Papié Maché

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Re: Papié Maché

Postby Richard Coombs » 04 Jul 2011, 22:47

Oooh lovely heads Les - really bold and individual style.

I suppose it really doesn't matter what they weight , so long as you yourself are comfortable with it .

Do you plan to coat the sculpts with a couple of layers of paste soaked newspaper , laminated paper mâché ?
Or will the surface and strength be ok as it it now ?

Looking forward to seeingnthe finished puppets ,
I especially like the very scary ghost !

Best Wishes. Richard
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Re: Papié Maché

Postby lesclarke » 05 Jul 2011, 10:10

I know that like myself you like seeing figures under construction Richard, and I'm enjoying photographing them in various stages. The main purpose, (apart from enjoying a new technique) of these experiments is to make a smallish sized set.

Ultimately I'm also aiming to make my own, (full-sized) individual-looking Punch. To find his 'style' I've started a few in pm, and perhaps need to look at them and decide what features I think 'work', and then do some sketches. I may then go back to plasticene to finalise the design, before carving in wood.

The first due to be finished (though I keep getting 'sidetracked' and have just started some boxers) will be the Scary Ghost, as he is due to replace my current ghost, a Franklin Spence pm ghost, due to retire at the end of this season. Whatever finish he has will be 'tested', as he pops out of a suitcase several times each show by bashing the lid with his head!
Mind your head, ...on that light fitting!!!!!
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Re: Papié Maché

Postby CvdC » 14 Apr 2012, 13:40

I have had cause to use papier mache today so I read though all the postings for this thread. Quite a story. Can I have the television rights Chris?
Unfortunately it deals with the modelling of the pulp and I was using it in a mould.
I have a need for a monkey puppet and so I modelled a head in clay suspended it face down in a plastic container into which I poured plaster half way up. Although that has taken just one sentence to describe it was a lot of work. When the plaster was dry I covered the top with waxy paste and covered the top half with more plaster.
By some stroke of luck this gave me the mould I needed.
I then went round to the local art shop and bought a sheet of rice paper. The shop keeper wrapped this in brown paper, even though I told him it didn't matter.
I then put water in a plastic container and squirted pva into it until it was like milk. I tore up the rice paper and dipped each piece into the thinned pva and immediately pressed it into the waxed mould. The rice paper is very fibrous and soaks up the pva very quickly. After the first layer I simply put the paper in dry and it soaked up the moisture and amalgamated with the wet paper below.
After sufficient layer of this I tore up the brown paper into longer pieces and glued this over the rice paper for strength and to use it up. Quite a neat, simple and rapid process.
Now I am waiting for it to dry and can confidently state that watching papier mache dry is as interesting as paint. I expect that as it dries and shrinks it will lift away from the mould and the rice paper will give me quite a good impression.
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
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Re: Papié Maché

Postby Chris » 14 Apr 2012, 21:59

Full marks for reading my posts Chris even if you appear to have not found them useful. I certainly haven't only written on using pulp for modelling. I have written oodles on using the layer method of torn strips, types of paper and adhesives to use. I recommend not using pva. Perhaps this information is on some other thread.
I have used pulp in a mould for mass producing heads. I lined the mould with nylon stocking material, pressed in the pulp, then carefully lifted out using the stocking and let dry outside the mould.
But layers are far stronger than pulp. But strength comes from the number of layers and the type of paper.

As an aside, Monkey masks used to be made, for soft toys, by pressing adhesive-soaked buckram in a mould. When dry this could be stitched onto a stuffed head. Doll masks were also available.
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Re: Papié Maché

Postby Chris » 14 Apr 2012, 22:18

There's a bit more which may interest;
http://www.puppettheatre.eu/guildboard/ ... c.php?t=89
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Re: Papié Maché

Postby CvdC » 15 Apr 2012, 03:52

It was the use of rice paper i was emphasising. I just found that it turned into quite a good mash.
But in terms of a binding medium, have you come across cassien? It appears in my old toy manufacturing book as an ingedient in the composition used to make doll heads. I think it too can be bought at good art supliers as it has been used as a paint medium as well. Or has this been bought up in anoth ancient posting of yore?
Of course in boat building I used epoxy with fine saw dust to make a filler of exceptional strength. An extra strong version of plastic wood.
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Re: Papié Maché

Postby Chris » 15 Apr 2012, 11:58

Assuming cassien is a typo for casein, then yes I have certainly used it. It's basically milk protein. It produces an enormously strong bond and is pretty waterproof. It also was used as a medium in tempera painting instead of egg. I think it can probably be bought from artists' suppliers still, but for use as an adhesive that would be counter productive in that one of its virtues is its very low cost. We used to make it ourselves. Actually it was used more in woodwork than puppetry, in fact somewhere I have a recipe given to me by my woodwork teacher. I'll see if I can find it in case anyone fancies experimenting. It was available commercially as an adhesive but I haven't seen it advertised for a long time. It used to be a regular advert in The Woodworker (I did a series on puppet making for that Magazine to help pay my way through college) - I seem to remember that it was called Cascamite. It isn't fast drying so it was superceded by all the solvent based products. Probably its use today would be much better for the environment. And few glues are stronger.

Yes, sawdust and resin makes a very strong material - in fact resin plus various fillers (brick dust, metal dust etc) are used in the production of museum reproductions. However for our purposes the great value of solvent based plastic wood is the fact that you can add details to it, even when dry. If you build up a nose, for example, you are not just glueing an extra layer on top, but the added piece amalgamates with the original which is a great advantage.
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Re: Papié Maché

Postby Chris » 15 Apr 2012, 12:10

I've found out that Cascamite is still sold - but now resin based. Apparently when they changed from casein to Urea formaldehyde resin they change the brand name to Resinmite (formerly Cascamite) but it would seem they have reverted to the original name Cascamite. It can be obtained through Amazon. Apparently it is still reckoned the strongest of the wood glues.
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Re: Papié Maché

Postby Chris » 15 Apr 2012, 20:25

CASEIN WOOD GLUE
(This is a recipe from the past - you may prefer to convert to millilitres - I'll leave that to you)

Skimmed Milk powder made up with water to half a pint (10 fl. Ozs.)
Baking Powder (Bi-carbonate of Soda)
Table Vinegar (half a fluid ounce)

Put milk into a pan and add and stir in the vinegar, then very gently heat the mixture until it just begins to curdle. Immediately take off the heat and filter off the liquid, either through a very fine sieve or better, a cone of filter paper.
Now wash the curds (pour water over them through the filter).

At this point the curds can be thoroughly dried, then crushed to make a powder to be stored. (The commercial Cascamite came as a powder)

Alternatively continue by adding to the curds about a level teaspoon of Sodium Bi-carb. Stir in with a wooden stick. Then, very carefully, a drop at a time, add water until the mixture is the consistency of Golden Syrup. If it gets too sloppy it will lose strength.

Should set in two to four hours. Can be machined after six hours. Is very hard and can blunt chisels.

Do not be tempted to use skimmed milk rather than skimmed milk powder – fat present reduces the strength considerably, as does acid, which is why you wash off the vinegar and also the bi-carb. (an alkali) neutralises acidity.

By the way in my experimenting with adhesives for papié maché I did try Cascamite (the original casein version). It was very hard and strong but was one of those that I rejected since it added weight.
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