Friday, February 24, 2012

Paper Mache Class

If anyone's been interested in learning to do paper mache but really didn't know how or where to start, PM artist Jonni Good of Ultimate Paper Mache will be offering a free online class on her website of the same name,

Jonni's website has recently become one of my favorite places to hang out, primarily because she's constantly active making new projects all the time and posting tutorials on how she does them.

As anyone who's read my blog or seen my vlog knows, paper mache (and Monster Mud) is one of my favorite mediums to work in. Paper mache will typically form the base of whatever project it is I'm working on, even if it ends up not being the main one at the end.

I'm also always looking for new techniques and methods to use and recently hit on Jonni's paper clay recipe. That is now a new fave of mine too. While it's similar to some other paper clays I've seen on the Internet (it's a toilet paper based clay), she's added her own not-so-secret sauce to the mix and has created a very smooth clay that's very easy to work with.

That's important to know because it will also serve as the foundation of the online instruction she'll be leading.

We'll be building a cat as our project, and while I wasn't initially enthused about the subject (I'm noit much of a cat person), there is a certain connection between cats (black ones, anyway) and Halloween. So I'm pretty sure I'll have an arched-back cat as my inspiration for the class.

If anyone would like to join in, it's only necessary to keep an eye on Jonni's site for the classes as they're posted. No need for registration. No sign up. No cost.

I'll also plug her two books (I think she's published at least three) that have to do with paper mache: Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay and How to Make Masks!

I purchased the first one as a Kindle edition and plan on buying the second soon as well. The Animal Sculptures book provides clear instructions and pictures for each step of the process and while the book is geared towards making animal sculptures (hence the book's name) it's easily extrapolated to any paper mache project. I'm currently using it to sculpt a prop head that I'll be using in my yard this year (I think he'll be The Cellarer, the monastery's commissary, who'll be carrying a monster-in-a-box prop) as well as using the paper clay to sculpt a large (3-foot) snake or dragon head.

I've already used the clay to make a skeleton's hand and lower arm for my Grave Escape prop (well, the radius and ulna are drying in the over right now).

The techniques and tools Jonni teaches are really useful for haunters and I recommend that anyone that wants to learn how to do paper mache as well as how to make their own paper clay (it's cheap and easy!) should head over to Ultimate Paper Mache right away. I hope to see you there!

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Lesson Plans & Videos:


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