Papier- mâché is an ancient art that has not lost its popularity. If you try this type of creative activity, you’ll find a source of inspiration for new masterpieces!
Papier-mâché (or paper mache) is a simple technique for making voluminous objects using paper and paste. Even with the advent of various plastic masses, papier-mâché does not lose its popularity, remaining indispensable for some types of creativity (for example, making masks).
The papier-mâché technique has been tested by time because its history goes back several thousand years! The ancient Egyptians made death masks using layers of papyrus interlaced with an adhesive substance. In Persia, decorative items, including chests and cups, were made from multi-layer paper. Often, thin metal plates were applied over the paper layer.
The durability of papier-mâché items, with a large number of layers, was noticed in ancient China. Repeated coating with natural varnishes added more strength to the material. In addition, in Japan and China, ceremonial masks, decorative elements for a military costume, home decor items and even buttons were made of this material.
From the 17th century, papier-mâché became actively used in France, and then in England, in the puppet business - this technique helped to perfectly reproduce the subtle features of puppet faces. Unlike porcelain, the finished papier-mâché product was not fragile, and it was also much lighter than wood.
In the 18th century, papier-mâché became an inexpensive alternative to architectural stucco and carved wood, and later this technique was used for the manufacturing of furniture and church utensils.
To date, papier-mâché is widely used in filmmaking and theater for the production of props (models of various things: weapons, dishes, jewelry, interior items or architectural structures), elements of makeup (noses, chins), stage costume parts (headgears, masks).
As already noted, papier-mâché is a very economical form of creativity. The main need for papier-mâché is paper and glue (PVA, gelatin or starch paste). There are two fundamentally different versions of this technique:
- pieces of paper layers are glued to the finished form;
- paper and glue are used to prepare an elastic mass from which the object is formed.
It is about the second version of creating with paper mache that Jonni Good talks in her video. However, she improved this method and introduced a completely new approach to it. Jonni Good is an author and creative artist. She's the host of the popular sculpting website UltimatePaperMache, where she shares her innovative methods, ideas, and recipes with a worldwide audience. Her goal is to make sculpting so easy that everyone can have fun doing it.
She was quite disappointed with traditional paper strips and paste in paper mache practice. Jonni wanted to sculpt and that is why she created her original recipe for paper mache clay. It is affordable, simple and it helps you create beautiful sculptures together with your kids! Have fun and be creative!
If you are interested, you can watch the video on Youtube, or visit Ultimate Paper Mache for a written recipe and instructions! To know more about Jonni and her books, visit her Amazon page.
“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” Edward de Bono