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I finally finished the bear sculpture!

Made by Karen Schaeffer

I started this project at the end of last summer. It had been an idea since before I knew I could art. I was inspired by the movie “Midsommar,” which is not for everyone, but which got my “Art brain” working.

Building the armature and adding the layers of traditional papier-mâché went pretty smoothly. It took a month or so of struggling with the papier-mâché clay; all of the recipes online used a handheld mixer to combine the ingredients, but no matter what I did, I ended up with a globby, lumpy mess. I even asked my grandson to make it, thinking I was just missing something that his young and elastic brain would catch, but his came out the same. I tried everything, the blender, the meat grinder, a cheese grater, boiling the paper several times, you name it. I finally had success using a food processor!

While I worked that out, I also started crafting the paper flowers. After finishing that part, well, life happened. I pulled it off the shelf at the beginning of June, after I finished my big fat portrait project, determined to finish it for the Member’s Exhibit at the arts center, which starts Thursday. I put a few finishing touches on the sculpting, adding the teeth (made from polymer clay) then painted it, finished the board and mounted. Finally finished all of the flowers last night, and got them added today.

Who knew that my ADHD and procrastinating would result in finishing just in time for the Summer of the Bear?

Glad Midsommar!

Bear sculpture with flowers by Karen Schaeffer
Midsomma Bear sculpture by Karen Schaeffer

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