Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Dogs of Papier Mache

    The photo is of a whippet sculpture, made by my friend and frequent commentator on this blog, Madwippit, aka author Karen Bush.  (Not only an author, but an expert horsewoman and riding teacher, a dog-trainer, and now we see, also a pretty nifty sculptress.)
         Karen says:
Karen Bush
Here's a picture of a papier mache greyhound I made of Maxi for her owner, who won it in a charity auction.
           Karen sent me the photo because of my post last week, about my persistent brain-worm that pestered me to make a Green Man mask.  I woke up with the idea in my head of making one out of papier-mache – I suppose simply because we used to make paper-mache things when we were kids.  I seem to remember the older of my brothers setting out to make a brontosaurus (he was mad about dinosaurs).  The thing ended up looking more like a cat, so he painted it black and called it 'Tiddles.'
          Karen has knowledgeable tips about papier-mache (as well as horse-riding on a budget, and planting dog-friendly gardens.)  She says:

          It's fun - have a go. It's also cheap - newspaper torn (not cut) into strips is perfect (tissue paper is good for the finishing layers) - wallpaper paste is easy to use and keeps for weeks and weeks - make up a small batch and keep it in a tupperware type container with a lid. If you want to sculpt more you can make your own papier mache pulp but it's a bit of a faff and much easier to buy it in dried form which you add water to - use an electric hand mixer to whizz it and add some PVA glue to make it a little more plastic and stop it from drying too quickly. The pulp sets like rock when it's dry. I prefer using just newspaper, but pulp is handy for detail like toes or the coats of shaggy dogs.
          Look forward to seeing your Green (Wo)Man! 
                   Karen :-)
          This is quite encouraging.  I can feel the call of papier-mache pulp and PVA.  But I must resist!  I have the Sterkarm book to finish; I have an outline to work up for my agent (which I haven’t even starting thinking about, but which I have Davy researching.  That is, he's reading a book he wanted to read anyway, and reporting back to me on it.)  And next week it’s the Scattered Authors' Society's four-day conference, and I haven’t even started to begin to think about organising myself for it…

         But just look at that lovely whippet.  Could I make something as good as that?  Could I?

         If you want to see more whippets, have a look at Karen's blog here. 

         And if you're interested in ghostly Black Dogs, you might like my contribution to Lucy Coats' Fantabulous Fridays blog here.

         And a review of mine is up on the Awfully Big Blog Adventure's review wing here.


madwippitt said...

Noooo! Norty! Not an expert anything, and it's a greyhound rather than a wippitt - slightly different shape (sorry, that's the inner control freak in me wrestling to get out again) But we have all tuned in here to see your Green (Wo)Man - Enuff with the excuses, where is it?!

That coelacanth looks mighty fresh to be a museum piece - has Blott mastered the art of deep deep deep sea diving now too?

Malaika said...

Looking forward to the green (wo)man too. In the meantime, Karen - the greyhound? Woo hoo!

Susan Price said...

Sorry, madwippet - my dog identification is not as keen as it should be. It's a great piece of work anyway, and an inspiration. I will go to amazon immediately and order some cheap plastic masks as moulds...

Sarah said...

Amazing whippet! I will visit in a minute. I love papier mache and have made dolls and bowls mainly. I am a nursery teacher, and currently in my class, we are making a giant Usain Bolt using papier mache. Great fun and I can't wait till we finish him! I hope you do make your green man! And good luck with finishing the book too-can't wait!

Susan Price said...

A giant papier mache Usain Bolt! - I don't think I need to add anything to that.

madwippitt said...

Ummm ... if you fell like cdiversifying a little, there's a recipe for making your own knitted Usain Bolt in the Radio Times. Yes, really.

Susan Price said...

A knitted Usain Bolt! - Okay, any advance on a knitted Usain Bolt? A Usain Bolt made of matchsticks? A Mr Bolt made entirely of old kitchen spatulas? Used tyres?