Painting the Paper Cement Clay Toad

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The new toad, and the leaf he’s sitting on, are now painted and ready to go outside.

We received a ton of votes about what to call the new recipe, and “paper cement clay” was a clear winner. People said they liked that name because it says exactly what it is, so that’s what I’ll be calling it from now on.

But remember – it’s still experimental until we’ve had a chance to see how well it holds up through both summer and winter weather. However, I have made several updates on the toad, after two weeks in the rain, four months of summer sun, and then seven months, including a Minnesota winter.

Links mentioned in the video (let me know if I forgot anything):

If you like the masks and wall sculptures behind me in the video, you can see patterns for them, and more, here

Remember – if you do any experiments with this new paper cement clay recipe and put your sculptures outside, please let us know how well your sculptures hold up in the weather.

You can also show them off on the Daily Sculptors page. In fact, go ahead and visit that page, even if you don’t have anything to share yet, and check out the lovely projects that other people have shared lately. 🙂

Painting the toad…

As you saw in the video, I didn’t buy any extra paint for the toad, or try to make him look like any particular species of toad.

I did want to make him look like the little guy who lives by my back door, but he moves too fast so I can’t take a picture of him. I did look for photos of a toad that looks just like him, but I couldn’t find any.

So I just made up the marking and colors. Buy hey – that works. 🙂

Remember – check back next April or May to find out how he holds up during a Minnesota winter.

11 thoughts on “Painting the Paper Cement Clay Toad”

  1. Hello Jonnie,

    I’m really happy that you keep on trying for a waterproof paper mâche clay. I just saw your post about it recently, as well as the update, and bought some cement to try it as well. I also did a test with some concrete that I had but it didn’t go as well. So far I put both in water over night and the cement paper clay didn’t but the concrete did. I’m now at the stage of painting it and I wonder if you put a layer of gesso before painting your toad of leaf, I did look again at your video. You don’t seem to mention it but I wasn’t sure when I see the Color of the paper cement before painting. I could then put it outside soon to catch a northern climate as we are still in quite much snow in the Laurentiens in Quebec. Have a good day!

  2. I love gardening and am delighted at the little toads I find there. Yours is so happy a companion to have while weeding and picking beans! What a great job with his coloring and capturing an expression!
    Last fall I was building a new garden and discovered I was pregnant so garden building stopped. Planting in the space I did have this spring was halted when I was put on bed rest, so we harvested garlic, onions and potatoes this year and I gave my starts to my mom as the hubby was busy planting his fields. That’s why I didn’t make a larger garden. Maybe next year!
    Yay for dragons!

    • Now that sounds like a good reason to put off gardening for awhile. I hope all is well with you – and maybe you can make both a garden and a dragon next year. 🙂

      • Yes! I plan on doing both for certain! All is well with everyone and we look forward to home grown green beans and cucumbers once more!

  3. Nice work on the toad, Jonni! It looks great, and I look forward the feedback on durability in the Spring.

    As to food shortages, I’m not hearing anything in my circle of friends/family. I still have a few tomato plants producing a little, but by no remote means is it a serious garden. I don’t know much about cool weather crops. I do have a Mushroom growing kit that will produce a couple of flushes of mushrooms. In summary, I’m in trouble in a shortage as far as a garden coming to my rescue!

    Lastly, I vote dragon!

  4. These are both wonderful! Just a caution . E6000 is extremely toxic. Please make sure you have great ventilation .

    As for food shortages, I have heard about that. We are in the process of moving, so my garden was actually smaller this year. But I have parents who have a farm and if things get bad, I can always hit them up for some food. ?

    • PS….
      On the food front – we may not be as hard hit as other countries. However, drought in the west, where much of the fresh produce is grown which you find in big stores, plus a labor shortage, will impact things. Gardening is great if you can do it, but it’s not easy to be successful right off the bat, and takes time and space. Second best? Search out local farmers. Particularly in the northeast, there are plenty of fresh foods (produce, meat, cheese) available from local growers. Supporting and buying from them will encourage more to be grown here where there is adequate rainfall and good soils, which will lessen the reliance on the delicate west growing areas. You can find farmers, farmers’ markets, and CSAs in your area (nationwide) on online hubs such as localharvest.org

      Taking off my fruit farmer hat and putting on my arting smock now!!

  5. As much as I would love to see a companion to your elephant meaning the rhino head. I would love to see a dragon more. Please make a dragon

  6. I love the toad and leaf and the possibilities of the paper cement clay. We don’t have extreme weather here (at least not yet) so the clay should hold up well here.
    I vote for a dragon!
    The last time I tried to put in a garden, I spent about $50 on supplies and got 2 small tomatoes. They were really tasty but I don’t think I’ll do that again!

  7. Wow Jonni! Both the leaf and toad are winners! They look just like the real thing and are a wonderful addition to any garden. I especially like the eyes on the toad. I sure hope they will withstand your Minnesota winter.


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