Mounted Fish

Made by David Nelson

I always wanted a mounted fish to decorate my apartment so I decided to skip the fishing trip and just make one. The fish is based off of a black sea bass but I took some liberty with the paint job. I used a mix of traditional paper mache and paper mache clay for the fish and plaque. The plaque was made by gluing a few pieces of cut cardboard together and coating with paper mache clay. I painted with acrylics and sealed with 3 coats of liquitex gloss varnish.

Lessons learned for next time:

1) make the fins first and attach them later (maybe use a technique like Jonni’s feather video) If I had worked on them off of the armature I could have made them smoother and eliminated distracting creases and clumps.

2) an old cardboard cat scratcher made for a great temporary base as I worked on the sculpture. I kept the mounting armature wire sticking out of the the back of the fish and it really helped with manipulating the sculpture when some parts of it were still drying.

3) next time use a real smooth dome for the eye rather than a wadded up gluey piece of TP – the eyes look fine but could be better.

Paper mache fish sculpture in progress
Armature for fish sculpture

7 thoughts on “Mounted Fish”

  1. That’s a very impressive trophy! I love the pictures showing how you made it and the lessons learned. Good job and thank you!

    • Thank you! I had a lot of fun making it. Now I’m working on a quetzal – we’ll see how that turns out.

  2. Wow – David, I love that sculpture! The colors, the shapes, even the way you mounted it – it’s all perfect. Thank you so much for showing it to us, and telling us how it was made. 🙂


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