Note: Since making the highland cow in the video I designed a downloadable pattern for a paper mache cow head. I haven’t tried it yet with that crazy long hair, but if you’d like to make a highland cow for yourself, the pattern would give you a really fast start. (It’s way easier than the way I made the cow in the video!) The new cow is made with cardboard pieces that you tape together and cover with one layer of paper mache. Then add horns (and yarn if you want), and you’ve got yourself a unique wall sculpture or mask.
And now, back to the original post:
Several people have asked me to make a paper mache trophy mount, and this week I decided to give it a try. It took much longer than I thought it would, and I made a lot of changes along the way, but in the end I think my Highland Cow came out rather nice. It isn’t a “wild” animal, of course, but I thought it would be fun to put a wig on a cow. 🙂
I don’t think I’ve ever made anything that was colored entirely with paper, instead of paint. I didn’t really set out to do it that way, but when I saw how nice the brown paper looked on the head and ears, I decided to do the nose with some colored tissue paper I had lying around. It took several tries, and the first few attempts were pretty horrible – but she finally ended up with a nose I could live with.
This video is not intended as a tutorial – I was way too disorganized while I made this critter. (I think my head was still just a little fuzzy from the flu). But I do think it’s important to remember that a project doesn’t always work exactly the way you expect it to. Just because you run into problems along the way, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should just give up. Maybe you just need to sit back for a minute, and ponder alternatives.
I won’t be mounting my cow on a wooden plaque, like a taxidermist would do, because she fits in better with my other masks without the plaque. She does have a flat piece of cardboard on the back, though, so it would be easy to glue the head onto a piece of wood if I ever decided that I wanted to.
The books I mentioned at the end of the video: