You probably worked with paper mache as a child...
but only a few
people work with
paper mache on
a daily base.
I'm one of these people
Of course there are some differences in working with paper mache when I was a child and the way of working at this time. But basically it is the same. You have these three basic ingredients:
paper, water and glue.
The most complicated recipes can be found on the internet. Some add chalk, or boil it at least for three hours, put flour in it and so on. When I started I had to find
a suitable recipe to start with.
I tried many recipes and was afraid it would fail by altering the recipe. But nevertheless I changed it and left out all the ridiculous additives. The only thing left in my recipe are, water, glue and paper.
‘‘What kind of paper do you use’’ is the question everyone asks me. Well I use the worst quality paper.
Most of the time I use news paper, leaflets, brochures, cheap magazines...
the only thing I don’t use are glossy
magazines. The coating on this paper won’t let the fibers ‘‘dissolve’’ well in the water.
But yeah, you can use any kind of paper!
Paper is ideal for reuse, only the use of paper mache and paper pulp by the advent of plastics not a logical product. A complete craft is as good as lost actually, apart from a single curator.
Now using paper mache pushed into the hobby ‘craft’
corner and its use is not beyond the plastering of a balloon. Yet so much more possible!
In August 2012 I took part in a festival of Middle Mill in Loenen.
I stood there in a tent with other paper artists.
One of the volunteers of the mill came to my table and asked me what material I worked with.
explained to him that I worked with paper pulp made from newspaper.
The volunteer showed his horror and spoke indignantly that it was junk and walked away,
leaving me somewhat perplexed.
Of course, the man was right in away. It’s junk, that newsprint.
The lowest of the low in the paper world, apart from toilet paper over. Filled with ink and discoloration in a second.
But what was this volunteer failed to look further...
He forgot to think out of the box. Failed to even look at the products that I had had made...
A missed opportunity.
Despite this little trifle that had shaken my confidence,
I see it as a privilege and a must to continue my work. With the old newspapers,
the waste material where no one sees something of value in and most of the time will end in recycle bin.
For me, this junk is valuable and a with lot of love
I make my work with it. To contribute a little in a world of over-consumption without consuming.
To make beautiful items of the left overs...