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  1. Hi Jonni, I am thinking of using paper mache clay for a relief, or a slightly raised sculpture on a base of a piece of wood. I have made artwork like this before, only I used Plaster of Paris before, but I thought paper mache clay would work much better because I would have time to make shapes and curves, whereas with plaster of Paris, you have to work fast, and then chisel it when it is dry. Also I think paper would take watercolor better. I have made deer heads already with your paper mache clay.

    My question is, do you think I need to apply gesso to the wood base before applying the paper mache clay?

    Thanks Ann

    Reply
    • If you only put them outside for a short time, you can give them a few coats of a good water-based wood varnish from the DIY store. They will still soften in the rain (no varnish is completely waterproof) but they will firm up again when you bring them back inside and dry them out again.

      For long-term outside art, see my garden gnome video 2-part series, starting here. I don’t recommend using any paper-based material as a sculpting medium for permanent outdoor art.

      Reply
  2. I am working on my first mask. I just finished and put together the lion mask. I have plaster of Paris and was curious if it would work instead of paper mache or paper mache clay?

    Reply
    • Hi Ashley. A think coat of plaster of Paris would crack if it is flexed at all. It doesn’t add any structural strength, like the paper mache or paper mache clay. You could try it on a small hidden spot to see if you like the way it works, but I don’t personally recommend it.
      I hope you’re having fun with your lion! 🙂

      Reply
    • Maybe, but I didn’t design them that way so I don’t know if the eyes are in the right place so you could see out. You would have to quite a bit of fiddling to make it work, and it wouldn’t be easy to get the cap to fit the head – but it’s still possible. If you have the wolf mask pattern, you might be able to use the cap portion of that pattern and tape it to the back of the tigers, although it won’t be an exact fit. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. 🙂

      Reply
  3. I had my kunekune pig out to help me on a pig sculpture. The tail goes around in a curl and the end of it is attached to the body (with a small portion of the tail curving out). I sat it on its rear and cracked one side of the tail where it comes out of the body. What am I going to do? Any suggestions?

    I have done more surgeries that sculptures, but this one is depressing because the pig has been sitting in his spot for many years. I’m afraid if I cut out the crack that I won’t be able to repair it very well.

    Reply
    • Oh dear – those darned tails! Is the crack in a place where you could reinforce it on the outside with a thin sheet of epoxy clay? I think you mentioned that you had some a few months back, and if you have a small amount left, that could help. That’s how I repaired my elephant’s tail after pushing her rear end up against the wall. Oops.

      If the clay would make the repair too obvious, would it be possible to use a 2-part epoxy glue and drip a little into the crack, and then let it set up and paint over it? A friend in the hobby store business told me to never by the 5-minute epoxy glue, but use one of the slow ones, instead.

      Or, would you be able to reinforce the cracked area with a small strip of paper, torn on all edges, and held on with wood glue?

      Reply
      • Yes, it is just as the tail comes out of the back. Thanks so much because I never would have thought of epoxy clay.

        The crack is “just” a line on one side of the tail, so there is no room to put anything in the crack.

        I have three good alternatives. I guess I’ll try the paper strips first because it seems to be the thinnest! This is so helpful.

        Reply
  4. Will Paverpol stick to paper that has been
    sprayed with acrylic paint?
    If not could you recommend something?
    I have a 3 foot tall sculpture made by attaching
    medium weight paper to cardboard.
    I am hoping to make it a bit stronger.
    Any feedback appreciated!

    Reply
  5. Hello everyone, my name is Stephanie and I am a fellow lover of crafting with paper mache, I have a question that Jonni suggested I ask you all.
    I am attempting to create, out of cardboard and paper mache, a lighted jewelry/make up box for my niece. I want the door to open and close with hinges and magnets. My question is when would I attach the hinges, before or after the clay? I will be using the screw in kind. Any comments are welcome, thanks in advance ?

    Reply
  6. Hello everyone, my name is Stephanie and I am a fellow lover of crafting with paper mache, I have a question that Jonni suggested I ask you all.
    I am attempting to create, out of cardboard and paper mache, a lighted jewelry/make up box for my niece. I want the door to open and close with hinges and magnets. My question is when would I attach the hinges, before or after the clay? I will be using the screw in kind. Any comments are welcome, thanks in advance ?

    Reply

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