Submitted by Sharon Damisch
This project involves using home insulation foam sheeting (2″ thick) and Jonni’s latest brown paper and wood glue paper mache technique. I am making some theatre props for SHREK the musical and needed them to be as light as possible as well as strong enough to survive an accidental bump or drop. The sun and the moon will be attached to opposite ends of a pole so the puppeteer can rotate the sun setting and the moon then rising. It’s part of a musical number where these puppets appear above the actors’ heads during a production number. After I finish applying paper mache to the moon and then paint them, I will then use the same technique for a giraffe head and a herd of gazelles (more on those later!).
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
When the Titebond III wood glue cures (approx 24hrs), it is VERY strong without adding any extra weight to the object. Yes! That’s a win in my book!
Believe me, after twelve years of working as a set decorator for high school musicals, I know accidents can happen when nerves and adrenaline run high, so I am trying my best to protect these items from damage. Who knows, they might be useful to another school doing this show (why reinvent the wheel, am I right?).
It took me much longer to paper mache the rays due to their curves and points. I needed to use smaller strips of paper to avoid buckling and keep it smooth against the foam shape. So, it is not as fast a process as Jonni’s paper mache clay which I have used numerous times in theatre. Side note: I am NOT looking forward to all those nooks and crannies in the moon’s surface but, the show must go on!
I like using the brown paper found in amazon delivery boxes. It is not as heavy as a brown paper grocery bag, but still can stand up to the wood glue without falling apart. So, save that brown paper before you recycle the cardboard box.
I love how fast it dries. When doing theatre, nothing is as frustrating as waiting for paint to dry, so to speak!
Alrighty, that’s it for now. Stay tuned for the finished objects and thanks, Jonni, for your awesome tutelage!