Monday, December 19, 2011

Whew!! 400 Followers!

Whew. 400 followers?! WOW!

Where did you all come from?! Thanks, readers, for keeping me on my toes. But now I want to pick YOUR brains for an idea I'm working on.

I love making papier-mache cats and plan to make them (soon) with my 5th graders. We use a plastic grocery bag for the body, stuffed and taped to shape it. In the past I've used a simple ball of newspaper for the head, of course with ears added etc. Often we've used bottlecaps or styrofoam balls for goofy bugged-out eyes. BUT. This year, my last, I want to combine making papier-mache cats and introducing a favorite commercial artist: Laurel Burch.
I have been a HUGE fan of her work since the 70's, when I got my first pair of her enameled cat earrings. Nowadays you are more likely to see her work as a scarf or a purse. Her fantastic felines are just gorgeous, and we are going to make them 3-dimensional in papier-mache. But I'm trying to sort out some glitches. The faces have a very distinctive shape and I plan to use it. No goofy eyeballs this time!

Today I built a prototype with a shaped piece of cereal box cardboard over the newspaper ball, and it looks pretty good but I used up a LOT of tape just on the head and am worried I will use up all the tape in my room just building heads. If anyone has any other idea for a material to use for the head armature, please let me know.

16 comments:

  1. Hey Phyl,
    Your are about to teach your kids about my favorite artist! Love that Laurel Burch(May she rest in peace....)Have you thought about using balloons? If you anchored a balloon onto the top of the stuffed plastic bag and attached cardboard ears to it, it would use much less tape(I think....)It's worth a try? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Omaha!

    :)Pat

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  2. I've never heard of her?!? Maybe she's a fav. of women because the earrings/purses/scarf thing?!?!! Like the kitties though...fun idea! What about using aluminum foil? Not that expensive..holds its shape with little to no tape.

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  3. Sounds like another great project. The kids are going to love it!. I'm not sure whether it would take any less tape, but for the head it might work to use 2 paper plates with crumpled newspaper inside and then taped around the edges and fastened to the body at the neck area (with ears, etc. attached). Hope you all have fun with it!

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  4. What about pantyhose stuffed with newspaper. I've used this several times and it works great. I've had some donated or dollar store knee highs.

    Jody
    www.artfor1170.blogspot.com

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  5. Congrates my dear! You should have 400 + followers… you put a lot of time and effort into this blog and you have so many GREAT ideas! What a fun number:) 400:)

    Nic Hahn
    MiniMatisse.blogspot.com

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  6. Oh, Pat... I guess you've never read my comments on using papier-mache over balloons. Check out this post here:
    http://plbrown.blogspot.com/2010/05/assortment-of-papier-mache-projects.html
    Read all the way down to see my balloon story (and while you are at it you'll see some nice papier-mache projects I think). I will NEVER use papier-mache on balloons again, I swear. (Of course I also once swore I'd never again eat the cupcakes the kids bring me, after they served me one that had been upside down on the floor but forgot to tell me. Somehow I've gotten over it and have in the last 2 days eaten EVERYTHING any child has brought me. And there has been a lot.) So I guess I should never say never, but I will say "not this time".
    and ready

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  7. ha ha...nice cupcake story!! :) LOVE IT. That should be on ART TEACHERS HATE GLITTER!

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  8. Mr. E, you've got to Google her (Laurel Burch) - great life story and rich vivid beautiful artwork. And then buy some stuff for your wife.

    As for the suggestions, THANK YOU. I've got it!!! I'll do another post to show you my solution when I get a chance, but in the meantime - I'm in my classroom trying out ideas and the stuffed stocking knee high worked with some tweaking. I didn't try the tin foil because of the size of what I need and the fact that the face shape is very particular. You'll see...

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  9. Congrats! Can't wait to see what you come up with! PS (I was going to keep it a surprise, but) we're working on our flying pigs!!! Every class that sees them sitting on the shelves wants to do them : ), and because of your post, using the bread bags has been the best thing I discovered last year and I don't think I can ever go back to paper mache-ing balloons either!

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  10. My idol! If I could stay after school for a few minutes I would be practicing more messy project . . . so hard to even find one minute now to experiment! I miss that. But I miss Stella more when I go to school:)

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  11. You are my idol not Laurel Burch. She's fun but not my fav as my cats never liked me much. They were independent cats that just skitted away everytime I tried to play with them. My dog on the other hand let me dress him up with birthday hats, bibs and have birthday parties with dog food cakes which was more my speed. Poor cats! Who knows how I tortured them!

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  12. Phyl..I think it is fun stuff, but that is for sure not my wife's style!! :) ha ha She's more of a NY & Co kind of girl.

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  13. Hannah, I'm tickled that you like my bread bag method! Wait till you see the cats we will be making this year. I'm convinced they will be AWESOME.

    Erica, I'm not sure I'm worthy of idol-hood, but I'm flattered. But I'm a cat person. I grew up w/dogs, always had one, but as an adult I don't have the patience for a dog. Cats live their own lives in your home and you can ignore them if you want. My cat sleeps between my knees at night, wants me to rub her tummy when I come home from anywhere, and then pretty much snubs me most other times. But she's also funny, goofy, and downright adorable sometimes.

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  14. Do they need to be round? What if you used the cereal boxes ..cut out the front and the back of the head and put small cups (dixie cups) in between the two pieces. Then to connect the front and the back use the papier mached newspaper. Great lesson. I just may have to borrow that idea!

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  15. I've built a sample using a ball of paper in a stocking sock, with a cardboard shape for the face. You'll have to wait and see, but I like the way it works.

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  16. Okay Phyl,
    I found your post on paper mache' and balloons-too funny! Those balloons exploding would have scared the crap out of me too! I also liked your idea about NOT dipping the strips into the goo. I've always done it that way, but you're right, it makes more sense to apply it with your hands. I've never used the art paste because wheat paste is so cheap, but you're also right about how it makes some kids itch.I think I'll try it!


    :)pat

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