Oh the fun you can have with Paper Mache

Here in Northampton, Ma there is a sweet little women’s boutique called Ode owned by a unique, and smart, savvy store owner, Kristin Kelly.  Ode isn’t just a place to shop, it’s an earthy ethereal experience of finely picked items and clothing for an inspired woman.  Every first Friday of the month, the store hosts special events, from holiday parties and live musical performances to special events featuring unique and fantastic jewelry and clothing designers.  This Friday January 10th there will be many out to escape the cold and hang with friends at Ode.  Some of these friends will be feathered.

Julie Anne Collier and her partner, Jim Parks, started Wingmasters to rehabilitate injured birds of prey. They also travel throughout New England giving educational presentations using live birds. This friday, Julie will be introducing some of those winged creatures to us.

Kristin asked me to make a window display for this months special event. I was thrilled to partake. I have a week to execute some kind of idea and install the art.  I sat for hours over the weekend sketching ideas and starting things.  It took many hours to figure it out, but I finally decided I had to make owl sculptures.

So I got to it Saturday.  I started a first try of awkward clay molding that were way to heavy and fell apart because I wanted these creatures to be large so they stood out to the foot traffic of Northampton.  So the first large owlets weren’t so successful.  Then I did some research on paper mache and I found Jonnie Good and her site Ultimate Paper Mache.

I read the testimonials and watched the videos, did little sketches, ran around town picking up ingredients and got to work.  Three days later I have the beginnings of my first two paper mache creatures.  I’ve bee really having fun with the process of making these sculptures and excited to realize I can make gigantic fantastical creatures with old newspaper, masking tape, and this paper mache recipe by Jonnie Good.  There is still a lot to go with making a face and designing a little set for these creatures to be settled in.  I’m thinking something with simple painted paper fans just to add color and not have to over work the owlets due to the fact that they’re to be done by Thursday.  I’m pretty excited that these are coming together in the 3 days I’ve been working on them.  Once I get a few major projects done these next few months, I think it would be fun to make a few more animals that get to have more color and detail.


Here’s the work in progress.  I’ll never be bored again!



About scoutcuomo

Charcoal dust and eraser shavings, oil bars and sketch books, wood, gold pray paint, resin, overly soft blankets, and turpentine, feathers and coffee grinds.

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