Paper Mache filler/bulk

In a post from Mar 2, I started working with paper mache to bulk out sculpts.

Here are the results in short

Preparation

  • Presoak your paper
  • Don’t use anything glossy, or the outside advertising on cardboard boxes
  • White paper still comes out a little gray
  • Egg crates (not the styrofoam kind) just need to be wetted
  • It doesn’t take a lot of paper/cardboard/etc to make a bag of paper mache

Grinding

  • The more you pulp up the paper the better the final product
  • Your pulp should be the consistancy of a thick mcdonalds milkshake
  • If your blender is having trouble grinding, add more water
  • Don’t overfill your blender/processor with water/paper
  • You dont really need a separate machine besides your food blender/processor, but keep in mind, it will eventually dull your blade

Straining

  • Use some sort of mesh over a pasta strainer to catch the pulp
  • Lift the mesh/cheesecloth/screen and gently squeeze the water out
  • Leave it pretty mushy, but so that it can hold its own shape

Bag Work

  • Adding white glue will add strength to your final form.
  • Put the pulp into a ziplock, and when it is almost full, add a couple of tablespoons of white glue. (for a medium sized bag)
  • Leave it for a couple of days in the bag before making your forms so the glue can get everywhere.  Knead the glue into the paper as well (inside the bag)
  • Make sure the bag has no air in it

Forming

  • If you squeeze a lot of water out you will leave finger prints, and holds in the form
  • Squeezing out less water takes longer to dry, but makes a smoother outer shape
  • You can bake the forms to speed up the drying process (I wouldn’t go higher than 250-300)

Storage

  • You have about 1 week to keep this in a bag before it smells weird.
  • The dried forms can be kept forever, sanded and sculpted after dried

Experiements for the future

  • Vegetable starch?
  • White paper vs brown

2 comments

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