Papier-Mache Mixed-Media Wall Hanging
This unique collage is made with beads and papier-mache.
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Sue Houck from Boulder, Colorado, experiments with collages and and other mediums during time away from her career and her two children. Here she shows us how to make a unique, decorative papier-mache wall hanging.
Materials and Tools:
Fast Mache or Cellulclay papier-mache mix
Golden acrylics: iridescent pearl (fine), iridescent bright gold (fine),
Golden liquid acrylics: turquoise, quinicrine/nickel azo gold
Golden acrylic flow release
Americana Deco Art buttermilk babeurre acrylic paint
28-guage silver wire
18" glass round platter
clear acrylic roller
2 thin clear plastic sheets at least 25" x 30"
1-gallon zipper-lock bag
1 qt. warm water: 1.2 pounds of Fast Mache
plastic gloves (optional)
small kitchen knife
postal or kitchen scale (optional)
1" and 1/4" and line paint brushes
small cotton rag
1. Weigh about 1-1/5 pounds of papier-mache mix (a little more than half of a standard 2-pound size bag of the mix). Mix with about 4 cups warm water in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. After it's well mixed, roll into a ball in the bag.
2. Mark the outside perimeter of the platter on one piece of the clear plastic. This will help you see how big your circle of papier-mache is getting as you mash and roll it out.
3. Take the papier-mache mix out of the bag and lay it on top of the piece of clear plastic where you drew the 18-inch circle. Place another piece of clear plastic over the top so the papier-mache is now sandwiched between two pieces of clear plastic.
4. Mash papier-mache down and out into a circle with hands. After the circle is about 12 to 15 inches wide, slide the upside- down 18-inch platter under the bottom layer of plastic. You now have the platter under the sandwiched papier-mache.
5. Flip over the two pieces of plastic with sandwiched papier-mache. It's still sitting on top of the platter. Roll over the top layer of plastic with a clear acrylic roller, spreading out the papier-mache to cover entire platter. Apply in an even layer, working from the center out.
6. Remove top layer of plastic. Cut around outside edges of papier-mache piece, patching mache as needed to get a round shape. It's okay if the papier-mache extends a little over the outside edge of platter and if the edges look rough, but keep it looking round.
7. Allow piece to dry with papier-mache draped over outside platter. After the outside is dry and firm, flip the piece over to allow the inside to dry. Complete drying can take up to 5 days, though the drying time can be reduced with an electric fan.
8. Apply two coats of beige acrylic paint to front and back of piece and allow to dry.
9. Apply masking tape line down center of piece from top to bottom about a third of the way in from the right edge of piece.
10. Apply turquoise acrylic paint on top third of the taped-off area on the right. Apply quinicrine gold below the turquoise paint. Blend the two colors with flow that's been mixed with 10 parts water.
11. Apply iridescent bright gold to area where the gold and turquoise paints meet, blending with flow and allow to dry.
12. Apply iridescent pearl acrylic paint mixed with water and flow over lower part of turquoise and gold paint areas and allow to dry.
13. Remove the masking tape and reapply to edge defining the right third of piece that you just painted.
14. Mix 1 part turquoise paint with water and about 30 parts of flow (that's been mixed as noted earlier with 10 parts water) and paint over the left two thirds of the piece, producing a slight blue hue. The blue will sink more into crevices of the piece.
15. Mix 1 part iridescent pearl acrylic paint with water and about 30 parts of flow (that's been mixed as noted earlier with 10 parts water) and paint over the left two thirds of the piece, producing a slight pearl hue.
16. Apply quinicrine gold around periphery of the left two thirds of the piece, blending in with a little of the flow as needed. This will give definition to the periphery.
17. Draw lattice lines lightly on the left third of the piece using a ruler and pencil. Paint lattice with gold paint using a thin brush. Highlight outside of gold lattice lines with red paint.
18. To add three-dimensional shrink plastic lattice to piece: Begin with sheets of shrink plastic. Cut out sections to make the lattice. Cut out strips that will later be used for weaving.
19. Cut out a circular background piece. Place six slits inside the circle.
20. Cut four pieces of shrink plastic about 3/4" x 9". Weave in and out of the background support circle.
21. Using a heat tool, shrink down the latticework elements. It's okay if it's not perfectly round.
22. Paint the latticework piece with two coats quinicrine gold acrylic paint.
23. Wire wrap freshwater pearls. Glue the three shrink plastic lattice pieces to the dish with E6000 glue.
24. Attach the appropriate wall-hanging hardware.
Connie Deady of Santa Monica, Calif., does more magic with glass.