Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Papier-mâché birds - stage 3; some lessons

Two birds after he first stages of painting.

I have learnt the following things about modelling in papier-mâché and plaster.

1. An armature saves a lot of grief.
2. While plaster can be used to smooth surfaces it cannot be used to model them, as it is brittle and breaks off the paper mache surfaces. Plaster cannot, therefore be used for modelling details either.
3. A certain plastic glue ("Puttex") is good for smoothing surfaces. But it cannot be easily sanded, so you have to smooth it carefully before leaving it to dry.
4. The surface of papier mache is perhaps never going to be eggshell smooth.
5. Papier mache made with white pva glue and water creates a stronger form than that made with wallpaper glue. It is also smoother.
6. Papier-mâché is not good for detailed modelling. The forms made have to be quite simple.
7. The process is quite slow. Allowing drying time betweeen papier-mâché sessions, I suppose one should allow up to two weeks to make a little bird such as the one above.
8. Painting hides some blemishes, but not many.

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