Today I decided that I wanted to give paper mache another go. I think I didn’t go far enough in my experimentation the last time and gave up too quickly. The more I think about the logistics of modeling in clay and casting in plaster, the less excited and interested I am, perhaps one of the reasons I’ve been holding off on getting started. One of the things that I liked about my last series of drawings was the kind of experimentation I had to go through to figure out what the technique would be. As tedious as it might be, I enjoy all of the trouble shooting and the learning curve that is involved in the process of understanding an invented, custom technique.
So today I went at one of the heads I had started a few weeks ago with a mat knife, carving and slicing away areas of the form. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was carve into the paper clay, and even into the paper towels. It was really fun to work with the knife, I got really into the process and had a blast working into the form. Below is a photo of a nose that I carved into, trying to get a more refined form and to make the undercuts more dramatic.
Seeing that I could work reductively with the paper mache got me really excited, as I tend to think more in terms of a reductive process when I sculpt. So I got out these other paper mache materials I had ordered a few weeks back to see if I could carve into those as well. I used Claycrete, CelluClay, and Fast Mache, each on a different head. Out of all of them, the Fast Mache seemed to be the most refined. The Claycrete was the least friendly to work with: it was very chunky, almost like cottage cheese, and couldn’t smooth out easily. Once all three are dry I’ll be able to see how much I can carve into the form.