Blow Your Horn. The piece will be one of five pieces I’ll have in the Found Art show at Snyderman-Works Gallery in Philadelphia. The show opens July 6th and runs through August.

    Blow You Horn is 10″ x 11″ x 5″ and mixed media . . . paper mache, FIMO and Super Sculpey Firm polymer clay and assorted grill (bench) scrapings. The “found art” parts of this piece are: a soft ball, a salt container, a shaver’s head, and a shaving brush. Was fun to make . . . hope you enjoy it.


    Got notice today that the Humor in Craft book is shipping. Mine is coming from Amazon for the obvious reason. The book was written by Brigette Martin and she selected four of my pieces to be included. By the way, there are 261 artists in the book from all over the world and over 460 full color photos plus essays and texts from the artists, it’s a real chunk of a book, about as heavy as a brick. One of my pieces even made it on to the cover, in a small, shared way. The fifth photo across the top of the cover is mine; that’s the redheaded potter at his wheel.



  7. I am looking for someone who does commissioned sculptures from paper mâché, I have my son’s 1st Birthday party coming up in June and I was interested in getting an approx. 4ft long Hungry Caterpillar done to be used as a centerpiece, but, also something we can keep and add to our reading/play room on a shelf to be a fun art display. I do want the piece to have hollow centers (going old school ballon paper mache style 🙂 ) allowing for a lighter piece that is manageable to be lifted and moved with ease. Is this something that anyone could do? If it is can you email with pricing and timelines for such a project? Thank you!

    • Hi Mandy, What state do you live in? I am pretty sure I could get it done by June 1 for you if I can get it shipped easily. I can do the hollow (balloon) centers so it will be manageable. If you are interested please e-mail me at terrycrary@charter.net and we can discuss the cost.
      Thank you,

  8. I start the chimp’s armature today. I’ll probably be using a combination of techniques, including my cardboard patterns, somewhat modified, plus some of Dan Reeder’s ideas for the arms, and Monique Robert’s ideas for weighting the armature. I tried to find the aluminum gutter guard that I like so much for ears and other extensions, but it isn’t sold here in town any more so I ordered sheets of wireform mesh that looks similar. And since the sheets are larger, it might even be cheaper than the hardware store version. Still – this chimp is going to cost quite a pretty penny by the time he’s done. I hope it turns out to be worth it.

    I’ll be using Burne Hogarth’s anatomy book for muscle reference. I know his drawings are of humans, but – close enough… And it’s my current favorite art book. (I had a different favorite yesterday, of course).


    • Looks great! I’ve heard of Aqua resin used by itself (without the fiberglas sheet) as a sealer for outdoor sculpture. In fact the sealer I use currently (Shields-All) was a recommendation I found on a plaster statuary discussion thread — I figured if it protected plaster outside, it should work for paper mache. Later when I tried to find out more, and went to the posters website, it said they no longer use Shields-All, but found that Aqua Resin is better for long term outdoor protection.

      So maybe the cheaper way to do it, is to make the armature and sculpture from cardboard and mache, and then use the Aqua resin at the end to seal it?

      — b

      • Yes, that’s how I hope to use it. I did make the skull with the resin, so I would have a reproducible start for a future project, if I wanted to make one. It’s so much easier to sculpt a face when you have the skull to start with. But most of the sculpture will be paper mache clay over the usual paper and cardboard armature, and with the aqua resin on top. Their documentation makes it look like the glass fiber mat is needed for a top coat, at least for foam coating. But it would be nice if it can be used without the added glass strands. It doesn’t seem very strong in really thin sheets, though, so I’m not sure how it would hold up. Maybe I’ll email them and ask for some advice.

  9. Hi

    The sun was missing so here she is 😉

    I also worked two cats. One is big 23 inches high and 9 wide.

    I gave it a mask witch I made from the Jonni Clay 2 ( added clay powder, is it me ore is it more fragile to the version 1??)

    The smaller cat with the long tail I made with the Dutch version of paper clay a recipe from Joke Heester .
    That was my verry first attempt to make a paper mache piece! Both cats are made from crumbled newspaper and tape, making the armature and then covering them with the paperclay

    I realy want to make some more of the FACE vases!
    It is wonderfull how things just apear and are created as you play and work on it.

    I still have more work to show but will spread that out a bit for this might be an overkill allready and I will try to paint some of my things ***SMILE***
    I like white…

    • Yes, the recipe with the powdered clay is not as hard or strong as the original recipe. I think the original is still best for most purposes.

      Will you be painting the faces, or will they stay white?

      • I am not sure yet if I wil paint the vases. I don’t want to spoil it and are not confident on choosing the coloursor tecnics. Thats why non of my work is painted yet..
        wished I possessed the skills of the art of enamelling or was able to mimic oxidized copper, stone or ceramics. So I will focus on that for a while.

          • Hi Gea!

            I’m on the same wavelength as you. Like the white surface, but also want to get to the oxidized copper, stone, ceramic, bronze and so on. Getting you on how I would very much like to know.
            I really like your sculptures and special cat with the mask * Gisela

            • How interesting that you mention the copper and bronze. I’ve been really wanting to try these finishes, too. There are quite a few videos on YouTube showing how to use the metal coatings and patinas from Sculpt Nouveau, and it looks like so much fun. If anyone out there tries them, please let us know how they turn out.

            • Hi Jonni

              Thans for the link on metal and patinas. The colourings are beautiful but I am a bit confused….can you use it on paper or is it just for metals?

              I am a bit jealous of Rich his painting technics on his cauldron in copper/ brons look.

            • Rich’s method would certainly be less expensive, and compared to the iron coating I’ve used, it would be a lot safer. And we know it will work on paper. The only metal coating I’ve used so far is an iron product that I bought for the Celtic Helmet that I put in the mask book. At that time I didn’t know about Sculpt Nouveau products, which look like they’re non-toxic. At least the iron coating is non-toxic. The rust patina might not be. The toxic iron product I bought worked really well on the helmet, so I think the other metal coatings would work on paper too, but I’m not sure.

            • Hi Gisla !!

              Thank you for your kind words! It ‘s always nice if what you do gets noticed and people like it and someone is on the same wavelenght
              I will inform you if I find tecnics on the painting.!
              I think the call it faux tecnics on youtube.
              Perhaps I just have to do it and learn instead of doubting


  10. Hi long time no see !

    How has every one been! . I have had a week off 😉 I see you all have been bussy and creative! I promised some pictures of my work so here are some!

    My first mask I turned into a sun on canvas. I tried the fast setting pasted but ended up putting the Jonni clay-1 on it as well and then extended it on canvas. It’s not painted yet but I am thinking of using metalic gold foil and a nice blue paint….

    I am experimenting with paper mache since 2-3 months now.
    I wanted a copy of my face and my daughter’s and I used plaster rolls for it. I now have a perfect fit/ mould. With these “ copies” I made the following vases this weekend! I quit like them. My head has flowers 😉
    I used the fast setting plaster, 2 layers of kitchen towels and a bit of joint compound and then a few coatings of fabric hardener – PAVERPOL- This turns paper and fabric into a rock hard items and they can be put outside and makes it waterproof (they say…)

    I also tried coping a barbie chair with paper and paverpol
    I only had one and wanted a copy. I made 2 halfs and I will need to put it to getter but it did work!

    This is my first attempt to upload so hope it works alright

    Bye Gea

    • Hi, Gea – the photos uploaded just fine. What a creative idea for the vases – will the paverpol make them waterproof so you could actually put water in them? And the little chairs look like the came out really well. Fun projects!

      • Hi Jonni

        Thanks , I am rather pleased with it. I held the original plaster faces and the paper versions in my hand and put them together and the idea was born. I have not yet seen this so that gives me a nice feeling of it being original too! I will make more for my daughter wants one to and I need to make one of my other child as well.

        I was a bit impatients so I did try to pore water on it too quick 😉 while it wasnt all hardend out. It wasn’t such a good idea. had to put a hair dryer on it to rescue it.
        I read the instructions later. You have to soak the paper or fabric and then form it!
        I used a brush to apply it on my perhaps not all dried out fast setting plaster 😉

        I need to finisch the face vases first to realy tell you if it is waterproof! I will keep you informed. The idea of that would be wicked. It costs about 15 euro’s for a litre.
        Paverpol says it can be used on fibre glas as well so perhaps it is something to look in to for you champansee project?

        If it is not waterproof I wil put a glas vase in it as I did now.
        People have made lovely garden sculptures from fabrics and harderners, like this artist has done:


  11. HOLA!!!
    Que buenas las mascaras de Basilio.
    Joni estoy ansiosa en ver los avances del chimpancé.
    Acá les muestro la muñeca que estoy haciendo con la masa que le incluí arcilla molida. Me resulto muy buena la mezcla.
    En unos días se la muestro terminada. Cariños

    • Hi Monica. Thanks for letting us see how well the new paper mache clay recipe (with powdered clay added) is working out for you. Your figure sculpture is lovely.

  12. Here is the second collection of images of “Bazile”

    I think he is coming along nicely I decided to put ears on him today. It will help create the illusion of his humanity once he is done and on stage. This mask will cover 3/4 of the actors head… I think I may give him a big shaggy hair doo to cover the back of his head, also it will give the mask a little natural movement.

  13. I started a new project yesterday that will probably take a long time to complete. I really enjoyed working on the the tomato lady, mostly because she was almost but not quite human, so I said to myself “hmmm…”

    And started working on a chimpanzee sculpture. I was really inspired by the realistic sculptures of the Blue Rhino studio. Mine won’t be anywhere near that realistic, but it is something to strive for. I started by making a chimp skull out of monster clay, to try to get the proportions and basic forms right for the face. I’m working on the teeth now, and when it’s done I’ll make a mold and then cast it hollow, using the aqua-resin that the Blue Rhino people use (non-toxic). Then I’ll make a wire armature and cover it with crumpled paper and tape for the body, and I hope I can make a Super Sculpey face over the skull and sculpey hands. We shall see if any of this works. It’s a bit more technical than I’m used to, but it does look promising. The skull is about 6 inches long so he’ll be about 3/4 size when he’s done. I’ll probably just do a bust this time – a full body would be over 4 feet high. But maybe…

    • That’s an ambitiously complicated idea, but it will be fun to watch! I’ll be watching carefully about your experiences with the aqua-resin in particular.

      Maybe one of your readers has experience with Apoxie Sculpt? I’m pretty interested in that, too. (Haven’t tried it yet though.)

      • My skull mold is almost finished, and the aqua-resin arrived in the mail yesterday. I should get to play with it tomorrow. Of course none of the skull will show on the finished piece, but it will be good to know what it’s like to work with it. I like the idea that using it sounds almost identical to using paper strips and paste, except that the glass fiber mat is held together by some “glue” that dissolves when the resin is brushed over it, so it can be pushed down into cracks and crevices, and should follow the contours of a sculpture. So I’m hoping that it will work to use a paper mache armature and add the aqua-resin. If it works, it will be the guaranteed solution to the problem of taking paper mache outside. Maybe…

    • Wow Jonni!
      Your chimpansee plan is great and can’t wait to see how it will progress.
      Hope you will explain lots also about making the mold and I am curious on your experiences and findings on the aqua resin.

      • Hi Gea. I tried out the resin for the first time today. It’s a non-toxic substitute for fiberglass resin (which is really toxic). But that means that it has to be built up in layers, with the glass fibers in between, and I had a rough time getting it done correctly in my fairly small mold. It still came out pretty good though – it captured all the detail except for the ends of the lower canines, where the mold was made incorrectly and air got trapped. I think I can still use it though. Now I’m all out of the silicone mold stuff, so if this chimp comes out OK and I want to make a lady chimp to go with him, I will probably order some more.

        • Hi

          Sorry that I am askin so much but I don’t realy understand the working proces.
          Did you use fiberglas already ( like paperstips ) or did you use a fiberglass resin or both?

          And if so what fiberglas do you use? perhaps like in this link?

          or do you mean glasfiber wallpaper? that is verry strong ?

          Bye for now! My holliday has ended and i need some sleep to start a new week at work! We have the painter Keith Haring as inspiration for the coming week so lot of nice paintings will be made for sure by my kids at work!

          • The glass fibers came with the Aqua-Resin starting kit. There is a mat made up of glass strands that you kind of glue onto a piece with the resin. That will work for the outside protective coating on a paper mache sculpture, because the resulting layer of resin and fibers is extremely thin. But for the inside of the mold I used the loose glass fibers that also came with the kit. The company doesn’t have any videos, but they have two instructional pdf’s – one for using the material over the outside of an armature, and one for using it in a mold.

            My concern now is if I can use my hollow resin skull as a form inside Super Sculpey that will be baked – the shrinking polymer clay may break the skull underneath. If that happens maybe paper mache clay would work instead.

  14. Today I was working on a new armature for another book character. Here’s a sort of in progress picture with all the parts ready to be attached as well as the pattern I made for it. As you can see it has a wire sunning along the back of the torso to help it stand up when I need it to.


    In order to attach the limbs to the torso I tried out the idea I came up with while working on my last one and it worked out perfectly. This character is standing on two feet so I tied a shoe lace around the head and put it on the doorknob so it could be held up while I attached the legs.
    The fact that they were flat on the ground helped me placed them on really easily. Doing this then made it easy to attach the arms.
    It actually only took a few minutes to attach everything and I was able not to waste too much of a glue stick as has happened when I tried doing it with the figure horizontally.
    Here’s a picture of it, once I had finished padding the torso.
    I made his umbrella to help add support since I knew that having him holding the little fish in the pot would weigh him forwards a little.
    It does but I’m hoping once I add the tail in the back it will help balance him out.

    • If you’re wondering what the holes are in the back of the armature… they are handles, although for the project I will be taping these half’s together and covering them in plastic wrap.

      Once I finish this project these armatures can be used for armatures for masks. there about the size of a face. For me next project I will make a mask on one of these armatures and show you.

  15. Hi Everyone 🙂

    Today I spent some time working an armature for my heart. I have in mind to make a small figurative sculpture.

    These to half egg shape will be taped together to help me form the under frame for my sculpture.

    What you’re looking at here is the process of making the under frame for the body of the sculpture. I first cast the half egg shapes out of an old slip mold. Once its dry I remove it from the mold and cut off the flashing “the rough edges” than make a cardboard cross beam, which I will then hot glue into the interior of the half egg shape to give it extra strength and then cap it with another piece of cardboard and hot glue that into place… so that will be super strong.

    The reason for doing this is to make sure I have a strong base to sculpt on. I will put a few pounds of clay over top of it and it needs to be able to hold the weight and not crush when I am sculpting on it.

  16. Sally,
    Your assasin is great! Good luck to your friend, too.
    What a great idea – the cuticle shaper! I’m working on a barn owl, and am having trouble with the tiny details – the cuticle shaper would probably be just the thing! Thanks for sharing that!

    • The cuticle shaper works amazingly well and they’re fairly easy to find and cheap. I’m all for cheap and effective.


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