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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Paper mâché binderless pulp head and neck for hand puppet experiment.

Paper mâché pulp without tearing, binder, or glue - experiment.

I had made this critter below years ago using this described method - at least I think I had. I used white paper and added tempera powder for coloring. That has also faded some when it sits in sunlight. I wish I'd written this down years ago. I was always so proud of having a method I'd never seen written about by anyone. It was much easier than having to tear or cut up paper or use a blender - all methods I have used. Something about the sheets of paper being whole when they go into a hot water bath lets them break down fast.

So I did try a test a day or so after this seeing a post on a paper mâché artist technique for basic pulp. My test is still drying. What I'd discovered, way back when, is that you don't need to tear the paper down at all. If you get a vessel with hot water you can put large pieces of newspaper crumpling them a bit as you get them into the bath. From there you break it down with your hands or a stick. It takes only 5-10 minutes to break it down to a slurry. Then you pour off the water as much as you can. And scoop out the pulp. It will be almost completely broken down.

I did not knead mine. No binder or sizing. I squeezed and shaped into a ball like shape with a cork around which I put pulp as well. This formed a head and neck of sorts. I squeezed out as much water as possible.

My test is really to see how hard and well it binds just by this paper felting process. The next day, I think it was, that I cut away a bit from the neck so I could pull out the cork. I did not want the paper getting too tight around the cork. I pulled the cork out then. Squeezed the neck thinner and wider to get a bigger hollow neck. The assumption being that this could be the head for a hand puppet - (or who knows what). It has been slowly slowly drying. Still damp on the inside. It is not smooth, but that can be done in further steps still, or maybe in the beginning.
No pics from the very start... Sore thumb pic is from today.
c. 1995?


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