Monday, December 24, 2007


Whew! The Big Squid's present is finally finished, just in time for Squidmas. And here it is - a papier mache armadillo.

This was a tricky beast to construct. Its body was made of a rectangular bit of styrofoam with hoops of wire to make the shape of its back. The head was a cone of stiff paper stuffed with scrunched newspaper, and pulled in with a pair of buttons sewn on to indent the eyes. The tail is a spiral of wire stuffed with paper, and the legs are pieces of cardboard cylinder (from toilet paper rolls). Feet and ears are heavy cardboard, and the toes are made 3D with plasticene. All this was held together with masking tape before beginning the messy business of the papier mache. I did the first few layers using PVA glue and newspaper, but subsequenly found that flour-and-water paste dries harder and is easier to use - though it is quite disgusting to touch. Mysteriously, my container of hygienically boiled paste also began to ferment after a day and started to smell like old beer... but fortunately the finished product is clean and dry and smells sweetly of acrylic paint.

The armadillo is only my second papier mache beastie. The first was my bat, which I did a couple of years ago:
It's been fun playing with the acrylic paints again, and I'm hoping to spend some more time over this holiday break experimenting with acrylic, watercolour and coloured pencil to try and pin down the right media for my Hamlet backgrounds. Right now I'm thinking of very strange, otherwordly "sets", and moving away from the original, more literal scenes... but we shall see...

Well, happy holidays all - and if I don't blog before new year's eve, here's wishing you much inspiration, happiness and fulfilment for the year to come.


fabulous heretic said...


spacedlaw said...

And the same right back at you.
AHve a great holiday!
I love that bat.

Anonymous said...

this is a fantastic paper mache thans for the tip on which is better flour or glue. im an art teacher and i was looking for armadillos in paper to show my kids and yours came up. great example . our whole school is doing one armadillo for each child 300 total for an instalition in a local gallary. wish me well we have a whole lotta paper mache going on.lolol