Daily Sculptors Page

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

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14,994 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Here are my Christmas pumpkins. Missy Reynolds, this is all your fault! I did have fun doing them, however!

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    • This is before they were painted. The gesso that I used to seal them was blue. Then I sponged on white. My intent was to do the mouth and eyes like coal bits, but I got carried away with the painting.

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      • Jonni, I am working hard to become the pumpkin-making king of small pumpkins. Cathy just put me back in my place. Her pumpkin was so cute. (She brought it back so I could give it to one of my sisters, but she didn’t realize I have five of them, so happily she took it home.) She brought about 20 sketches for pumpkin holiday ideas!

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    • Thank you, Missy, for introducing us to this bit of cleverness.
      And, Rex, those are great funny, colorful characters.

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      • My neighbor came by today and presented me with two pages of sketches for more pumpkin holiday projects — Valentines, Easter, etc. Crazy. Maybe we can get a little movement started for Missy!

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  2. Hi everyone. You probably noticed that I’ve been making some changes to the site in the last few weeks. If you can’t find your way around, click on the new Art Library link that’s at the top of every page. Even if you aren’t looking for anything right now, I hope you’ll go check out the Art Library. If you have any suggestions for making that page easier to use, please let me know. I put it there to help our new readers discover all the great articles we have on this site.

    If you have an opinion about the changes I’m making, feel free to let me know that, too. Your feedback is always welcome.

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    • Hi Jonni, I love your changes to this site. It took me a while to run through the different categories to find where the latest posts went, but I found it. But for a newbie to the site, it is a lot easier to maneuver. The site needed some evolving and this is a good change. I am sure a few changes might be in the offing, but I do like the way this is headed.

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      • Thanks Christine. Your opinion means a lot to me – thanks for your input. I’m working really hard on a new section for special lessons, but I can’t think of the right name for it. The first two items will be the 3-D patterns for the bear and baby elephant, which I’m now selling – but they’re currently hiding somewhere, so nobody finds them. Then the little bunny that I made to keep the unicorn company. I really need a good, short name for that section, so it will fit up there in the nav bar. Any suggestions? “Classes” doesn’t quite work, but it’s sort of close.

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        • Jonni, I’m guessing “Lessons” doesn’t work, either, since you just used the word earlier. I’ll think on it.

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          • Not quite, but close. The patterns and the instructions will be included in one downloadable PDF, so they will be kind of like short e-books. That baby unicorn will have lots of instructions, so there may be as many as 30 pages. Keep thinking…

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            • What about these ideas for names of instructions and short books: “eWorkshops”? “PDFsPlus”, or “Instructionals”? or ePDFclasses? Or, you kind of said it: “shortEbooks”?
              By the way, I couldn’t find a place to answer your question about a class on how to paint Fur, by your daughter, but I would LOVE to take that class.

            • Hi Susan. Good suggestions – thanks! And this is a perfect place to answer that question about the fur-paintingclass – and thanks for letting me know. I’ll pass it on. I’ve been nagging for a long time, but if we can get more interest, she might sit down and do it for us. I wonder if I should make her a sculpture to paint, or would it be OK for her to just do it on canvas?

            • But you’re trying – and that makes me happy. I slave away at this stupid computer for hours, trying really hard not to throw something at it, and then I find your nice comments. But I think we need to find a better name – something that would make brand new people who don’t know us click on the link, because they just can’t help themselves. The new section is supposed to bring in some more revenue so we can keep this site going, so it has to really pop. I told you I’m lousy at marketing. Maybe I should go look at other sites to see what they call that section. I swiped “Art Library” from these folks. My daughter buys stuff from them all the time, because she’s home-schooling her son. Patty used to give all her stuff away, too, just like I have. Now she makes people pay for some of it. She’s my hero.

            • No, just the bear and elephant. The 3-D patterns were really hard to make, and I felt a little guilty about depriving people of the fun of sculpting the shapes themselves. So I only made four of them. The jackrabbit and the frog will remain free. The other patterns will be flat, like the ones I used for the raccoon and most of the other critters on this site. They set the outlines, but you get to fill in the rounded shapes yourself. Writing the instructions is a little tricky – it’s really like writing new books, but with just one project instead of 10 or 12.

            • I doubt if you could describe for me, any better that you already have, what it is you are trying to categorize: Patterns and instructions in a PDF, kind of like short e-books. I had thought of “Instructables”, but that’s apparently trade-marked(?).
              I know I’m not helping, but I will keep thinking.

            • Hmmm? I think you could call a section “3-D Patterns” if you want to. I was referring to maybe using the word “Instructables” for the pattern/directions. You know, like if you wanted to have a recipe section and you called it “Lunchables”TM
              Ok, now I’m probably just confusing you. Although you’ll never be as confused as I am.
              Are we still just talking about that one section for special patterns & what to call it? Are there other things that I could ponder and become irretrievably lost about?

            • No, dear – you should ponder nothing else for the rest of the evening. Go find a good book and a good beer, (or tea, if you prefer) and take the rest of the evening off. You’ve worked hard enough already. 🙂

            • OUCH! I will slink off to my corner. I do hope that you are not more frustrated with me than you are with trying to figure all this out. And that eventually some non-crazy person will give an assist, if you still need one.

            • Aw, I’m not in the least frustrated with you, but I think we both need to take the rest of the day off. I’ve been sitting at this computer since six this morning. I think I’ve done my duty. You may not want to read a book, but I do. Or maybe sit in front of the TV and watch a mindless movie. But if it makes you feel better, you can fret some more, if you really want to. Me, I’m taking the rest of the night off.

        • How about “downloadable projects” ? The word downloadable implies that there would be a cost and “projects” could apply to just about anything. I know it is not short but it is short enough.
          The banter between you and Shelbot is hysterical, it makes me laugh.

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          • Good idea, Eileen. I like the addition of “projects” to the title. And I’m glad you weren’t too bored with that long conversation Shelbot and I had last night. It was getting late, and my brain was fuzzy. Even more than usual … 🙂

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            • Jonni, so glad that Eileen chimed in. Thanks, Eileen, for ACTUALLY helping!
              I’m going to try to get an assist from someone who isn’t as addle-brained as I am (what is the current population of the earth?), but he’s pretty busy right now. (No, it isn’t Santa).
              With my confusion in mind, Jonni, could you be real specific about how any of us can help in general? I keep finding stuff, like seven promotion tips:
              Focus on Website SEO.
              Social Media Marketing.
              Search Engine Listing.
              Signature Branding.
              Reciprocal Linking.
              Focus on Quality Content.
              Use Google Local Business.
              But have no idea what is actually helpful.
              Also the following is from the UK. Have you referred to it before?
              http://www.papiermache.co.uk/

            • Good morning, Shelbot. The only help I need right now is a brain transplant. I’m just having a problem finding a membership site plugin that someone can use just by clicking some buttons, with no javascript coding required. I think I may have just found it. If it works, you’ll hear me celebrating, I’m sure.

              And yes, I certainly have referred to that website. They have some great tutorials, and I point people there if they don’t want to use paper strips and paste but they can’t find the ingredients for my paper mache clay recipe.

            • Jonni, I will take your brain any day. Well, that sounded ghoulish, but you know what I mean.
              Did not hear you, did you celebrate? I hope so. You are technically leaps and bounds ahead of me. I’m always impressed with the things you do.
              Okay, I won’t waste any more of you time right now, my favorite artist/author. You know where to find me if you need me : )

            • I’ll add it to the list and see how many votes it gets. 🙂 But if I get the membership thingy working, the Digital Workshops title would cover it all. I’m still working on it …

        • I was thinking on a play of words and what came to mind is “Digital Workshops” or something to that effect. If I saw that heading I am sure my curiosity would be peaked. I am sure that would not infringe on any other established site like Instructables. Although as a sub heading and you would not infringe on any site name. That is my take. I am sure you will be getting a few ideas. this should be fun.

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          • Ooh – I like that! Perhaps one section for just downloadable PDFs, like the 3-D patterns, and one for the Digital Workshops. If I can figure out the membership software, that is. Soon, I hope.

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            • But now I’ve been thinking about it a bit longer (as a way to avoid my real work) and maybe we’re overthinking it. Maybe I should just use a link that says Patterns and Projects. Not too sexy, but maybe people would click on it, anyway? It’s short enough to fit on the nav bar.

            • That’s nice. In fact, I really like it. But I just now deleted the membership program I hoped to use (hated it!) so we may be back to the e-book idea. I’m swinging back and forth here, but only because I’m trying to find something that works without pulling out my hair. I do have a new sales page for the bear and the elephant, using two different payment systems. I don’t like either one of them. The one I’m using for the elephant makes me use their page, within my page, and when you click the buy button and pay for the pattern, they confuse me with references to apps and other things that we don’t need. The one for the bear is better, and just lets me use a buy button. Simple is good. But right now it has a checkout cart that lost all it’s formatting because there’s something weird going on with the javascript. It’s probably fixable. I sent a support ticket to the guys in charge.

              This is one site that sells lessons (for parents and teachers who want to teach kids how to draw and paint) and I tried to buy something from her. My daughter buys stuff from her all the time, but I didn’t like the shopping cart, so I gave up. I think I may be getting too old for new-fangled stuff. Maybe that’s my problem, anyway.

              Sigh – maybe I should take a short vacation from computer stuff and finish my unicorn.

        • Hi Jonni: You mention ‘special’ twice in your comments. I suggest identifying what makes the lessons special and putting that in the title. If they are special because they are downloadable maybe put ‘downloads’ in the title.

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    • Hi, Jonni,

      I love that people engage in this process. I’m not qualified to organize, even though I have struggled with it for many years. My only comment reflects the one by Christine, that is, that under the title, “Find Your Next Project,” on the next line I would put the link “Or Go Straight To Our Latest Posts.” As you know, readers have no patience on websites, and I think the “either/or” choice together might help. Just my two cents!

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            • I spent a majority of my life working with computers and programs and programmers. If you are not the first person to use their services, it ought to be easy. So, more frustrating than anything!

            • Hi Jonni, I was thinking I agree with Rex, people want a quick way to navigate a web site and I know the classes you want to put out are revenue based. So, why not put that already in the title and it will let the public know what is expected. Something like Art Store, Workshop Store, Class Store. Something to that effect. It will cut down to the chase and get the point across.

            • I like that idea, but I’m not quite sure it works. Right now, I do have a link at the top called “Special Projects and Patterns,” (I hope you don’t all hate me for not using some of your great suggestions!). The link is sort of descriptive, but not very exciting. If I add “store” to the link, would it make people more likely to click it, or less likely? I guess I’d have to do a test of some kind…

              I gave up on all of the fancy software, so there won’t be any video courses for a while. I started having dreams about computer software, so I had to take a break. The new little bunny pattern should be ready tomorrow, but the unicorn might take another week. Then I get to start in on the wonderful list of suggestions I received from everyone.

    • I like that you went with the title “Special Projects and Patterns” for your new page. The page looks great and I have the feeling you were working 24-7 as you went through the process of getting it up.

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      • Thanks, Suzanne. And yes, that’s pretty much what happened. Most of the time was spent learning how to use software that I decided not to use. I ended up going with simple, and that’s probably where I should have started. My rabbit pattern is now done (almost) but it will take a few more hours before I can get it posted. I think he came out really nice, and the Apoxie Sculpt was fun to play with.

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  3. Hi Jonni: In your Animal Sculptures book you recommend varnishing the sculptures. I did research and am finding all the different types and brands very confusing! When I was making the French Bulldog I bought Liquitex Matte Varnish but then, having never used it before, I was afraid to put it on in case I ruined the finish. I’m planning now to do a test piece to see what it does. Golden is my preferred brand but there isn’t much in-store where I live and I’m not sure what to order. Do you have suggestions?

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    • Hi Suzanne. Your Liquitex varnish should work just fine. That’s actually what I’ve been using. If it pools up in crevices, it can dry somewhat milky, but that’s the only problem I’ve ever had with it. Do test it, though, just to ease your mind.

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        • Suzanne, I’m no expert here, but I have tried many types of varnish. Some I have used cover the project with a yellow haze, others milky. I would love to paint on a varnish, but my favorite so far is Folksart clearcote acrylic sealer, matte finish. It is a spray, and it takes patience to let it dry. You have to spray the top and let that dry, and then spray the bottom part. If it is not dry enough, you get globs on your project from whatever it is sitting on. And don’t wrap anything around it for a week after spraying.

          I just finished six Christmas pumpkins, and they are painted in very bright colors. Liquitex warns that “matte reduced color intensity,” so I didn’t dare try that. Also Liquitex suggests a light gloss varnish before adding matte varnish. I think that is to make certain the piece is sealed before adding matte finish.

          (As I write this, I’m thinking maybe I just need to buy Liquitex gloss finish and quit fussing!)

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          • Thanks for your input Rex! I still haven’t tried the Liquitex. I partly hesitate because a friend varnished an exquisitely beautiful black and red abstract painting and completely destroyed the finish. It looks blotchy no matter what light you look at it in. She is unsure what brand of varnish that she used. I have painted in acrylic for years, I’ve never varnished and have never noticed any change of colour nor had problems dusting them. I like the idea of an even sheen but I have the feeling the blacks on the Bulldog might not look as black. Hence the need to do a practice piece first. This is a link to the most comprehensive info on varnishing that I’ve seen: http://willkempartschool.com/how-to-varnish-an-acrylic-painting-like-a-pro/

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            • I don’t know if this comment will be of any use whatsoever, but I knew an artist who put a type of wax on her finished paintings, avoiding the varnish problem altogether.

            • I wonder if the artist was using Renaissance Wax? I’ve looked at the sales page for it, and often considered ordering some – I like the soft look of a wax finish, but I wouldn’t want it to collect dust. Does that look like it might be what that person was using?

            • Jonni, that could very well be it. She wasn’t a very reputable person, and when people would send her paintings to clean, she would use soap and water, charge $300, and send it back. I have a jar (with no label) if you would like me to send you a sample!

            • Interesting. How do reputable people clean a painting? If that’s all it takes, it seems like people should be cleaning their own paintings. Museum workers must do something fancier than that.

              Thank you for the kind offer to send me the jar of wax, but from the state of my studio, I know it would get lost. If you ever try it, though, I know we’d all like to hear your opinion about it. I’m wondering if it builds up in the crevices, and maybe goes sort of milky, like varnish does. Don’t experiment on one of your baby warthogs, though! They’re too nice to be guinea pigs.

      • I have no idea how museums clean their paintings, but I’m certain it is with extreme care and not dish detergent and water.

        Cathy brought me some DuraClear Satin Varnish that she used on the pumpkin I posted. It seemed to work well.

        And I’ll try not to turn my warthogs into guinea pigs. lol!

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        • Rex, after our short discussion about the finishing wax, I went into my studio to finish my little bunny, and found the wax I bought a few weeks ago from Walmart. It goes with the chalk paint, from their craft department. I totally forgot I bought it – as I keep saying, my brain is sieve. The label says the item needs to be re-coated every 6 months, so I decided not to use it. It doesn’t say what happens if you don’t, but I would think you’d have to remove all that wax after a while. I wonder if the museum-grade wax has the same requirement?

          The chalk paint was kind of fun to work with, because you apply it with a stencil brush, dabbing it on. I don’t know why it’s done that way, but it did give me a chance to make a fairly realistic coat of many colors (closely related colors, of course) on the bunny.

          It sounds like you and Cathy are turning into quite a team. She’ll have you busy until next Christmas, with all those designs!

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          • I think I’ll try different kinds of varnish before I settle on one. Like you Jonni I like the idea of a soft waxed finish that the Rennaissance Wax promises, but it does sound like it will collect dust and have to be cleaned so I think I’ll avoid that one. It might be ok for a painting but tricky for a sculpture with lots of crevices.

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        • Haha… I didn’t even notice the artist Will Kemp as author of the varnishing link I posted! I googled “Do I need to varnish acrylic paintings?” and his was the answer that looked the best.

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    • Here in the US, we think of “paper mache” as paper strips and paste. The paper mache clay is a combination of ingredients, including paper, that is spread over an armature like cake frosting, which eliminates the mess of the paper strips and paste, and it lets you add fine details much more easily. Thanks for asking!

      Per Google translate: Ici aux États-Unis, nous pensons à «papier mâché» comme bandes de papier et de pâte. L’argile de papier mache est une combinaison d’ingrédients, y compris le papier, qui est étalé sur une armature comme le glaçage du gâteau, ce qui élimine le désordre des bandes de papier et de la pâte, et il vous permet d’ajouter de beaux détails beaucoup plus facilement. Merci d’avoir posé la question!

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  4. FAIRY HOUSES
    I’ve been doing some ‘gnome’ improvements by creating some ‘elfordable’ fairy starter homes. Not quite paper-mache, more paper/cardboard decoupage/construction

    It started as a project as to what-to-do with an empty tin can?

    These ‘fairy homes’ were a progression onto using empty screw lid preserve jars.
    Each takes about 5/6 hours to create…its those roof tiles!

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    • Those elf homes look inviting indeed. I just love the detail in the houses. The tiles may have taken a lot of time but that is the charm.

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    • Kuriologist, the problem with most elfordable : ) housing is that they just don’t have all the bells & whistles. Yours come fully decked out. Some truly beautiful work.

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    • These are really beautiful fairy houses, Kuriologist. Any little one would be proud to own one. May I ask the size?

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      • Thank you all for your exceeding kind comments re; Fairy Homes.

        In reply to Joyce, I have used the internationally recognized unit of measurement to illustrate their size in a photo – a 330ml Coke can.

        Alternatively, they are approx. 24cm high (or old skool – 9.5 inches)

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    • You’re back, and as awesome as ever. Who wouldn’t love a village of these. Thanks so much for showing us.

      (I don’t do anything in 5/6 hours!)

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    • Hi,
      Your little bull dog is so cute! Very nice workmanship.
      I’m working on my Yorky now. Getting close to the finish line. Looks like you’ve been doing this for awhile, any other mache pieces to show off?

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      • Thanks Nancy and I look forward to seeing your Yorkie! I’ve done some paper mache in the past (paper strips) but started working with the clay and learned about the cardboard armatures from Jonni’s sculpture books about a year ago. I’m a visual artist and painter of animals and wanted to transfer to another medium and I love the sculpting, I love experimenting and I love the inspiring conversation that comes from this page. As a long-time obedience dog trainer of my own dogs, I have spent a lot of time around dogs at classes, shows and competitions. I’m pretty sure I know a lot more about dogs than I do about sculpting! Unfortunately I have limited time to sculpt so my progress is slow but I do have a Shih Tzu on the go and I’ll post it once done.

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    • What an adorable Frenchie!! You have got some great looking paws. That is one part I always find irritatingly hard to sculpt, but yours look wonderful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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      • Wow thanks Jonni! He is 15 inches high, 20 inches long and was great fun to make. It was also fun to figure out how to make the spiked collar (fabric dog collar and carpet tacks covered in masking tape and paper mache clay) and the tag that I made out of Sculpey.

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    • What a great French bulldog! You were able to capture the stocky, muscular build that they have and the expression- you DO know a lot about dogs…and about sculpture. Nice work!

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    • Awesome. I love everything about it. The stance is great, and the face you just want to kiss. (I had a neighbor who had one and it was sad when he moved.) And kudos on the collar. Wow.

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      • Thanks Rex for the compliments. I’m fairly new to this blog … I originally chimed in because I had a technical question and then didn’t check back for a couple of weeks. I find it so inspiring that I now have it bookmarked and check daily! After reading your comments I scrolled to see your work and I see that I missed your Jez sculpture. It’s awesome! I feel the spirit of the dog coming through in its posture and expression. Love the toes!!

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    • Kendra, even before your iguana was finished, he was beautiful. Puts my stuff to shame, but some day I hope to post a melange of my work here. Although it’ll probably be quicker if you get in your flying car and come see them. And yes, that is a joke about the distant future.
      Despite that, please continue to show us your amazing work.

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      • That is way to funny..Everyones work is worthy in my opinion…working in the art world is a journey, albeit frustrating at times, it makes us feel good. It really is about learning techniques. I have learned a ton from Jonni. Would love to see your work..thanks for the reply.

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  5. Jonnie…before I start making my own paper mache I want to use up some clay that is in my stash. There is a block of white paper mache and a block of Das air dry clay. To you know anything about these. I also bought your book on animal sculptures…I got the Kindle edition. I am anxious to get started again.

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    • Hi Joyce. It’s been a long time since I’ve used either of those products, so I can’t offer much advice. However, you should be able to use them for any of the projects in my book. Start out with one of the fast projects, the chicken or fish, so you can experiment a little with the products you have on hand, and get a feel for how they work. And, by the way, we would all like to know what you think of those products after you’ve had a chance to experiment a bit. There are many places where it isn’t easy to find the ingredients for the home-made paper mache clay.

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  6. Thank you for all you have done to inspire me, I have pics to show you that I did because I wanted to be as good as you but they are just to large. You are a true artist in my eyes.

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  7. I cannot tell you how much you have inspired me. You do such wonderful work and your books are created where anybody can read them and show an artistic side. I made a few small projects to get the hang of paper mache again, then I made a tree inside my house I just had to share with you. You are fabulous, look forward to following all your work.

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  8. Hi Jonni, I am so excited to show you a piece of my work. You have been most inspirational in getting me back to paper mache. Your work is wonderful. Hope you enjoy my piece. More to come at some point. I have all of your books and look forward to seeing more of your work. Thanks for sharing all the tips and tricks of the trade…Kendra P.S. hope the image goes through…???

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    • That is a great iguana! I love the paint job. He looks rather large, where will the permanent home be? What a great expression!

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    • Amazing – this is a fantastic sculpture. How big is it? And I’d love to know how you get those bumps on his chin and cheeks. Did you take any progress photos that you’d be willing to share in our comment section, or perhaps even as a guest post?

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      • Hi Jonni, I am going to try and add a few photos of the process. I am not great with technology so bare with me. Ha.. The bumps are all paper mach balls. You will see on the photo. And thank you for the kind words.. And of course I would be glad to answer anyones questions or needs help..The base is just cardboard with foil! The entire piece is all paper mache and paper clay (your recipe). Painted with acrylic paints and varnished. The sculpture is 4 feet in length..hard to find a place for him…

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        • Oh, my – I had no idea he was that large. And you make it sound so easy! We will wait patiently until you can upload your photos. I know it can be trying, sometimes – but really big files slow down the pages so much that we have to have a limit.

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      • Hi, I am hoping this image will get attached!! My technical skills on the computer are horrible..ha This will show you a little of the progress of my Iguana..Hope you enjoy. Kendra

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        • Oops – sorry, no, it didn’t work. Did you check the two links at the very top of the page, to see if they would help you reduce the file size? I do hope you’ll give it another try – we’re all waiting anxiously to see how our Iguana was made.

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    • Kendra, that work is totally awesome. At times I get totally jealous when I see something I totally love, and this is one of them. The sculpture is fantastic, and the painting is beyond believable. I love it so much. Thanks for showing us. (Do I have to add one of these to my list?) Amazing. Can’t you send us another photo just for fun?

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      • Hi Rex, I am in the process of finding another photo and some in the progress of the piece. Thanks for the nice reply. So bare with me and I will see if I can get some pulled up.

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    • A great result here Kendra and it would have been wonderful to see photos of the whole process – I would love to know how you got the gritty texture on the legs and lower back – is it some kind of sandcorn perhaps?

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      • Hi Iain, nice to hear from you. I got the texture by layer a thin layer of paper clay(Jonni recipe) and while it is still soft ,but not mushy I use a shaped tool I had from clay work. I just run the shaped tool over the entire area, like you would do fish scales. Hope that helped. The basic shape of the Iguana was drawn (side view) on card board. I then created shape with paper wads and tape until I liked the shape head and all. Legs were done the same way, but added wire glued to card board and then glued them into the body. Let me know if I can help in any other way. Kendra

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        • Thanks for the tips Kendra – yours is the best pure paper mache iguana sculpture I’ve seen, and very inspirational. In an entirely different style, I like the work of Chie Hitotsuyama’s iguana – don’t know if you have seen it. As I set up my partner Aurora’s blog it’s her profile photo here – sorry about that – I have a little less hair 🙂 Iain

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    • I love all your projects you showed us here, and the Christmas Pumpkin is just crazy. (mumble . . . how do people come up with these ideas.)

      I don’t know how many pumpkins I have made – probably close to a hundred – and after seeing this I might have to make a few more. Something about it is just right down my alley. Crazy. Thanks so much. Genius.

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        • Well, Missy Reynolds, you have started a new tradition around here. The dinosaurs, ravens, Jez, and warthogs have been pushed to the side. I am making six of your snowmen pumpkins. I will post photos as I get to them. I took a partially completed one across the street to a neighbor today and she wants one – and will paint her own.

          The other nice thing about doing these is I get under from some of the stress. I need to add eyes and mouth and finish the stem! Thanks for the great idea.

          And we got talking about doing pumpkins for Valentine’s and July 4th! So come up with some ideas!

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            • Thanks, Eileen.

              You would get a good laugh at me this morning. I use Folksart matte varnish for paper mache projects, to be used between 70-80 degrees. I don’t think it is 30 yet. So I run outside with a warm can of varnish, spray, and bring a pumpkin back in. They are sitting in front of the heater, which probably isn’t a good idea, either. Anyway, I hope to have photos posted tonight.

              (Wandering a little here. I wanted to become a court reporter and decided I would go to court to see what it was like. The judge was pronouncing sentence: “The way to hell is paved with good intentions. Six months in jail!” Sort of reliving that moment!)

  9. Hi Jonni, you are such an inspiration, thanks and I love this site….here are a few of my creations…thanks for keeping us creating…

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    • Missy, cool monster, Christmas & Halloween (?) pumpkins. Is the last pumpkin made of paper clay? Or is he one of those that can go outside?
      Happy Holidays!

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      • They can go outside , I sealed them 2 times once after I finished the paper clay and again after the painting…so fun thanks so much…

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  10. I. thought I would post an photo of a gnome I did in polymer clay. It’s disappointed after baking because he darkened so much anf I had to paint the whole gnome. My oven is very unreliable and that is why I am going to try paper mace and air dry clay.
    Jonnie, I hope I resized him enough

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    • He’s beautiful, Joyce. And yes, you resized him perfectly, so the photo uploader plugin allowed him to go through.

      How big is this fellow? I’m really impressed with all that detail.

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      • Thank you for the nice words. The whole sculpture is not quite 4 inches tall. The rock is formed from aluminum foil with clay on top. He was much brighter before my oven baked him.

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    • Joyce, what a great little gnome (started to call him an elf), even if he is a bit more tan than you wanted. I usually just use white polymer clay and paint everything because I’ve had that happen. Plus I usually can’t keep the different colors clean & separate. You did a really nice job in any event.
      Happy Holidays!

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      • Thank you so much Shelbot. by the way I should mention that I am a Canadian and our Thanksgiving is much earlier than yours, but I hope you had a lovely day. As for the clay, it was really nice bright colours, but it darkened so much I had to paint even his hair. I wanted to do some angels, but I am going to try some type of air dry clay so I don’t have to worry about baking.

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        • Joyce, I have heard that Canada is wonderful. It apparently has some wonderful artists anyway. I really hope we get to see your angels or whatever else you decide to do.

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          • Shelbot, we are very proud of our country. Western Canada, where one of my daughters lives, has some of the most beautiful mountains and lakes and here in Ontario where I live we have the great Niagara Falls.
            My angel is taking longer than I expected.

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            • Joyce, Western Canada & Ontario sound divine, as does your angel : ) I really can’t wait to see it! —Your angel & maybe Canada. Well, pictures of both, anyway…
              I’ll shut up now.

    • Joyce, great gnome. I like the colors. You sculpt beautifully. (I have a neighbor who makes things from clay, but I don’t think she ever paints them and then bakes them. I’ll have to ask her.) Thanks so much. Great to see it.

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      • Thanks, Rex. Actually, I used different colours of clay , then baked it. My gnome was a lot lighter with a bright red hat, and his skin was flesh coloured, but the oven darkened him so much that I painted parts then used a gold glaze ( gold paint applied then wiped off) and a finish coat of acrylic varnish.
        Joyce

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  11. Hi All-
    A happy Thanksgiving to all my paper mache friends! I wanted to show you a very easy project I made- Christmas ornaments for my grandkids and a few for neighborhood kids. I make them one every year and these elves were this year’s ornament. I did not even go through the trouble of using foam balls to make them perfectly round but used balled up tin foil, then fashioned the hat out of cardboard, then applied Jonni’s smooth air dry clay, painted them and put the names on the front, the year on the back. They are lightweight and personal so the kids can keep them forever! My inspiration was Jonni’s tomte but I simplified it. It only took a few nights including drying time.

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    • What a wonderful project! I love the ears, and the happy expressions, and the pink cheeks. Perfect. You have very lucky grandkids – they’ll treasure these for years.

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    • Eileen, what a great idea. I am sure they will be treasured. Did you “just” put a little ring in the clay to hold them up? Very nice.

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      • Hi Rex, I just took a short length of wire, twisted to have one circle and then taped it on before I added the clay. It was like how Jonni did her hanger on the small hummingbird.
        Thanks to all for the nice comments.

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  12. My baby unicorn (and friend) aren’t painted yet, but I thought I’d share a photo now so you don’t think I’ve retired or something. I’m putting just as much time and effort into this one sculpture as I did when I wrote my books, so the lesson for making it will be pretty extended. I’m hoping people will feel like they’re looking over my shoulder, watching the entire process with nothing left out. Believe it or not, I started this project a month and a half ago, and went through seven unicorn patterns and two rabbits, before I felt that the patterns were exactly right, and the sculpting process was easy enough. (I love designing systems. Maybe I should be an engineer or something when I grow up.)

    I wanted to add a bluebird sitting on the baby unicorn’s back, but I think I’d need a magnifying glass for that. My trifocals won’t focus on anything that small and close. Ah well – one of the joys of getting older, I guess, so I have justification for complaints.

    I decided that a magical unicorn doesn’t have to look exactly like a horse (especially since they started out looking like goats!), so I stretched things a bit and played with the proportions. Let me know what you think about those long legs. Too much?

    Baby Unicorn and friend, unpainted.

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    • Jonni, absolutely AMAZING. Both are perfect. Of course, you’ll end up putting them in the trash because you are cray-cray. I hope the &%$*#@ I’m kidding. Please do not harm these gorgeous little creatures!!!! This is such a great interpretation of a unicorn. The long legs are powerful but fragile. He was conjured up by a master (mistress???). I’ve not seen anything exactly like him before & the rabbit… what can I say? I love them both. Please except my heartfelt gratitude that you share your magic with us.

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      • Thanks, Shelbot. No worries – these two are keepers. By the way, will we get to see any of your creations any time soon? I know you were hoping to get some help with it – one of your friends, who isn’t feeling well – wasn’t that it? (As I keep reminding people, my brain is a sieve, so if I got the story wrong I know you’ll forgive me. But – you’ve been doing so much research on photo uploading technology lately that I thought … maybe you’re finally ready to share?

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        • Jonni, Whew! Glad that those beauties will not meet the cruel fate to which you’ve doomed so many others.
          I emailed my visually impaired (aren’t we all?) friend AGAIN. No answer for days. Is he trying to tell me something???
          I can copy/paste but I have no comprehension. Dumb as a bag of rocks. Seriously, can’t figure out anything. But if my friend is willing and able, at some point I’ll show you some masks, miniature houses and little creatures that will most likely dwell forever in the land of WIPs.
          And, yes, I will forgive your darling sieve-like brain.

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    • Hi,
      Love your unicorn and friend. Legs are perfect! You are very talented.
      I’ll be very interested to see in color. I had a very hard time deciding on my colors. So I used my metal paints. Again beautiful!

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      • Thanks, Nancy. I do love the metalic colors on your unicorn, but I think I’ll go with the traditional white. My daughter suggested a silver mane and tail, and I might try that, too. My unicorn is way smaller than yours, so it shouldn’t take nearly as much time to paint. 🙂

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    • Jonni- very sweet unicorn, very sweet rabbit! No, the legs are not too much- that is how a foal/colt looks, all gangly like all teenagers! You really are a perfectionist…and it shows. I will look forward to seeing it painted and hear how you liked using this medium. How tall is it? How will you attach it to the base?

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      • Thanks, Eileen. He’s almost 12 inches high, including the horn. I’m really enjoying the epoxy clay, but mostly because I can use the same patterns and armatures that I’m used to using when I make sculptures with paper mache. It’s also easier to get the fine details around the eyes, if you let the epoxy stiffen up a little. But the real reason I wanted to make a few things with the Apoxie Sculpt and other epoxy clays is that it’s getting harder for people to find the drywall joint compound for the paper mache clay. In a lot of countries, they don’t use it at all, so it isn’t available in any store. Here in the US, the DAP brand seems to be taking over, and it won’t work with the paper mache clay. I have to drive 30 miles to Walmart to buy non-DAP joint compound, in fact. So, it seemed like it might be time to find alternatives. Paper strips and paste still work just fine, but it’s hard to get this kind of detail. Possible, but not easy.

        As for attaching him to the base, I’m hoping epoxy glue will work. He isn’t heavy, so I think it would hold. If you have a better idea, please let me know. Most of my time right now is on learning the software that would let me create an online class that’s organized and easy for people to use. There’s so much to learn, so it’s taking a lot longer than I wanted it to.

        Have a great Thanksgiving!

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        • I understand about the joint compound issue, you are right about DAP taking over as well. I wonder which ingredient(s) from the joint compound is the ones we need for our clay to work? I wonder if experimenting with, say, limestone in your recipe, we could come up with an alternative recipe? DAP seems to gum up the works and make it too sticky. I wonder which ingredient does that? It seems to me it would be the polymer that would do that but I did check and Sheetrock also has a polymer. I wish I had the chemistry background to figure it out! I will ask my chemistry inclined son to see if he has an easy answer. It is good of you to be concerned for the needs of your followers though.
          I use a 5 minute epoxy to attach my sculptures to their bases. It works fine. If it is a heavier piece, I find a way to drill holes and then glue it in. That gives it added strength, but you shouldn’t need it for this little guy.
          Good luck with learning the software for the online classes. You will master it but since we were not born with electronics in our hands, it takes us longer to learn- not like the young bucks. I have to hand it to you, I love learning new things but I can not count learning electronic stuff among the list!
          You have a good Thanksgiving also. My husband and I were joking tonight that we spend 2 days preparing for a meal that lasts maybe 1 hour tops! Oh the things we do for our families!

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          • Hi Eileen. One of our readers, many years ago, told us that the DAP joint compound probably contains boron (like our 20 Mule Team Borax laundry product), because you can make Flubber with glue and borax. I just checked, and it looks like that’s the standard home-made recipe for Flubber. Nice for kids, not so good for paper mache clay. The borax is good for walls, because it reduces mold and, when used in cellulose insulation, it helps prevent fire. But still …

            It’s good to know that the epoxy glue works for you. That will be an easy solution.

            Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a great one.

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    • Jonni thank you for share your precious work and your papier-mâché mache knowledge and experience. I’m new here and I want to learn everything about because I love papier-mâché mache too.
      I’m a grandma too and I enjoying learning and discovering the beauties of creativity. I hope all of you have many blessings in thanksgiving day. Thank you again.

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    • Jonni, I think you have outdone yourself! I love these. The rabbit is awesome, and I love that you gave the unicorn its singular identity. I love the long legs, also.

      (I think I finished my unicorns before I began posting on this site. I made a few in June, 2013. I made one white with a silver mane. Didn’t like it much – and didn’t know much about paints. For fun and a laugh, I’ll post the first one I made for the vet’s daughter in California. She was 12 and wanted a pink and gold unicorn, “with flowers in her mane.” Her dad was trying to tell her, “enough.” Anyway, I went back through about 40 pages of this site and couldn’t find a photo of it, but looking brought back many good memories.)

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      • Rex, when it comes to unicorns, there’s never ‘enough!’ And if you did post your image years ago, it was probably lost when I switched image upload software. I can’t remember how many years ago that was. I tried to put them all back, but some of them just didn’t make it through the change. I’m glad you posted your pink and gold unicorn.

        One of the reasons I chose this particular subject is because there’s no way to do it “wrong.” They started out looking like goats, small enough to fit into a young maiden’s lap. Now they’re often shown as white Arabian stallions with a horn, and sometimes wings. The idea keeps changing, and we’re the ones changing it. I think that’s kind of cool. And I’m sure your young friend loved her pink and gold unicorn. In fact, she probably still does.

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        • Dear Jonni,

          Here is the white unicorn I did with a silver mane. I’m sure yours will be a million times better. I don’t think she stayed white, but I can’t remember how I painted her in the end!

          I wonder if I ought to stack up on joint compound. I did some work on the house last year and bought DAP joint compound. I accidently tried it in the paper mache clay, and it was a disaster. I threw it out. It’s not that I didn’t believe you when I read not to use it four years ago.

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          • Your silver and white unicorn is beautiful, Rex. I still haven’t painted mine yet, but I’m going to keep it simple.

            I think the Sheetrock brand joint compound is still available in a lot of places. Home Depot carries it. The Lowes near me did last year, but not this year. I have no idea why. And Walmart has joint compound we can use, so there are still options. We just have to hunt a little harder than we used to.

            I have some DAP joint compound myself. It’s good stuff – for everything except paper mache clay!

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      • Rex, I thought I remembered that pretty in pink uni. Even as a teen, I bet the little girl in her will cherish your work of art forever.
        And I will be obnoxious once again: Where is Jezebel? Or am I asking about the wrong sculpture? Or did I miss her picture somewhere?

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        • Jonni, I did not know that unicorns were that small. Very interesting. Puts a whole new spin on the maiden stories!

          Shelbot, keep being obnoxious! I will post the current Jez here so you can see her. After reading Jonni’s book, over four years ago, I had three projects that I really wanted to do. After all these years, this is one of them. I think this is the best I can do at the moment, and because of her passing, it added a little more pressure. I have marked her spots on her body, but I am having problems with the hair. That’s why I’ve taken a detour into warthogs, to work on the hair problem. (We won’t talk about courage or anxiety!) Hopefully she will be done by Christmas. Thanks for the reminders.

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          • Rex, I think unicorns have grown since they were first invented. Very old paintings show a goat-like creature sitting on the maiden’s lap. (Did she feel guilty about helping to capture the unicorn? And what did the folks do with the unicorn, once he’d been caught? That part of the story gets left out.)

            The eyes on Jez are beautiful! And from looking at the photo, I can’t see a problem with the hair. Can you explain to us what you’re trying to do? The brindled color pattern is not easy, but you seem to have nailed it. What am I missing?

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            • She has little gray spots here and there on her body, and I’m not happy with the transition from the spots to the body. Cathy loaned me a long liner brush and told me to make light strokes with lots of liquid in the paint. I thought I would work on the warthog hair and then come back to it. (I won’t deny a lot of it is just plain courage.) Her feet and mouth need a little painting, but I’m not too worried about them. Thanks so much.

          • Rex, thank you so much for the picture of Jez. She is absolutely wonderful. I tried to find the picture of your lovely model, but couldn’t find it. As far as I can remember your sculpture looks exactly like her. But I have to say, even if you were way off, I would love this Jez. You, sir, are an amazing artist.

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            • Rex. I hope you don’t mind me copying your image of the real Jez here – just to save you the trouble of uploading the original again. I think Shelbot might agree that the model and the sculpture do, in fact, look very much alike.

            • Not at all, Jonni. Thanks.

              I think she has been sitting on my desk now for two months. I’m still stressing over how to paint fur. Also, I’m trying to figure out how to lower her left eye just a fraction of an inch by painting it.

              You guys certainly provide motivation!

            • Thank you, Jonni! The real Jez and the sculpture Jez are both beautiful.
              And, Rex, I would be so proud if I had made any of the wonderful works of art you have shown us.
              I have been so frustrated with my inability to paint realistic hair/fur that I usually texture my sculptures beforehand. Of course, I still can’t get the dry brushing right.
              I suspect you have seen this, or something more helpful, but maybe this will give you a different approach (!?) even though this deals with human hair.
              http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/art-demos-techniques/painting-hair-with-kevin-muente
              And, Jonni, as always, if this is unacceptable for any reason, I do apologize.

    • The Unicorn is gorgeous, perfectly proportioned……. but that little rabbit is adorable….I want him! I would love to see a video on how to make him…..I have a passion for bunnies!

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      • Thanks, Marilyn. I’m definitely getting the suspicion that I will need to make two different classes, because that rabbit is getting quite a few fans. I’ll certainly let everyone know when the new classes are available. I’m so close …

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  13. I started working with paper mache making pinatas a few years ago. I did this one for a customer for father’s day, filled with adult themed items. One that to this day they refuse to break open.

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    • Mickie, that is really wonderful. And I wouldn’t break it either. I hope a lot of people get to see your art.

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    • Mikie, I can say I agree with the sentiments stated. That Pinata is gorgeous and I would not want to break it either.

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    • Mickie, I began paper mache to create piggy banks for children, babies, etc., for relatives. Many of them refused to put money in, and those that have complain about getting it out. That is a nice bottle, and I understand not wanting to break it open. Some won’t get stuff out, and some won’t put stuff in!

      Thanks. Really nice.

      Reply

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