Skills: Papier-mâché

I was commissioned to make a smaller papier-mâché piece, after someone had seen the Seahorse, although working on a much smaller scale posed a different set of challenges.

Creating such small detailed figures was a very challenging process. They are made entirely from a papier-mâché pulp over a wire armature that I drilled, filed and sanded between several applications. I then applied torn newspaper strips, which were purposely selected, to form a surface of chaotic poetry over the figures. However, for contrast I left the pulp exposed on the base.

With hindsight, I don’t believe that this time consuming and frustrating process is evident upon inspection. Many artists simply cover found objects with a thin layer of strips but I took several weeks to sculpt each figure entirely from paper pulp, and used a needle to sculpt their facial features. I loved creating the word play on these figures but would be reluctant to sculpt such small scale works again.