Saturday, 3 May 2014

Amazing what you can do with cardboard and paper mache!

These guys are on display in the Princes Quay POP gallery which is where folks are meeting at weekends to do the knitted Homer painting.
Not sure I could live with the grump guy above but I reckon I could live
along side the cow especially!
Cardboard structures with a form of wide picture tape rather than paper mache.

Not that we have met up for a knitting soirée this weekend, since its a Bank Holiday on Monday, but I've been knitting away anyway
at puddles and pieces of the sky for the knitted 'painting'.
I've also made a star fish, which I believe may end up yarn bombing somewhere in Hull. It's turned out quite well and its a pattern that you can find on The Materialistics knitting groups website.

Yesterday, being Friday I should normally have been at work working an 8 hr day.
However on Thursday, I found out that my 3 day Flexi Retirement had been approved from the 18th April and that I had been working 1 day
I shouldn't have and longer hours than I should now be doing!
You couldn't make it up honestly lol
Our council human resources hadn't officially informed me when the reduced hours would start and had also screwed up the pension details too - and they are the professionals folks lol
It was only when I saw that my salary was reduced and queried why that was, that I found out about the cock up that council admin had made.
So on Friday I didn't need to be in work - yeahhhh!

But happily that meant that I could attend the free workshops running on Fridays over the next 6 weeks or so at Artlink on Princes Avenue in Hull.
These are workshops to encourage people to get involved in making things for a display which will run at Artlink, concurrently with the 'Follow the Fishes' yarn bombing of Hull and the theatre production
'Tie up Your fingers' in June.
It was an interesting workshop, run very ably by Brigit who tried hard to make those of there proficient at least in making paper mache crabs!
This is what we were aiming for above - Brigit's was really good!

Mine however didn't quite reach such perfection lol but at this stage he was still very wet and set aside to do some drying out and yes,
he needs more legs!

I had long ago made something with paper mache but I had never used the slab technique, so I learnt something really useful at this workshop.
Wonder if any of you have heard or tried it before?

Can you see how we used flat sheets of better quality newspaper,
laid as flat as possible and layered singly, smoothed over by hand as we applied watered down pva?
We were told to layer about 15 to 20 sheets, at the bottom was a single sheet of plain paper and the last layering was a similar plain sheet.
It's amazing, you get an almost leathery, layered 'fabric' and I imagine it would work wonderfully for plaques for example.
We cut out the crab shell shape with scissors and then manipulated two shapes together to make the shell structure. We overlapped and squidged the edges to meld them together, all very clever but messy lol
But below you can see the fabulous thickly 'fabric' pieces,
the slab technique gives you to work with.


I managed to find good instructions at the following link, scroll down to find slab instructions -
I have to tell you this handsome beastie below is not mine,
he was made by one of the ladies there,
on the left at the table above.
Hers was a real success!


  1. Love the crabs! I've never heard of the slab technique for papier mache but it sounds interesting. In the picture where you are layering sheets of newspaper there is a tub of grey "mush"! Can you tell me what it is and how was it used? This was a really interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Karen, it really was an interesting technique and I can imagine the slab of paper mache you end up with, could be useful for making rolls or for cutting out shapes from. Im surprised there isn't a You Tube tutorial on how to make it but I couldn't find one to link to.I will play with a slab later for xmas decs for example.

      The mush was simply small torn paper bits, mixed up in an old food processor to make a pulp. The pulp is more solid than youd use for paper making but it still had to be squeezed a lot to expell water before we used it, so it would take less time to dry out.

      A T shape was cut out of one of the shell shapes so we could manipulate and manoeuvre the shell pieces into a pastie shape more easily. I will maybe try and draw what that looked like, shudv taken a photo of course!

      The mush was pushed inside the shell pastie shape and gave some form to the crabs shell shape, which explains why it would take time to dry out.

      I will try and draw the process in case anyone wanted to try and make themselves one though.

  2. Don't you want to go and poke the powers-that-be right in the nose for neglecting to tell you that your reduced hours had been approved? Twits. Gotta love the jewelry on the cow and the horse, btw....also interesting to read about the slab technique. New to me too.



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