Sunday 6 April 2014

Work by Others - Mary Button Durell

I find this work extraordinary - simply wheat paste, tracing paper and occasionally - actetate.

'This body of work uses only tracing paper and wheat paste as material. At first glance these pieces appear to be built onto a rigid wire frame, however, the process is much more organic and the structure is created from my own hand building.
Individual cells or cones that comprise most of the pieces are first formed over moulds of various shapes and sizes and then joined together using wheat paste cell by cell. 

Additional layers of paper and paste are then added for strength and reinforcement which creates the net-like structure around the individual cells.

The translucent quality of the tracing paper allows light to play a significant and dynamic role in the work. In combination with the physical structure of the work, this translucent quality creates an interior as well as exterior perspective.
In certain light, however, the translucency of the paper appears to have the visual characteristics of more solid materials, such as oyster shell or marble.
Due partially to the inherent physical aspects of these materials, this body of work has evolved both in process and form along decidedly organic lines.
These shapes have often been described as biomorphic abstractions or shapes resembling cellular membranes - ethereal bodies and the skeletal structures of underwater organisms.'

Papier-Mâché Work by Others - Yuniko Studio Blog

A very simple way to make a papier-mâché bowl that I absolutely love from Anthea Carboni at Yuniko Studio Blog

1 cardboard egg carton 
bucket of water 
Hand held blender
wire sieve (around 15cm diameter)
sponge (10 cm round is ideal)

Tear the egg carton into small pieces and leave in a bucket of water (1/3 full) for a day or two. Use the blender to make a pulp. When the mixture is an even, soupy consistency, hold the sieve over the bowl and pour enough of the mixture (slowly) into the sieve to fill to the brim. Rest the sieve over the bowl and wait for the water to drain, taking care not to move the pulp around. 

Then use the sponge to gently press the pulp against the sides of the sieve, starting at the bottom and then working around the sides, lifting the sponge up gently each time. Squeeze out the excess water from the sponge as you do this. 

When you have removed most of the water, turn the sieve upside down and gently tap the sieve against your other hand to release the bowl. Reshape the edges if needed.

Dry off the bowl in a cool oven (defrost setting or around 80 degrees centigrade)for about an hour.

One egg carton makes around 5-6 bowls. Most egg cartons are grey (the one in the photo above was a surprising blue and the one below a pumpkin yellow) but you could easily colour the pulp by adding food colour or dye (food-safe powder colour).

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