Paper Mache

Vinnie is a puppet I made out of paper mache and tissues.

Vinnie

I think Paper Mache is an underrated craft.  Besides being kind of an recycling art form this style of creation engages in 3D thinking.  Also it is an inexpensive material using paper, old newspaper, and glue.  (This is a sculpture I made of cards I received over the years from the children I used to teach.)

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Paper Mache is also a good vehicle to teach art history because most if not all early cultures has used masks to tell stories and legends.

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This is a large ogre that I made.  I researched the colors I wanted and painted on top of my paper mache ogre to bring it to life.

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The classes I want to produce with Paper Mache.

1. Introduction-Art History, homework, and supply gathering.

Masks has been a part of human life even before we learned to write.  It was used in rituals to bring good fortune to hunters, to tell and teach epic stories, and even to bring strength to warriors.  Some early humans wore masks of animals to gain their powers such as owls for their wisdom or an elephant for strength.

Grab any newspaper that you find around and ask your parents and friends for any that they aren’t using.

Scotch tape and glue should be cheap.

Research your favorite animal and bring a picture that shows its face from the side and front.  Write a paragraph about why you chose this animal and what strengths you hope to gain from it.

2. Animal Mask

After the gathering of materials and references we would start by creating the armature.  This would take a few days or weeks depending on class time to build up the shape of the animal.

We would be working the shape of the animal masks up until we get the right form.  Afterwards we paint the mask (when it’s completely dry and the right shape) and we can use more material such as feathers for a bird mask if wanted.

Then we can present these babes with the paragraph we wrote and also what kind of things went through our minds when we were creating the mask.  (I want to keep the masks until the final day because they will look amazing displayed together as a series in the classroom and will serve as inspiration)

3. Animal Totem

At this point we should all be pretty familiar with the techniques of Paper Mache and we can make an animal totem.  Either the head to hang on the wall or a small figurine will do.

We would be mimicking the steps up above and this one should be a lot faster as we would be pretty good at molding the wet Paper Mache and if the students from the first project didn’t get it yet, this project will get them caught up with the technique of it.  Again, this is a catch up class and if there are students struggling we can catch them up and the ones who have become proficient can take their time and paint their animals. (These totems can be brought home after completion for the students to enjoy)

4. Monster Mask

This seems redundant, but this will be awesome especially because the students would have then gotten pretty pro at making their armatures, building up their forms, and then finishing it up with paint.  Monsters have been in early stories of humans as well.  The students can research either their own culture or a culture of their choosing and they can even create their own monster completely from imagination via sketches.  This will be good for planning and we will write a paragraph about what makes a monster.  We can discuss traits physical and mental in what we think monsters are like and we can get started.

The monster mask will be the same process except the students will get to have a lot more creative freedom as they are not following any formal forms unless they choose a traditional monster.  After we finish these masks we can have a small show and tell, discussing our monster’s negative traits and it’s a good way to teach values  within a fun project.  (I want these displayed next to the animal masks as contrast and it would be fun to tell a story of mankind’s appreciation of animals until humans devolved into monsters)  ^(Or some kind of fun ancient fable)

5. Sculpture- I was thinking we can split into small groups, pool our supplies, and make large scale animals together.  This will be good for teamwork, discussions, and it will fill the space with amazing light-weight animals.  Same as above: we will gather references and I will manage groups and the animals that they can choose.

 

Depending on time I can increase content or condense these classes.

I have a lot more to say, but thank you for your consideration of my paper mache class.

 

Ad material:

Beginning Sculpture Mask Making.  This beginning class will teach students how to create masks using paper mache medium from scratch.  The foundations of 3D art will be taught as we create our armature, build up our forms and shape the desired exterior.   We will be creating two masks (one of our favorite animal and the other a mythical monster or one from imagination) spread over 16 classes.  Early humans once found animals sacred for what amazing abilities they possessed.  Birds could soar the skies, fish could swim the depths of the sea, and elephants and other large mammals for their strength etc;  Humans became greedy wanting to possess it all and in the end became something else.  Mask making has been a long human tradition globally in all cultures and with Halloween as well as Thanksgiving coming along, it is the perfect project for any young adult to enhance technical skill as well as explore their imaginations while creating some great pieces of art in the end too.  No prior experience is necessary and each class is two hours and thirty minutes long.  Please bring printed references of your favorite animal and something to write with. (250) Full Class and two masks

 

Beginning Sculpture Mask Making.  This beginning class will teach students how to create masks using paper mache medium from scratch.  The foundations of 3D art will be taught as we create our armature, build up our forms and shape the desired exterior.   We will be creating two masks (one of our favorite animal and the other a mythical monster or one from imagination) spread over 8 classes.  Early humans once found animals sacred for what amazing abilities they possessed.  Birds could soar the skies, fish could swim the depths of the sea, and elephants and other large mammals for their strength etc;  Humans became greedy, wanting to possess it all and in the end became something else.  Mask making has been a long human tradition globally in all cultures and with Halloween as well as Thanksgiving coming along, it is the perfect project for any young adult to enhance technical skill as well as explore their imaginations while creating some great pieces of art in the end too.  No prior experience is necessary and each class is two hours and thirty minutes long.  Please bring printed references of your favorite animal and something to write with. (150) Half Class 8 days