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paper-mache disaster! an idea.

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From: Mark Alexander (malexander06_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Nov 02 2001 - 04:39:17 PST


My experience with tissue paper paper mache is to use a stubby brush to apply paste to the form, then lay a dry tissue over the paste, then brush it out. I have also had difficulty with balloons shrinking and also they are hard to hold still while working. I prefer armatures of cardboard, stuffed paper bags, wads of newspapers, bowls, aluminum foil etc.

Usually in my 4th grades (and each year is different) I find 90% can handle the tissue this way without leaving what I call 'flags' or 'gobs'. I have tried something similar with 1st graders, but my results ended up something like yours. Perhaps they're just not ready at that level.

So I agree with most of your respondents, that it would be best to cut your losses and chalk it up to a learning experience. Besides, aren't we getting tired of pumpkins now?

However, I'll bet there is a way you could make something else out of them, so you can enjoy their translucence. How about stripping out all the balloon material, then arranging the partial shells on the table so they all touch. Next, use more tissue and paper mache to attach them together into a large translucent relief sculpture. Maybe you'll need to incorporate a couple of bent up wire coat hangers to hang it up. Might look really cool hanging in a window, and it would show students that artworks sometimes end up differently than originally planned.

Mark
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: BibelotsOutpost@aol.com
  To: ArtsEdNet Talk
  Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 5:31 AM
  Subject: Re: Impending paper-mache disaster! any advice?

  Thanks everyone, for all the great advice regarding my
  great pumpkin disaster! At least now I'm laughing instead of
  sighing and moaning! (also had a nice "nap" [ woke up on the
  couch at 3:00 am!) I really think I have to cut my losses
  and do something else because I don't think they'd have the
  patience to essentially start over again.... the nature of
  doing paper-mache with tissue paper instead of newspaper,
  paper towels, etc., is that the mache'd tissue (at least with
  only 1-2 layers) is not strong enough to accept paint & such.
  To add another layer of stronger paper means we'd have to
  spend a lot of energy sticking the tissue to the balloon again
  before adding another layer. (I -have- learned that every single
  other grade wants to do papier-mache; every class I've had
  since has come in and said, "what's that? can we do it?!")
  The tissue paper is very beautiful, light and translucent,
  I'm thinking about Japanese lanterns - but not with the first
  grade!!
  Thanks again,
  Deborah ---
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