Thursday, September 13

Papier-mache Halloween Folk Art

  Learn to make this type of figure...
I love primitive folk art around the holidays, especially halloween. Here is a great little tutorial I came across a few years back and felt like sharing. I have added many personal notes to the article from my own experiences. This folk art is by Lori Michell (LaDeeDah Folk Art) and the full article is from Country Living.

Assembling the Materials

Lori starts the process with pieces of precut wood (looks like a large wooden dowel from the hardware store) that she connects to fashion the torso and head. Alternativeley you can use a rollerup piece of cardboard wraped with masking tape (a toilet paper roll). She drills holes and snakes wires through to make the arms and legs. For the head you can use a syrofoam ball or a balled up piece of newspaper wrapped in tape. I use 20 gauge wire from the dollar store for the arms and legs. You can wrap it twice for the legs. 

Building the Body

Using no glue or other chemicals, she wraps layers of crinkled newspaper around the body and limbs. I read another article that said to use 'paper tape' to cover the wire, but I have not been able to find any locally. Instead I wrap thin strips of torn paper around the arms and legs, one side covered in white craft glue. I smooth it with my fingures. Very messy and sticky but effective and cheap.

The goal is to fatten up the body with crinkled paper, so you don't waiste any expensive clay. She fashions the head and its expressive features from sculpting clay. (I highly recomend 'Creative Paper Clay' available at some Michael's Craft Stores and online at Ebay and Dick Blick). She also coveres the body in paper clay and forms the basic body shape.

Creating Personality

After wrapping the body with a sturdy adhesive paper to form clothing. In this example it's the pants. (some white glue and torn white paper or even tissue paper to form lots of creases), Lori paints it with a vibrant palette of acrylic paint, sculpts the face with a fine-ground clay (more creative paper clay), and glues on the outfit (fabric collar). Glue fabric with white glue, hot glue gun, modge podge, goop or E6000). Adding extra pieces like a hat is best helped to stay on if you join the two pieces with a piece of tooth pick (this woks like a dowel) for added hold. Hint: For very fine lines like hair and teeth use a fine permanent felt-tip marker instead of a paintbrush and paint.