Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Paper mache tree and colorful paper bowls

Paper Circle offers paid/unpaid internship program that lets interns use the studio equipment, and showcase and sell their work. Currently Susie Thompson is the Paper Circle “artist in residence.”

Susie explained me the process for creating paper mache tree that sits in the studio.

Paper mache tree created by Susie

The process: (as told by Susie Thompson)

# The structure inside the tree was made from foam core and cardboard.

# Susie cut out 2, two dimensional tree shapes; and interlaced them.

#Then she wrapped it in window screen.

# Like “frosting a cake”(I liked the analogy) , she slapped paper mache on it.

# She used real branches for the ends.

# Originally she used paper made of banana peels and abaca..but didn’t like the result.

# So then she started covering it with pigmented dark brown Japanese tissue paper.

# She moved her fingers through the bark to give it the bumpy, uneven look.

She also mentioned that paper mache is really versatile can also be used to make masks etc. Susie said the tree is the first sculpture she made and now wants to make “the whole forest.”

Colorful paper bowls

I saw those colorful paper bowls in the studio and asked Susie the procedure.

Bowls made by Paper Circle artists.

The process:

# Susie said the bowls are made of recycled paper.They ripped the paper apart and turned into pulp.

# Pigments were used to get different colored pulps. They used the fabric dye called RIT.

(Susie recommends applying thin coat of vaseline on the insides of plastic bowls.)

# The next step was to drain water from the pulp and to press the pulp on the insides of the bowls.

(Pressing with sponge helps to get rid of excess water and hardens the layer.Thickness of the bowl can be adjusted through the quantity of pulp used and how hard it is pressed.)

# Different colored pulps were used to create patterns.

# The paper bowls need to dry in the plastic bowl: either in the Sun or could be set in front of a fan.

Susie said it takes about a week for the bowls to dry. Then the paper bowls start popping out of the plastic bowls. Even after taking out from the plastic bowls, the paper bowls may still need to be dried for some time.

# She spreaded glue to make a protective coat.

Susie said the bowls should not be used for eating but are great for decoration. She uses the bowls to organize her desk.

No comments:

Post a Comment