Paper Mache Pottery

Made by Jon Keller

I wanted to try making a pottery piece using paper mache ………strictly for decoration , totally non-functional .

The first step was to wrap a balloon with twine that had been saturated with white glue.

Once dry , the next thing I did was to apply paper mache onto the twine.

To make the paper mache I used those cup holders ( the kind that hold 4 cups ) that you can get at most fast food restaurants , and egg cartons ( paper mache ones of course ). I save things like that as part of my crazy art life. You can tear them into small pieces , soak them in water , and they will turn back into paper mache . I do add some extra white glue to the mix.

I applied the paper mache using a butter spreader ( perhaps my favorite , and most useful tool for the types of projects that I do ). The paper mache was applied in small sections . I would do one section , let it dry overnight , and then continue . The reason I did one section at a time is because moisture of the paper mache can spread into the hardened twine and which makes it soft again , which compromises the shape. If you do a little at a time this is not a problem.

When all of the paper mache was fully dry I cut away the top part of the wrapped-in-twine balloon to make the opening of the vase.

I did some sanding and tweaking , and then , using acrylic paint , gave it a southwestern type of semi-primitive paint job.

The paint job , by far , was the most difficult part of this project.

Base for paper mache vase.

paper mache vase before painting

5 thoughts on “Paper Mache Pottery”

  1. Love this! Love the techniques and really appreciate your sharing the process and tips. Painting is agony for me sometimes, some projects have to be set aside until I’m ready. ??

    • I find that painting a project can be very risky business.

      While a good paint job can improve a project , a weak paint job can take away from a project. I have painted things and ended up wishing that I didn’t.
      My general rule is to let planning , experience and confidence guide me .
      If I paint something and I don’t like the result , then I consider it a lesson . And when I paint something and it enhances it , then I consider it a reward .


Leave a Comment