Paper Mache Raccoon, Part 2 – the Hands and Feet

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I added hands and feet to the raccoon armature today, and strengthened the joints where they were attached to the arms and legs with heavy wire.

If you don’t have the raccoon pattern yet, just click the button below.

I had to play around a bit to get him to stand up on his own – as I mention in the video on this page, my trick to getting three-legged sculptures to balance is to make sure the three feet are in a triangle. Before I did some bending and pushing, his three on-the-ground feet were in a straight line. Fortunately, that’s always pretty easy to fix.

This raccoon was an experiment to see if we could use the blue shop towels with a paste made with corn starch. It worked, but I much prefer the joint compound and glue paste with this kind of paper. That said, this is now one of my favorite sculptures, and the pattern has been downloaded by many of my readers for their own raccoon sculptures.

In the next session I’ll add the padding to the armature to get him ready for the paper mache. I know I’ll use aluminum foil padding for the toes and fingers, but I haven’t decided yet what I’ll use for the body and face.

Once the padding is on this guy, I’ll be able to tell if the armature was designed correctly. He looks really silly right now, but if all goes well he should turn out rather nice. I intend to play around with the final finish, but I haven’t entirely decided how I’ll do that, either. This is one sculpture that I’m really making up one step at a time.

2 thoughts on “Paper Mache Raccoon, Part 2 – the Hands and Feet”

  1. This an amazing process that you have come up with. Believe it that I have never tried it as I have only done pattern pieces in cardboard and cut them out. That’s as far as I ever got. But maybe this racoon will be my first attempt – I love your cat sculpt but that seemed too complex for me to try – again just got the pieces cut out. Anyway – have I told you that I think your one amazing artist! Yeah creativity.

    Oh – your cat is simply adorable.

    • I hope you do make one – I’d love to see how it comes out. Use the gesso/paste recipe, though, if you use the blue shop towels, rather than the corn starch paste. It was fun to experiment with the new paste recipe, but I still like the old one better. (it’s just pre-mixed drywall joint compound, Elmer’s Glue-All, and a bit of water, if needed to thin the mixture. No real recipe is needed).


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