I’ve received some fantastic images this week from readers, and it’s been difficult to decide which artist’s work to post first. Tiffiny’s “life-sized” Egyptian sculptures were created for her daughter’s prom, but I sure hope they find a permanent home where they can be on display. Fantastic job. Here’s what Tiffiny said in her email to me:
I found your website a couple of months ago when I was attempting to build an anubis out of paper mache for prom. Prom was last night and I not only made 2 anubis but a sphinx and 2 standing anubis (the face was the only thing I made from paper mache). You had asked me to share pictures of my projects so here they are. Thank you so much for your website and the advice you gave to me in my learning experience using paper mache. My next project is a sandhill crane. I do have to say I had a little trouble with the paper mache clay so I only used it on one anubis. The problem I had was the texture. I was unsuccessful in getting it smooth. I don’t know if I didn’t sand it good enough or what. Anyway, a success none the less.Tiffiny Hosterman
I admit that I had to look up the word “anubis” when I first heard from Tiffiny. I learned that this is “is the Greek name for a jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in Egyptian mythology.” You learn something new every day! (I’ll give you all a hint about getting the clay nice and smooth without sanding after you see the photos below).
Am I the only one old enough to remember a Senior Prom decorated with crepe paper streamers? Tiffiny did a fantastic job on these decorations – I hope the kids know how much work went into them.
Tomorrow you get to see a wedding decorated with fabulous paper mache trees – but first, how to make paper mache clay smooth without sanding: Spread your clay onto your form, and then dip the knife into water to dampen it. Run the knife’s flat side over the clay to make it smooth. Or, you can place a piece of plastic film over the clay and then use the flat side of the knife over the plastic. When the clay is very dry, make a gesso using 1 tablespoon joint compound, 1 teaspoon Elmer’s Glue-All, and a dab of white acrylic paint. Apply the gesso to the sculpture, and when it’s completely dry use a soft dampened brush to smooth out all the brush marks. This will fill in any tiny gaps that are left in the clay. If you use several layers of gesso, your sculpture can be made as smooth as porcelain.