Paper Mache Bunny Ballerina is Bronzed


Bronzed Bunny Ballerina – kind of trips over your tongue, doesn’t it? This final step was the easiest one – just paint on the bronze coating, spritz with the patina stuff, let it dry, and spray clear coat over it.

The bunny got done just as my house project did – just a few more tiny details and the house will be put back together again. When I bought the place, I really only intended to change one little thing – the upstairs hallway had a drop ceiling that was way too low. Easy to fix, right? Now, many weeks (and dollars) later, I have new floors downstairs, new trim around the doors, the fake wood paneling is gone – and so is that drop ceiling. Whew! Am I the only one who starts “little” projects like that, and can’t figure out where to quit?

But enough about my silly house. Go watch the video to see how the bunny turned out.:)

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65 thoughts on “Paper Mache Bunny Ballerina is Bronzed

  1. Jonni, this little ballerina is just adorable! I am totally inspired, but I’m afraid I lack your incredible giftedness as a sculptor. Thank you very, very much for sharing so much with all of us, and for answering questions so promptly. More, pretty please!!

  2. Wow, fabulous! I love the Ballerina Bunny and just everything you do. Thank you so much for hosting this site. I look forward to buying your books, when my limited adjunct professor salary improves!

    I have a question for you. I made a crawling mummy, Amazon woman is more like it, for an art course. She doesn’t have bending joints and was all in one piece, making storage a nightmare. I recently took her apart at the joints, but I want to be able to reassemble her for display. Have you ever made dowel rod slip joints? I guess that is what they would be called. I need something very sturdy. She is simple paper mache, made from paper-towel-roll-bones and newspaper. I did use Elmer’s Glue-All instead of normal paper mache paste with flour. She is very tough, but not rigid.

    She is my favorite piece of sculpture and only one of three paper mache pieces I’ve made. I really want to be able to display her, especially when guests come. She scares the bejeezus out of grown men! I love the reaction she inspires. I’ve attached a photo of her in one piece, but now she lies resting in a heap of limbs, torso, and head. Help!

    • Hi Sharon. Your photo didn’t come through – it probably needs to be edited to make it a smaller size. Please try again – I’d love to see that scary lady!

      I’ve never made dowel slip joints, but it’s an interesting idea. Designing them so they would lock in place, but only temporarily would be the primary challenge. It might be possible to fill the empty space in the shoulder and arm with rounds of plywood, drill holes for the dowel, and glue the dowel into the shoulder. The dowel would then slip into the hole in the upper arm – but what would keep the arm from falling off the dowel, just from the force of gravity?

      You might want to pose this question over on our Daily Sculptors page. There are a lot of people who subscribe to the comments on that post, and one of them might have an idea that would actually work (as opposed to mine, which probably won’t). Good luck with it!

  3. Jonni,

    Your bunny is wonderful! You’ve inspired me to try my hand at paper mache. I absolutely love your clay recipe, it’s amazing to work with! My first attempt was the ballerina bunny, which has turned out quite nice, to my surprise. I have to paint it and it will be completed. He’s rather tall, around 22” and has glass eyes. I decided to not add the tutu or slippers, because my bunny came out looking like a grumpy male.

    I’m now working on a Pikachu (Pokemon), a Sponge Bob character, and now my latest project, a faux fireplace. I will be sure to post pictures as each project is completed.

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us, as I now have an amazing new hobby.

    Sincerely,
    Kendra

  4. Thank you very much for using my suggestion, I just love it.
    This will be my next project I just hope it turns out as beautiful as yours is!
    And thank you so much for sharing your great knowledge!
    Take care. I will be looking forward to all of your next project .
    Francine

  5. Wow this bunny (and you other works) is so beautiful, you are very talented and creative… so very inspirering to watch, it makes me want to give paper mache a try :))
    I am so happy to have come across this page… thank you for sharing, can´t wait to see future works 🙂

    Kind Regards
    Rie
    Copenhagen

  6. Greetings I sent this to Jonni and she suggested I post this :
    I am wondering if I could ask your advise on the project I am working on ?
    This is a commission for two 14 foot tall giraffes .
    My question is if you have any thoughts on how weight them so they stand firm.
    I’m trying to achieve this without attaching the feet to a base.
    This is a private comission for a public building .
    I’ve attached a photo -of the giraffe in his raw state
    All suggestions would be helpful

    • Hi Wendy,

      I am new to this group having just found Jonni’s wonderful work online. I have made a 7-foot tall giraffe before so I may have some suggestions. With mine not being terribly tall I did not have too many issues with stability, but I did add some small rocks to the feet while making it just to add some weight. You could go with something even heavier, such as the lead weights that you can buy at many gun stores that sell reloading supplies, for even more “bottom” weight. Hope that helps… Moni

      • Wendy,

        I haven’t done anything to this scale but on my smaller projects I have used lead fishing weights in the legs and feet. When the object couldn’t use the round weights I used flat galvanized washers from the hardware store in the bottom.

        Good luck…. Joy

  7. Your bunny looks amazing!! I have just recently found you on you tube. Your work is incredible. I have to add my voice to the many who have thanked you for your generosity in sharing your craft. I have always had an interest in paper mache but have never attempted it. You have inspired me to give it a try. When I finally get a round to it I will share it. I also have to say that your videos are so well done. The instructions are clear and complete. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in your next video and your next book, too! You have another fan!

  8. Hi, Rachelle again. The glazing of matte varnish and a little paint worked beautifully on top of the gessoed figure of Moses I sent yesterday. I mistakenly used burnt sienna instead of umber so it has a rusty tint, but I like it anyway. It was a good suggestion to try it out on the bottom. I did and realized I had too much paint in the glaze. So I made an adjustment. Here is a photo of the birds I finished today. They were more clunky then I wanted, not delicate like yours. Oh well, can’t win them all. Thanks for your valuable help.

  9. I love your bunny. As always I am very impressed with your work. I have been trying to figure out how to make a flying eagle for my sons’ eagle scout ceremony. Do you have any advice on how to make feathers?

    • I think I have two posts that mention feathers. The first one is of one of the very first projects I made with the paper mache clay recipe. The hen has feathers that stick out quite a ways, but were still quite strong. (I really should have kept that one and repainted it – I loved the kittens peaking out under her wings, but hated the shiny black. Sigh…) Now that I’ve had much more experience with the pm clay, I would go back over each feather and add the lines for the barbs and shaft, which would make them much more realistic.

      And the other one is the snowy owl, which has feather texture on her body and wings.

      I hope this helps.

  10. Joni,
    I just love your work. But, now you have gone and done it, you have made me want to pick up paper mâché again. This stuff is so addictive! I can totally see a Siamese cat snooty ballerina to go along with a bunny ballerina in my future…Thanks, Moni

  11. Love the bunny. It inspired me to start a little girl ice skater for my granddaughter. I have completed my first piece. I call him Moses. My problem is while I like him white, he is too bright white from the gesso. Can I glaze him with the glaze and a little burnt sienna and wipe off like you did with your chicken in your book or do I have to paint him first?

    • You might want to test it on the bottom first, just to make sure that you can wipe off as much as you want to. The gesso might be too absorbent. If it is, just seal it with acrylic paint or varnish, and then glaze. But do test, because it might work just fine as it is. (It looks really nice – but I can see how a bit of shading would really bring out the lively posture and folds in the fabric.)

  12. Hi Jonni, Love the bunny, she looks great,. I have been doing some research for coating polystrene sculputers, and come across Styrospray, I wonder if anyone has used it, says it gives a waterproof plastic coating, and can be used on paper mache. Not sure if I can get it here in Australia, but just wondering if anyone had tried it on papermache.

    • Hi Chris. I haven’t tried the Styrospray, but if it has a UV filter to keep it from cracking in the sun, it will probably work well. If you do try it, please let us know how it turns out.

  13. Hi Jonni, I have been thinking about making some videos myself and I am wondering, what camera do you use for your videos? I have always been impressed by the quality of videos that you produce.

    • Hi Christine. I’m using the video function on my Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS. I actually bought it to take still photos for my books, and only found out that it takes videos, too after I had it for a while. (I forgot to read the manual, naturally…) It seems to work OK, although a camera that allows a separate mic would make nicer audio. That’s the next thing on my wish list. Sigh.

  14. Hi Jonni

    Your bunny is wonderful! Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge. You really are an inspiration. Only problem now is that previously I have tried to make my paper mache sculptures look like they have been carved out of wood (I am a wanna be wood sculptor) but now seeing your inspirational bunny I cannot decide which route to go. Presently am trying to make a Herero woman from Namibia.

    Thanks again.
    Joy

    • Hi Joy. I like the idea of making paper mache to look like wood carvings. Do you have a photo of one of your pieces that you could share with us?

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