Daily Sculptors Page

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14,994 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Below is my first try at a Greek tragedy mask. I just made a first attempt using only a plastic masks as a base, before reading Jonni’s expert advice to have a papier mache mold underneath, and learned quickly why I should have followed that step! Oh well! I attach a picture of my first try; trial and error! It’s still an ongoing process; I have to make four for this benefit event that we are organizing dedicated to Greece. The masks will not be worn, they will be for display only.

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  2. Jonni and all the other sculptors: Today my visit to UPM was so wonderful especially to learn that the beautiful flamingo, although it’s not named after me, bears my name. Such lovely sculptures by the others on this page, and a thank you to Harry, for his entertaining words. Being even older than him, I can certainly appreciate the “forgetting”, and can only envy his ability to still dance. And, Harry, I love your witch. The silver really made her glow. And Jonni, thank you so much for giving these artists a place to show their creations and communicate with each other. It makes my day!

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  3. Hello Jonni,

    When I came across your recipe about 3yrs ago, it was at a time that I had made a my first armature and form for a baby giraffe. It stayed that way for 6-9 months because I had no idea how to clad it. When I found your smooth air dry clay recipe I knew I could finally proceed. This I think falls under the category of “one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread “. I have been able to apply so many of your techniques from your youtube videos that I have always been amazed at the simple basic fact that you have shared so much valuable information so openly and so freely. I love seeing the individuality of everyone’s projects. I think you’re such a darling and just wanted to say thank you.

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    • And I want to say “thanks” back to you – it’s emails from folks like you that make it all worthwhile. And what a great giraffe! But your dog seems a bit miffed about something. Because Giraffe is getting all the attention, perhaps?

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      • Brenda, I love your dog and that is one fantastic giraffe. Probably just be me, but when I clicked on your name it said: This site can’t be reached. But, Please create and show us more of your beautiful work. Thank you.

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        • Thank you so much! No it wasn’t you it was ME! Being new to this type of interaction I had typed a message instead of a website. I am on Pinterest but slow to get pictures uploaded. Mine never quite do the item justice. I am my own worst critic. I did do a second giraffe, standing 5ft tall with “blocky” feet for stabilization. So hopefully both pics will upload of the face and body!

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            • That’s OK – big pictures are OK as long as the file size is small enough. It makes it easier to see all those spots! This is a great giraffe, by the way. Did you have any trouble getting him to balance on those long legs?

            • For balancing: the whole giraffe before applying the clay was perfect. Once the neck, head and ears started to be covered the giraffe started to tilt forward even though center was clad. To correct the tilt I had to open up the rear area and add weight. I used small leftover metal plates and brackets(industrial hardware). I may have added a flat round rock or too. I also added weight to the back feet. The final weight of the giraffe was 35lbs. This picture is a front view showing how the legs were never straight. I did not plan the feet to be this design but it helped for minor corrections. At one point one of the four stopped touching the floor. It needed to be built up which then required the others to be tweaked. The paint is an internet recipe of chalk paint for a flat outside masonry look. I am interested in placing pieces outside but the weatherproofing… Did you find a solution? I know you have shown other mediums but I’m still going to research a protectant that is reasonably priced. There is a product called Never Wet. That might work with periodic reapplication due to climate and touching the ground. OH! just a note squirrels will eat smooth air dry clay if you leave an item out for quick spot drying, and will leave teeth marks all around your project! But that was prior to painting and on a round plaque…

            • Hi Brenda. Thanks for telling us how you got the giraffe to stand up. I thought it might be challenging, but I’m glad you worked it out. And great tip about the squirrels!

              I have not found a product that will waterproof the paper mache clay. If you find one, please let us know. Is the Never Wet clear, so you would still be able to see all those spots?

          • Ah! That is adorable. Love your spots. I did “research” before I painted my first giraffe and found all types and sizes, and colors, so I quit being critical and just painted however I wanted to. These are really nice, and that expression is so wonderful.

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            • Brenda, I think one of my “trade-marks” may be only three feet on the ground. I guess it is a tripod method, and then I just pretend that the animal is taking a step forward (in my own mind)!

              I love your parrot. The Blue Herons come through here for a month or so this time of year, and it is so good to see them again. I’ll let you experiment with how to keep them balanced! I’ve always wanted to do one. Someone on this site made a fantastic one. Wish I could remember his name. He told how he made his, and it’s long been in my mind.

          • Brenda, please forgive me for taking so long. What an adorable face on your giraffe. He/she even has eyelashes. And it is 5 feet tall! Really wonderful work.
            Your parrot is truly beautiful. I searched a little bit to see if you had showed us anything else. I couldn’t find any right now, but I would love to see more from you. Thanks, Brenda.

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            • Oh thank you everyone is so awesome, talented and helpful. I had been needing to take pictures for so long. I’m so glad we all can share our work. I know that all things look different in person but if I keep waiting for the perfect picture, well we wouldn’t be seeing any of my work! I am going to upload my tree frog, Tamarin monkey, turtle and weird looking pig. The pig was my first use of the clay prior to using on the baby giraffe, and the face has no rhyme or reason. (That baby giraffe was from a real baby image on the internet and I wanted one; so I made my own.) The pig has a little wear and tear. I had used hairbrush bristles for each eyelash. One of my little furkids thought there were too many….

            • Frog upload attempt, learning new app here “collage” and then resizing… I will master this lol

        • So far I have made two giraffes, one Amazon turtle, one parrot, one tree frog and one weird pig. The pig was first, for learning how I needed to apply the clay. I plan to make a baby hippo, an elephant and a blue heron. I am creating my own jungle room. As a co-worker stated giraffes are not in an Amazon rainforest habitat….well one wandered in to mine. BTW the pig is not for the jungle…

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          • What a fun project – All of your sculptures are lovely, and I can’t wait to see that hippo, elephant and blue heron. You might need two rooms – one for South America and one for Africa. And then another one for bison and pronghorn antelope and other North American creatures, one for orangutans and other Asian critters…. After all, why stop at just one room? 🙂

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          • Hi Jonni,
            The stash, well…. I have quite a few furkids…one is a great Pyrenees named Grace and after her last bath..(you know where this is heading) while not finding anything buyable to match color, length or texture, I took some of hers. It worked out perfect, real and free!!! I also placed a small tuft in each elbow crease. The body shape is designed for sitting on a wide tree branch in the future with the tail hanging over.

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      • Had to chuckle, being a fur mom I left him in the picture as a size comparison, but as I had told him to get out of the way I guess he made it known! (and I hadn’t noticed)… being able share our projects with you via the internet and you taking the time to answer everyone is awesome it’s like interacting with our own celebrity artist.

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    • Brenda, a little late, but I love the pose of your giraffe. I think I need to experiment a little more and not have everything standing up! That’s a great face. (Give your dog a hug!) I am always fascinated by how people paint giraffe spots, so great job.

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  4. Hi Jonni,

    I would like to give you an update on the Bear I made for my son’s Year 12 Ball using your wall mount bear head template. The theme for the Ball was The Jungle Book and what a labour of love this turned out to be for various reasons. Loved being able to contribute a feature piece to such a special night for my son and also kind of fell in love with this big guy..not sure how you can let go of the pieces you make.. I found it hard to pass him on even though I knew it was the purpose of me building him… he was a hit on the night and now resides in the Senior school library , so great result all round..thank you for making your templates accessible to a First Timer…never thought I could make something like this.. thanks again for your advice and encouragement..

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    • Hi Teresa. I’m so glad your bear was such a success. Have you shown it to us yet? Even if you have, I’d love to see it again. And yes, it is hard for me to let go of my sculptures. I do occasionally give one away, but I keep most of them. But it gets hard to find new places to put them. I hope you do make some more sculptures, since you had such good results with your bear.

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  5. I recently completed these three ladies and call them the three sisters. =D
    The Unicorn and her Bull is based on characters from Peter Beagle’s novel, Twilight Lady is a vampire bat, and the third is The Fawn.

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    • My goodness – you’ve put in so many lovely details, and those eyes are wonderful. Thanks for showing them to us – they’re quite inspiring. (My favorite is the vampire bat. Love those ears!)

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      • Thanks, Shelbot. I love Melanie’s use of vintage dress forms. Other French artists, Laetitia Mieral and the artist couple who go by “Muse et Homme”, have also inspired me with their anthropomorphic sculptures. I wonder if anthropomorphism is popular in France or if it’s coincidence.

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        • Susanne, I’m not sure if anthropomorphism is more popular in France. I certainly find it appealing, and you have joined the wonderful artists mentioned, in creating truly gorgeous and fascinating pieces. I am anxious to see more from you.

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    • I had to come back and look at these lovely ladies again. I am one of three sisters and I guess I would have to be the fawn. The clothes are so attractive can would you tell us how they were done. I love them aka, but I think my favourite is the Fawn because of her shirt and her ears.

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      • Hi Joyce, It made me quite happy to read that you felt a connection to them.
        For The Fawn’s floral pattern I painted sheets of kitchen roll with watered down acrylics, let them dry, then tore them into strips, applied glue to one side, shaped them by twisting (for the vines) or bunching (flowers), and then gluing into place.
        The bat’s ruffles are just glued/folded paper.
        If you give it a try I hope to see it!

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    • Susanne, I didn’t realize it had been so long since I’ve been on this site. (For some reason my email address has problems telling me there are new posts. I know it’s not Jonni’s fault!, just one of those things.) Those are really great ladies. My favorite one has to be the bat. If I had to vote. But I love them all. Maybe it’s that sparkly midnight gown she’s wearing.

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      • Thank you, Rex – I’m glad you can tell it’s a twinkly night sky. I wanted to paint in a few bolder/more obvious stars, but wasn’t convinced I had the skill to do so. ? Maybe next time.

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        • Hi Carrie. Several other people have mentioned that they aren’t getting their notifications, either, and I know you’ve looked in your promotions folder. I’ll contact my hosting company and see if they can explain what’s happening, and possibly offer a solution that doesn’t cost too much money. Is anyone else having this problem?

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          • Hi Rex and Carrie. I talked to the hosting company, and they think the problem must be with your email programs, since so many other emails are going out. I know that AOL deletes all emails from UltimatePaperMache.com without even putting them in a promotions folder. Maybe there are other services that do that, too – to be ‘helpful,’ you know. It doesn’t look like there’s anything I can do to fix it. Sorry. (I think there’s an emoticon that would fit here, but I don’t know how to type one in.)

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            • I think it is the hosting company. I am with Yahoo. I checked my spam folder, and nothing is in there, so they probably block it altogether. 99% of the email I get is trash, so go figure!

    • Susanne these are so whimsical! Even though I have had a love for the Last Unicorn all my life, I think I would vote for the bat as my fave of your three sisters. But they are all beautiful! Can I ask what you used for the eyes?

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      • Glad you like them, Carrie!
        The bat’s and fawn’s eyes are a layer of shop towel over a foil ball, with a thick gesso over that to get the smooth surface.

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  6. I created an animal sculpture over the past winter and now the paper mache clay is chipping off around the feet area. It was the first time I used a mache clay over an armature rather than just a paste with newpaper strips. I used paper, white glue, joint compound, flour and linseed oil. I had finished it with a coat of modge podge on originally. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this from continuing and from happening with future projects?

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    • I’m not sure, Mickie. I’ve never had this happen to me. The paper mache clay usually dries hard as a rock and sticks firmly to the armature. I have sculptures here at the house that still look exactly the same that they did five years ago when they were first made, so I’m stumped. I assume you’re keeping your sculpture inside and in a spot where it won’t get damp? What material did you use for your armature?

      Has anyone else had this problem? If so, did you find a fix for it?

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      • Hi, I have had this happen when taking breaks on a project. It will happen around the edge of a stopping point. Since I know it may be several days before I have time to start again I taper off the edge of the clay to very very thin because I will be adding to that section the next time and want it seamless. However when its dry it can flake or crack, I remove those edges back to where it has adhered to the foundation. For me, if I do not cover my project with masking tape prior to claying, it will dry with the clay as an independent shell. I am in the habit of using Jonni’s gesso and brushing it on the underside of the clay I am applying and brushing it on the masking tape area too and then on the top of the clay. I can be a messy artist constantly removing dried glue in-between clay sections. But when it’s happened to me the area was not as thick as the rest. Cheers!

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    • Mickie, is the modge podge coming off or is the actual clay chipping off. I have never seen paper mache clay chip. I have made hundreds of projects, and quite a number I have removed the inside armature (to make piggy banks). The only time I have seen any cracking is when I have used joint compound and applied it too thickly (before Jonni!). Can you give us more of a description of how thick the clay was applied? What do the pieces look like that are chipping off? Sorry, that’s not much help, but I am curious what you find out.

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  7. This is yet another old piece that is supposed to be a painted rock. I cheated and made the bottom completely flat. I love all dogs, but always wanted a basset hound, so I made one. He is one of my larger pieces. He is almost 10 1/2″ tall. The back is completely unpainted and I never bothered to finish his face to my satisfaction. Maybe one day…

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    • Shelbot, my first giggle of the day. He is so basset. I love everything about him, seriously, right down to his toe nails. Awesome paint job.

      My only criticism would be that he is missing those “Picasso” eyebrows that were on the other dog — but they would hardly work on this one, so never mind. Just being silly.

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      • Rex, Barney basset blushes at about your bodacious observations.
        I apologize (yes, for that and) that I need an explanation of the Picasso comment. Is this regarding something Pablo painted or his actual eyebrows? Did you already tell us?
        I love silly. More please.

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        • Shelbot, I’ve been side-tracked around the house. To me one of the challenges about doing art is making an object look unified. When you posted your last dog with those three-prong eyebrows, they reminded me of something Picasso would do. Even though the dog has his nose, mouth, eyes, and ears in the correct position, I was struck by the eyebrows that didn’t seem to belong but fit perfectly. Barney is wonderful, and, to be completely silly, maybe you need a fly on his nose! I do like your dogs.

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          • Rex, sorry to take so long to answer. Thank you for your fun comment. Although it has nothing to do with the vibrissae, I have a real problem with trying to figure out which side is better. Since one eye, ear, whatever, is usually larger or angled differently at first, I struggle with which one I should change. Should I try to make the left eye like the right or vice versa? Is the left ear too big or the right ear to small? GRRRR. And I’m probably too lazy to work on Barney, but a fly, or maybe a bee, on his nose is a great idea. Really appreciate it.

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            • I’m not sure I can legally post this photo here, but it was a gift from a friend of mine over 20 years ago. It was painted by a Mexican artist. I look at it every day. I thought of it when Shelbot mentioned a face being symmetrical. What is fascinating about this face is that one side is cuddly and the other side is evil. So much for symmetry, Shelbot! (I guess I’m trying to say your Bassett is perfect. If you were an astrophysicists, you would say when things are perfectly symmetrical, they disappear — no matter or energy.)

            • Rex, thank you so much for showing us your rabbit/hare. I think both sides are beautiful. Does he have some deep meaning? Where is he hanging/sitting?
              Barney the basset hound thinks that you are perfect too : ) (Although you are probably not horribly lopsided).
              I AM an Astrophysicist. No, wait. I thought you meant someone who used to watch “The Jetsons”. Never mind.

    • Shelbot this is so cute! When I was a kid my grandmother had a little wooden pull behind you dog toy that I use to play with all the time and I swear this is his face!! My husband wont let me have any more dogs, (other than the one annoying one I have lol) so maybe I should just make myself some paper mache ones! Thanks for sharing I love it!

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      • Carrie, Knowing about your pull toy is like being given a little gift.
        I think that your husband should let you have as many dogs as you want. Annoying, or not : ) But it will be fantastic if you make and show us your paper pups (need to stop that).
        Anyway, I loved your comment. Thank you so much.

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    • Shelbot- Your Basset is great and I will tell you from experience, do not get one! My husband always wanted one as well, so we got one. It was the dog from Hades, as it were. Super smart but stubborn as the day is long. He did not like kids and would bark them out of the room when his food was put down, barked all day, pooped in the upstairs bathroom, and smelled like a hound to boot. And those were his good points! Your beautiful rock hound is the only type of good Basset! It did make me smile though!

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      • “And those were his good points!” That is really funny, Eileen, although it probably wasn’t, when you were dealing with the little hellion. Although I could probably live with some of that, I so appreciate your advice. Also: “…beautiful rock hound…” : )
        Thank you for a wonderful comment!

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  8. I am new to sculpting, but have been playing with clay for awhile now. Here are just a couple examples of some jewelry I have made. I came across Jonni’s site and you tube channel and it has inspired me to give it a try.

    thanks,

    Shauna

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      • Shauna, I enlarged the photo, but I am so blind, I’m still not positive. I think that there are feathers, a tree, one or two owls (?) and a beautiful little nest with 3 eggs. Your jewelry is very pretty, even if the “charms” are not what I think they are. I would imagine it very difficult to make such small pieces. But please continue. Really want to see more.

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        • Thanks Shelbot. There are two necklaces here. One has an owl in the middle, with a nest and three eggs on one side, and a tree on the other. The brown necklace I has to make each feather. I have made so many sets, but the owls are my favorites.

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  9. Little update on the Flamingo: It’s fully feathered now and has a nice punk vibe feather wise :p

    May or may not do some more detailing in time.

    Love seeing everyone’s work! So inspiring and such cute and beautiful pieces!

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    • Your flamingo is jolly – and definitely made me smile. Nicely done! Thanks for showing us all the progress photos, too – it was fun to follow along with this project.

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      • Soul, Jolly Joyce is Jorjeous. Sorry, had to. The feathering is beautiful. I still wish she had a background that showed off her beak, but thank you for showing us the pix. Did you already say where she will live?

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      • hi jonnie. I missed alot since ive been having medical problem, but I feel a little better and started working on alice in the wonder land. I need to sand a lot but here she is with her flowers. ill send the finished look once she is done

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        • Hi Cindy. I’m glad you’re feeling better, and that you’re back at work. Or play. 🙂

          Alice is looking great. (The smiles in the flowers are a nice detail, too.) I look forward to seeing her after she’s done.

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      • Thank you all!

        Is this better Shelbot?
        Can you guess where Joyce got his name 😀 Just in the pictures we noticed the print of the orange wrapper we used was shining through.
        He’ll be living right here but will be traveling around. A friend wanted to use him to promote a music festival but didn’t know what to do with it afterwards so it’s just gonna come back here. Won’t be running out of space for a while here. Else it can always go to a community center or something that would like to have it for decoration.

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        • Soul, how sweet of you to try to make it easier for me to see that beautiful beak. I had hoped that you had a pic of Joyce in front of a blue sky, but I do love these pix and appreciate the foliage and will shut up now. : ) You make wonderful art. Thank you so much.

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  10. While growing up, one of my favorite films was “The Wizard of Oz”. Every Fall the movie would be shown on TV. I have always liked Fall and I suppose I associate The Wizard of Oz with the Fall season. One of my favorite characters in the movie was The Wicked Witch. I don’t know if I liked her because she was green or because of her flying monkeys.

    My latest sculpture is titled “The Wicked Witch of Oz.” She stands 25 inches tall. I formed the armature from nine gauge wire. Then gave shape to the body with aluminum foil and covered it with masking tape. I used a covering of plaster wrap cloth to add more strength to the body. Her head and hands were formed from Apoxy clay.

    I used Viva plain finished paper towels dipped in Elmer’s Glue All and draped to form her witch’s costume. I got on line and brought up photos of the Wicked Witch. Most all the photos had her posed with her knees bent slightly as if she were going to pounce on her broom and ride away.

    The last step was to paint the sculpture. One problem I encountered was painting so much strong black on the dress and hat. The black seemed to overpower the sculpture. For relieve I used Rub and Buff silver to highlight the taller areas on the hat and dress. That did the trick and toned down the strong black.

    I hope you like “The Wicked Witch of Oz.”

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    • Harry, yep, I remember…it was the Wizard of Oz at thanksgiving time and the sound of music at Easter time!
      I like your wicked witch, especially the folds and draping of her costume. I love the way fabric drapes. Once I did a monk who wore a long habit and I had taken stiffer material like muslin, dipped it into plaster of paris, draped it how I wanted, then let it dry. The next day it covered it with Jonni’s air dry clay. It held up very well to keep the draping how I wanted it but it did take forever to dry. The plaster had absorbed the water from the paper mache and just soaked it up. What I liked was that the end product was super strong. The silver you used really makes the dress pop. Nice work!

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      • Thanks Eileen, I am glad you like the Wicked Witch. You mentioned you have draped fabric, have you tried draping paper towels? I have experimented with a few brands and so far I find that the Viva smooth finish paper towels work best. I use the Viva paper towels on most all my paper mache’ sculptures as a finishing layer. Thanks again for taking time to comment, hope you have a great day.

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        • I do use paper towels to achieve certain textures but have not for the fabric look. I have some old paper mache sculptures made in Mexico and the “fabric” is really fragile. How strong is the finished product? Does it get brittle when it dries?

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          • Eileen, the glue covered paper towels, when dry, have a nice strong finish. If you allow the towels to form ripples, then it makes them even stronger. If stretched very tight between two points with no support behind the towels, they are more brittle, it is something like a drum effect. It is better to have something solid behind the paper towel giving it some strength. To me the paper towel is much like fabric when dry.
            The reason I use paper towels instead of fabric, is I want the sculpture to be paper and fall into the paper mache’ category, not the draped fabric category.
            The time is coming, when I plan to use tissue paper dipped in glue, then crumpled and used for clothing. I saw that technique used in a museum in Old Mexico, but of course that was forty some years ago,,,,lol.

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            • Jonni, I am not for sure how the artist kept the tissue paper looking so crisp. We visited a museum in Juarez. unlike our museums, items were for sale in their museum.

              The artist had created figures that stood about 12 inches high. Each figure was unique and covered with what appeared to be super stiff tissue paper.

              That was many years ago. (Over 50 years ago) I remember wanting to purchase one of the paper mache’ figures, but unlike most things for sale in Juarez, that were very well priced, those figures were expensive.

              I asked one of the young ladies that worked in the museum, why the figures were so expensive. She told me it was because the Artist that had created the figures was famous in Old Mexico and his creations were very pricey.

              Jonni, I am not for sure I can duplicate the look, but plan to do some experimenting. The problem I have at the moment is, I don’t have any tissue paper,,,,,lol. I plan to get some real soon and will let you know if I have any luck.

              This past week, I visited with a college friend who has admired my new paper mache’ creations. Lawrence said, “Harry do you remember about 50 years ago when we were in Juarez and saw those paper mache’ figures that were made of tissue paper?” So both of us remember the creations were made with tissue paper,,,,lol. Now that is something, because we are both in our mid 70’s and some days we can’t even remember our names and yet fifty years ago we saw tissue paper sculptures in a museum and both of us remember them being made of tissue paper,,,,lol.

            • It would be fun to do a Google search to see if we could find the sculptures you admired so much. I’m not even quite sure what keywords we would use to find them, if the artist was that famous there must be images of his work online. I may give it a try, just as soon as I have a few spare minutes to play on the computer.

    • Harry, this is my favorite so far. I saw a pic of a water globe in which the witch (another unintentional alliteration) had a similar pose. In yours, I thought she was trying to turn away from the water that brought her demise, but I will defer as I really don’t remember the scenes. As others have pointed out, your use of the silver on black was genius.

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      • Hi Shelbot, thank you so much for your reply. I am glad the Wicked Witch is your favorite so far. I was a little worried I might offend someone by doing a sculpture of a wicked witch and I certainly didn’t want that to happen. Then I thought, surely most everyone loves the movie version of The Wizard of Oz and they will look past the Witch being so wicked,,,,lol.

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        • Jonni, I still haven’t experimented with tissue paper, but I have found the perfect paper to give me an airy chirpy look to my draped paper costumes. First let me remind you, I have been using Viva Paper towels to do my fabric draping. I have also been using full strength Elmer’s Glue All to soak the paper towels . With the paper towels I have the heavier draped look because the paper towel soaked up so much glue. It is nice and I have been satisfied with the look, up to now.

          Then I remembered seeing what I thought was tissue paper being used by an artist in Juarez Mexico. Now I am not for sure that the artist was using tissue paper and let me tell you why.

          A couple of months ago, I had made a paper mache’ sculpture of the Caribbean Pirate Johnny Depp. At first I was pleased with the sculpture, but each day I walked by and looked at the finished sculpture, I thought, “Wow, I sure made Johnny Depp look super thin, I wish I had put a little more weight on him.”

          Yesterday I thought, well there is no law saying I can’t add some weight to Johnny and then change up his pirate costume and experiment with some other kind of paper.

          I had used the Viva paper towels for his first costume, this time I looked around the house to see if I had any other type of paper so I could experiment with a new look. A few months ago, I purchased three rolls of paper towels that you often see in public restrooms, each roll was seven inches wide. (Purchased over the net from Paper Mart.) The color is usually a soft light khaki color or a very light grey. The ones I have are the very light Khaki color. The paper is not very thick and is one ply.

          At the time I thought, this paper is a little heavier than tissue paper, but so much thinner than the Viva paper towels. I had a little Elmer’s glue left in the bottom of my gallon of glue. So, Jonni, you know how accidents can sometimes be a blessing? Well, The Angel of Paper Mache’ was looking over my shoulder. I didn’t have enough glue so I added water to the glue. I thought at the time, oh my gosh, I added too much water and I have ruined this glue. Well the Angel whispered in my ear, “Give it a try you Big Ox, you have nothing to lose.”

          So the Big Ox ripped a piece of the commercial paper towel and dipped it in the watered down glue and formed a puff sleeve for the Pirate. I remember looking at the sleeve and it was standing up and looked light and airy and it looked fresh and the magic word “CRISP”,,,,,just like,,,,,you guessed it Jonni, it looked just like the paper the Artist used in Juarez Mexico, fifty years ago!!!

          Well, I did my Paper Mache’ dance around the deck and I started yelling and jumping up and down with wild excitement and total unbridled happiness!!! Jonni, I yelled and sang and danced around the deck for about two minutes and then I had to stop, because my arthritis started hurting my hip and knee and I had to stop being so uncontrollably HAPPY,,,,lol.

          The Angel of Paper Mache’ gave us the secrete of light crispy draped paper mache’ and the Big Ox is the messenger to share the Angel’s secrete with you and everyone on this site,,,,lol. My gosh Jonni, can you believe it, that artist was probably going down to the gas station restroom and taking extra paper towels and making expensive paper mache’ sculptures,,,,,lol. To heck with tissue paper that cost money, when you can load up on some paper towels from the Doctor’s office,,,,lol.

          Reply
          • I sure wish we had a video of your celebration dance! Have you taken a photo of the new, improved pirate? And also, do you think the new paper is as strong after it dries as the paper towels you were using before?

            Reply
            • Jonni, when I finish the revamped Johnny Depp Pirate statue, I will have a friend come over and take a picture. I will send two pictures, the first one using thick Viva paper towels and the new version, with the thinner towels. That way you can compare the two looks.

              As far as strength, if you dropped both sculptures, the Viva towel statue could break your toe, the Doctor’s office paper towel statue would only bruise your toe,,,,lol. As far as durability, both are acceptable. The advantage is each gives you a different look, if you want a heavier more velvet looking fabric, then use the Viva Towel, if you want a more silky lighter fabric use the Doctor’s office towel. I think both have a place in the Paper Mache’ World. It just depends on the look you are trying to achieve.

              About my singing and dancing Paper Mache’ celebration. I have an eight foot fence around the backyard so I don’t disturb the neighbors. I often work at a table on my deck. All the bright sunshine helps me see my mache’ projects much better and compensates for my poor eyesight. I am not for sure you would enjoying seeing a video of my Paper Mache’ dancing, to be honest Jonni, at the age of 74, I am no Fred Astaire,,,,,it is not a pretty sight, but my discovery was certainly uplifting and dance filled,,,,lol.

            • Well, I can’t dance at all, even to celebrate – so you have me beat. I can’t wait to see the new pirate. Before and after photos are always fun.

        • Harry, do you mean you thought one of our Wicca readers would be offended because the movie depicted one of their fellow witches as being mean? I doubt that would happen – they surely know there’s a few bad apples in every bunch, including theirs. But your comment did make me smile.

          It’s been a long time since I’ve watched the movie. I’ve seen it so many times in the past, I should remember, but isn’t there a good witch in the movie, too?

          Reply
        • Harry, Yes, she is wonderful and I don’t think anyone believes that you are celebrating her wickedness : ) Any chance of a flying monkey in our future?

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          • Shelbot, I have thought about doing a sculpture of one of the flying monkeys from oz. I am also thinking about doing a sculpture of Carmen Miranda. Carmen seems like a wild character to sculpt in mache’,,,,lol.

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            • Harry, I sure hope that you eventually get around to both the flying monkey and Carmen. I looked at some pix of her and I’m not sure the fruit hat is the way I had it pictured. Can’t wait to see your version of her, with (Please make it with) or without the hat. : )

            • Shelbot, oh Carmen Miranda would need that wild fruit stacked hat,,,,lol. I will do a google search for ideas for her wardrobe. Did you know at one time, Carmen made more money per year than any other actress in Hollywood? That is unusual for someone that was never the main star, but was usually a supporting actress. At one time, movie fans had a fascination with South America. That was when Carmen Miranda was at the top of her career. Carmen had a short career, she passed away from a heart attack at the age of 46. I remember watching her on the Jimmy Durante Show. She was dancing around and having a good time and she fell down. In those days many of the shows were filmed live, so the fall was left in the show. I remember she walked over to Jimmy as the others kept dancing and said,,,”I fell down.” They both laughed and everything seemed fine. After the show she went home and had a party. She passed away that night from a heart attack. That fall was a warning that her heart was giving out, but of course no one took it seriously at the time. The movie I liked best “The Gang’s All Here”. She played a showgirl and she was so very funny. I just hope my version of her does her justice.

            • Harry, not sure you will see this, took me forever to answer, but I wanted to tell you that I’ve been thinking about your Carmen. Hope she is coming along. I did not know that she was ever paid more than any other actress at the time. The fruit hat was about the extent of my knowledge, I’m afraid. The story about her falling on the JD show and dying later that night is incredibly sad. I know that you will do her justice.

  11. I just started my first paper mache experience & have run into a snag. I sont know if ita because I chose to use your clay recipe or my lack of knowledge but whwn I got to sand it there was black fuzzy foid looking mold on the inside. Did I not fry the inside faat enough. Please any suggestions or solutions?

    Reply
    • Any type of paper mache will be a good place for mold to grow if it isn’t dried quickly. The additional challenge with the paper mache clay is that it’s possible to put on a layer that’s too thick – if that happens, the outside will dry, but the inside will stay damp. It was intended to replace the traditional paper strips and paste, with a layer no more than 1/4″ thick. (I use much less than that, except in areas where I need to fill in a dip. Details can be added after the first layer is dry.)

      You might want to start over, and this time either add a teaspoon of bleach to the recipe or add a few drops of oil of clove. Then put the damp sculpture in front of a fan so it will dry as quickly as possible. It’s possible that the current piece could be saved if you can paint the inside with diluted bleach, but there’s no guarantee that the bleach will be able to reach all the way inside the paper mache clay layer. It might be worth a try, though.

      Reply
    • Jonni, as my mentor, is right. Of course. When I lived in California, my paper mache clay would get mold in it within a few days. Adding bleach helped, and keeping it in the refrigerator was a big help. I hope you can save your sculpture. I know with the pumpkins I make, I take out the inside (the paper and armature). To do that I have to cut the sculpture somewhere, and I make sure the inside has a chance to dry before I put it back together. Good luck.

      Reply
  12. Here is another painting done in a very different way. I still have this on one of living room walls. I kept it because it matches the paint so well.

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    • Yeah! Keep it. That is gorgeous, relaxing, and beautiful. I admire that so much. Thanks for sharing it with us.

      I also love your ladies at the beach. My sister had me paint a quilt (on a bottle), and I made it through, but told her after that “no more quilts.” I say this because the webbing on the chairs is mind-boggling, especially for my brain. Wonderful painting. I lived by the beach for a number of years, and you captured it beautifully. Thanks.

      Reply
      • Thanks for your nice comments, Rex. As you can see the two paintings are done in completely different styles, but both are watercolours. . The “ladies”, even though it’s much smaller, probably took more time to paint because of those chairs.

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      • I forgot to mention that the beach is at Port Dover, in Ontario, Canada. It is a very popular summer place home of , “The Arbour”, known for its hot dogs, and for perch served in a number of places. When we were younger, my husband and I always made a trip to Port Dover in the summer and I did a number of paintings of local buildings.

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    • Joyce, Jonni and Rex always steal my words : ) The daffodil painting is beautiful. My florals are always stiff and unnatural. And your beach scene is wonderful. Very difficult to paint, but very much worth the effort. Love looking at your art, so please share more when you can. Thank you.

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  13. Jonni, I have been reading all the comments about your online selling venture and I wish you every success. For years I sold my creations, paintings, machine embroidered and appliqued shirts, dolls, aprons… I did craft shows, artshows, sold from my home, etc. I never made a living at it, but most times paid for my materials and I was spending my time doing something I loved. Last Christmas I helped my daughter with a craft show and my contribution was a few angel sculptures and some cats all done with polymer clay. I even made the boxes. We didn’t do very well, just covered the cost of the table, but we enjoyed it.

    I am looking forward to hearing more about the online selling.

    Reply
    • Thanks Joyce. I used to do the craft show circuit, back in the Seattle area. That was years ago, but it was fun sometimes. Not when it rained, of course. I miss having a way to see people’s reactions when they first see my work. Jessie mentioned the other day that the best way to get honest feedback about work you’re thinking about selling is to set up a table at a craft show – and then watch people’s faces. The Internet doesn’t let us do that, and I miss it.

      Reply
      • I know what you mean, Jonni and it seems that although we can be pleased with what we have done, other people’s reaction to our work is so important. Perhaps our ego needs inflating?

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  14. Jonni, at long last I found time to upload a painting for you to see. This one was from a photograph I took many years ago and the painting, which I called, “Ladies of the Afternoo”, was done quite a while ago too. It isn’t very big, about 9 x12 -can’t remember exactly, but in sold in an auction at our art school. It’s painted in watercolour and it was a little difficult doing all the strips in the chairs. It wasn’t a serious piece of art…just fun.

    Reply
  15. And finally my favorite of the bunny family. I especially like the mom.
    I have been accepted into a show for next February. Not only accepted but invited to be in their special focus room which will showcase “Flora and Fauna” I need to come up with 8 sculptures in that theme. I have no problem with the fauna but it is tough to come up with appropriate subject matter for the flora part. Right now I am doing a pileated woodpecker and babies in a tree(more like a branch or stump) I would like to do at least one flora piece but flowers and leaves are so hard to do thinly in paper mache. Any suggestions from my paper mache friends? The one idea I had was of some pretty mushrooms but would love your input.

    Reply
    • The bunny family is very nice, Eileen. I can certainly see why you were invited into the special area. Are you starting to feel the stress of that looming deadline yet?

      I haven’t tried making flowers or leaves with paper mache, but a lot of people use the cold porcelain recipes, and the work I’ve seen online is sometimes quite beautiful. Have you ever tried that? I wonder if they’re as fragile as they look?

      Reply
    • Okay, Eileen. You did it now. I’m going to begin my jackrabbit today. These are first-class.

      Can I pick your brain. Do you remember the distance between the rear legs, the distance between the front legs, and the “angle” of the blocks on the rear legs? These are adorable.

      And the fur is great. Wow. Awesome!

      Reply
      • Rex- I am glad you are motivated to do your jack rabbit. It might be a welcome reprieve from doing pumpkins and piggy banks. I do not remember the distance between the rear legs or the angles. I used some google photos to find the stance that I wanted, both front and back. Then, I used tin foil and hot glue to make the whole armature, with a bit of wire to reinforce the ears. I applied Jonni’s air dry clay directly onto the tin foil. I really like that method and it has become my preferred method of making an armature. So, it is like making 2 sculptures, one in tin foil, one with paper mache. If you get the tin foil right, the layering of the paper mache works out beautifully. Then you add the detail such as the fur. For the proportions, I eyeballed it but could see some things like the ears being about as long as the length of the front legs. Trust your instincts Rex, you have good ones!

        Reply
        • Eileen, thanks so much for the suggestions. I’ll have to try to vary my approach. By that I mean my aluminum foil is usually in small pieces and there would be nothing to hold them together. So I’ll try larger pieces. What you do actually makes sense to me. I only have the ear pattern left, and it doesn’t look right to me, so I’ll do a little measurement comparison.

          Reply
    • Eileen, your goats and wood chopper are very appealing, of course, but I am in love with the bunny family. I really want this sculpture, so I call DIBS! (Why does that never work!?) Thank you so much for showing us your delightful art.

      Reply
    • They are such an adorable little family. I love them. If you need inspirational photos of flowers, I am a photographer and love to photograph the little beauties.

      Shauna

      Reply
    • Yes, the base is definitely an important part of this grouping. Most importantly, it gives your goats something to climb on, and they do enjoy climbing! Will this piece be going to the show in February?

      Reply
      • Yes, both the bunnies and the goats will probably be in that show, though I have one in October as well so we will see just how many I do get done, only 4 for that show and if they don’t sell, I can put it into the February one. I am feeling a bit of pressure to get a bunch done. I have enough now but some were not really slated to go into shows. But if I have to, well, in they go!
        Also, I did not take photos of the wood chopper so would have nothing to offer as far as a tutorial goes. The process is just like doing an animal though and try to get the proportions correct. The wood chopper’s head is a bit big for my liking, or maybe his hat is too big. I decided to not do it over again after protests from husband. My husband IS in good shape, has always loved physical work. He finds it mindless where he doesn’t have to think about anything…sort of how I feel about doing art!
        I have not tried the cold porcelain as of yet. I am getting to be known as “that paper mache artist” so I feel I should be a purist as far as what I show. That is all in thanks to Jonni!

        Reply
        • Eileen, I hope you sell everything at both shows – unless you’d like to have a few items left over from the first one so you don’t have to work quite so hard to make the number of pieces you need for the second one. Congratulations, by the way, for being accepted for both shows, and for building your reputation as an artist. That isn’t easily done, but your work deserves all the attention that comes your way.

          And I figured you wouldn’t have taken progress photos of your wood chopper, but it was worth a shot. 🙂

          Reply
          • Jonni-here is a funny story for you- a friend of mine took a one time ceramics class at the library. She told the teacher that her friend does sculpture(meaning me) and told her my name. The woman said “oh I know who she is- she is that papier-mâché artist!” I do not know the woman or know of her affiliations but boy was I honored! That is sort of why I want to stick with paper mache for the shows. One day I wil try the cold porcelain though and thanks for your kind words.

            Reply
            • That is fun – and especially nice because the lady recognized not just your medium, but also remembered your name. Maybe she’ll come by and introduce herself the next time you have a show.

    • Eileen, Teca and I walk every morning through fields and sagebrush, and we pass a goat tethered out in a field. I feel so sorry for her. I try feeding her treats, but I don’t really like to trespass. I really like the base, and the goats are a riot — as they ought to be.

      Reply
  16. Hi- I am going to take a page from Rex’s book and post a few sculptures that have been done for a while but I kept procrastinating on the bases. I finally did all the bases at the same time and finished the projects! Here is my wood chopping man who is in respect to my hubby who has caught the wood chopping bug. My husband just loves to chop wood, stack wood, move wood, etc. I joke that I am now a “wood widow” so I am calling this piece “the widowmaker”

    Reply
    • Great figure sculpture, Eileen. And you husband must get a kick out of it, too. He must be in great shape after all that chopping.

      Did you use a wire armature for the figure? You didn’t happen to take progress photos, did you? I get a lot of comments from people who would like a post showing them how to create figure sculptures, and it just isn’t my thing. If you took photos, would you be interested in doing a guest post for us?

      Reply
    • Eileen, you are a delight and bring a smile to my face every single time. I love the sculpture. If I hadn’t had to chop wood until I was 15 years old, I would probably appreciate it more. (My mother used to tell us on New Year’s Eve, at 11:30 P.M., go out and get some wood. It’s the last time you’ll have to do it this year. At six, I didn’t find the humour in it. Anyway, your husband makes a good muse. Thanks so much. (And I’m happy to get the six projects off my painting list and off my work shelf.)

      Reply
    • I love your sculptures, Eileen. The bunnies and the goats are lovely, but my favourite is the wood chopper. I would say his head is a little big, but that is part of his charm, making him very unique. Good luck with your shows.

      Reply
  17. I woke up one day and just fancied trying papier mache. I quickly found Jonni’s book and got it on the Kindle, perhaps because we set out to make an Emperor Penguin. The template was super helpful even to a non-arty person like me. My youngest is 6 and is in Emperor Penguin class at school and he’s been involved in every step of the way. We decided to make one actual size (almost!) and had just about enough foam board to do it. Such a clever idea to use foam board like this. The weight of the model got to be a bit too much for the feet so we had to strengthen quite a lot, involving a carefully cut sheet of plywood but mainly LOTS of layers of paper. We used the old school way of doing papier mache with strips of paper. Loads of fun! We used emulsion paint for the white and cheap kids paint for the rest. Our paint choices were wrong – we should have picked acrylic paint!

    Anyhow, many thanks Jonni we’ve had an absolute blast with our very first project.

    My other child had to make a volcano this weekend and with the skills we learned, we quickly have a brilliant little volcano on the go!

    Reply
    • It’s beautiful, Carl. I’m so impressed by the fact that you chose to make it life-sized. These are really big birds! I’ll bet your son is very proud of it, as he should be. Are you keeping it at your house, or will it go to school?

      Reply
    • I’m impressed as well. (I’ve made about 15 penguins) But this one hits the spot for me. I love the body and the stance. Great job. Your child must be beside himself. I really like the ins and outs of the form — mine are like balloons, shapeless!

      I hope we get to see the volcano.

      Reply
    • Carl, Congratulations to you and your son on a great looking penguin. I think I’ve only made one penguin and he was very small, made of polymer clay and no where as grand as your creation. Do we get to see the volcano?

      Reply
  18. I finished my “shy” giraffe. I forgot how long it takes to paint spots. This is for a girl I tended when she was a baby and is now 30 and having her own child.

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    • Also, I finished the leprechaun pumpkins — the grandfather, mother, and son. I’m going to try and keep these in my bookshelf!

      Reply
      • And “my” valentine” mouse, which I’m keeping. This is the most horrid photograph because it is gray, and the eyebrows, whiskers, and around the eyes are purple. Doesn’t show up at all.

        Sorry for all the posts.

        Reply
        • Aww – he’s cute – and I’m glad you decided to keep at least one. I can see the purple whiskers – they look nice. We love looking at your Valentine mice pumpkins, and all your other work. No worries about posting too often!

          Reply
    • it’s adorable – the best one yet. and the spots are perfect, with the gradation from dark on top to light near the hooves. That isn’t easy to do. Nicely done – the baby will treasure it.

      Reply
      • Thank you, Jonni. I learn something new on every one. Next time when I add clay on the legs first, I’m not going to add the ankle bone until I do the hooves. Yeah, the spot thing makes me re-consider my life — not just paper mache. lol.

        Reply
        • Rex, a veritable smorgasbord of delight. A family of lucky, little lepumpchauns, a very vivacious Valentine vole (do you want alliteration, or don’t you?) and a GOOD GRACIOUS THAT’S GORGEOUS! GIRAFFE (Don’t all groan at the same time, please. I’m trying to keep us all alive)
          But enough nonsense. They are all wonderful, but I did talk to your friend and her baby. Yes, I said her baby. And they want me to inspect the giraffe to make sure it is safe. So, please send to me ASAP. Thanks! ; )

          Reply
      • Thank you, Shauna. It is on my dresser, and when I woke up this morning, it seemed content and happy. It is going to be difficult to send this one away. I need to write a letter to go with it, so that might take a few days.

        Reply
    • Rex, your giraffe is beautiful. How did you make the legs and what size is she/he, Please?
      Also, your leprechauns are enchanting!

      Reply
        • Thanks , Jonni, for the link. Seeing the photos on how Rex made his giraffes was very enjoyable. It amazes me how you and the other pm sculptors create such beautiful LARGE creatures. I could never do that mainly because I have a limited reach, but also because I don’t have the stamina. But I do admire the talent.

          Reply
      • Joyce, the giraffe is 14″ tall. Jonni has put the link as to how I made the legs and the whole giraffe. Somewhere I made the comment that when I make my next one, I will leave the bottom of the legs without the ankle. (I say you need to do the legs first and dry because it helps with the stability.) I cut this one open to make a piggy bank, and when I put it back together, the feet weren’t perfect on the ground. So I concluded that if I put the hooves and the ankles on last, I can get a better base. Thank you so much for your comment. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to do what I can to answer.

        Reply
    • Your giraffe is beautiful, I love the shapely legs and hooves. I looked at many images of giraffes before I made the standing one. And researching spots, I just wanted regular spots!!! Ended up learning about all different types of giraffes and their patterns. It is so amazing how nature has such perfect “art”.

      Reply
      • I have a giraffe mask on my wall, and all the “spots” are triangles. The spots are an amazing thing. I agree with you. Thanks.

        Reply
  19. Another mask (still in progress)…it’s a bit snug and not altogether comfortable. If I cut a slit somewhere, would that work to add a bit of space?

    Reply

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