Steve Sack’s Paper Mache “Cartoonival” at the Inez Greenberg Gallery

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Steve Sack's Paper Mache SculptureOur old friend Steve Sack will be showing his wonderfully humorous paper mache sculptures from June 5 to July 10, 2015 at the Inez Greenberg Gallery in Bloomington, Minnesota. In a recent email to me, Steve said that he’s moved on to other art forms, so this will be his first – and last – paper mache gallery show.

According to the gallery website:

Cartoonival will showcase a cornucopia of his rarely seen non-political, lighthearted, oddball characters—in sculptural form. Mermaids with an attitude, tattooed muscle men, mischievous cats, and good-natured aliens will come off the page and off the wall in non-traditional mediums including paper mache, wire, and even seed art! A not-to-be-missed Steve Sack extravaganza!

A few years ago, Steve generously took time away from his real job as a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist to show us how he made one of his sculptures (the two “bikers” shown above). You can see his creative process here.

Check out a few more of the paper mache sculptures Steve made back in 2010.

Steve Sack's Paper Mache Fish
Steve Sack’s Paper Mache Fish

So if you live anywhere near Minneapolis, be sure to get yourself to the Bloomington Theater and Art Center while Steve’s paper mache sculptures are on display. You can read more about his show here.

10 thoughts on “Steve Sack’s Paper Mache “Cartoonival” at the Inez Greenberg Gallery”

  1. I have many questions because I can learn something best through knowing the answer to many questions: They are based on this youtube video I watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkBXOsdk3Fk

    I have a question about it: If I want to do a lot of sculpting on top of my mask while it is still sitting on my clay, what type of material do i use. For example plaster strips for changing the way the eyebrows look? Or plaster for changing the way the eyebrows look?

    Also what is the purpose of making the paper mache mask on clay? Like why not make a mold of my face like in this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNmk45YhuSg
    And after making it, put plaster cloth on it to make facial features?

    Lastly, once I have made my plaster mask (let’s say its sitting on its plaster mold at this time), how do I smooth it out eneough to paint on it? Like what could I paint on it to smooth out the rough bits, or do you think it is smooth eneugh to paint on? If I want to adhear some cloth to my mask like a patterned piece of a tablecloth I want to stick on, what is the best past to stick it on with?

    I am sorry for all the questions but I have a learning disability so I learn differently.
    Thank you so much,


    • Hi Marianna. There are hundreds of different ways to make a mask. The video shows one way, but you should use whatever method you think would be best for you. You can also add features using plaster cloth, or plaster, or aluminum foil covered with paper mache clay, or even a resin clay like Apoxie Sculpt.

      You can use the home-made gesso recipe to smooth the texture of your mask. Dan Reeder uses a final layer of fabric over his paper mache, and he does it by dipping the fabric in a mixture of white glue and water.

  2. Thank you Jonni for letting us know about Steve Sacks exhibit. I really enjoyed seeing his whimsical characters up close. The way he paints them is amazing too. I’m just sorry I missed hearing him speak and meeting him.

  3. This is a model of a conductor friend of mine which I made to mark the 40th anniversary of the orchestra she directs in Spain. I’ve called it ‘La Maestra’. Hope you like her!

    • Hi Debbie. I think you tried to add some photos of your work, but they didn’t come through the system. Please make sure it’s small enough (250K max) and try again. We’d love to see them.


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