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Wondering if anyone can help? Some time ago I had a wonderful PM recipe which I had found on the internet. The recipe used, paper (not toilet roll), wallpaper paste, pva, sawdust, linseed, whiting, bleach - I think. There was no flour in it, and you didn't have to dry the mush into little pieces. It was also storeable up to a certain amount of time. It made a wonderful fine clay, it dried hard like stone.
I have seen some similar recipes, but one invloved drying the stuff on a window screen ??? what??? eh?
A bit confused, and any help appreciated. Also if there's anything that doesn't involve boiling?
There are so many different concoctions you can use for Papier mâché. I can never understand why anyone would want to put bleach in though. Horrible stuff, both to put your hands in and to breath the awful fumes.
What are you hoping to make? It may help you get different ideas from people.
>>> ... paper (not toilet roll), wallpaper paste, pva, sawdust, linseed, whiting, bleach...
Ronnie Burkett has a recipe with those ingredients: http://home.eol.ca/~props/recipes.html
There must be hundreds of PM recipes. Some of the stuff that people incorporate into PM makes me wonder about their common sense. The one with dog food seemed the most bizarre.
The basic rule of Papier Mache: Start with paper, then choose your adhesive. Before you add anything else, ask yourself WHY you are adding it.
Wallpaper paste: there are at least three kinds: flour-based, methylcellulose-based, and vinyl. Do you remember which?
PVA white glue: useful, but has issues when drying in thick layers (like pulp), as the outside tends to dry faster than the inside, and can possibly seal against complete drying.
Sawdust: regular sawdust doesn't seem good for much, as it's going to make it lumpy. Ultra-fine sawdust (like flour) can be used as a filler or thickener.
Linseed oil: boiled linseed oil dries faster but tends to yellow (also toxic due to additives), raw linseed oil dries slowly but usually stays clear. Both kinds, soaked into rags or paper, can spontaneously combust.
Whiting is chalk, calcium carbonate: a filler, esp used as a surface filler.
Bleach is probably used to prevent mold, but since it off-gasses the useful part quite quickly, I don't see any advantage. And as Jackie says, it's not good to breath, is considered a carcinogen when absorbed by the skin, and can be made even more dangerous by mixing it with other chemicals.
Know what you're adding, how it is likely to act/react with the other ingredients, and know why you're adding it.
Thank you so much for your replies
I'm wanting to make a fine clay to finish off some mod roc masks, I want it fine so it can be sanded and create a porcelain finish. The stuff I made in the past had a very fine finish and once made up you could keep it in a tub to be used later. It used fine sawdust.
Instead of bleach one could use lemon juice? Maybe not a great idea with calcium carbonate though. Tea tree oil? That deters mould I believe.
I liked the look of the recipe on here by Martin Favreau where you first make up the fluff to be made up as a clay later, however I don't have a 'screen door'??? or somewhere to leave the pulp drying. Also, boiling for 3 hours, would soaking over night be as effective?
The wallpaper paste was cellulose based, the type you buy in little bags at B&Q.
I want something plastic and malleable like clay, that hardens to stone like quality and can be sanded back. I intend to later paint with gesso to increase the porcelain quality.
As has been said here before, one thing to keep in mind is it's actually (much) easier to smooth the surface before it dries, than sand it after the fact. (Also, no dust, so it's healthier too).
That said, the more you add fillers like chalk/whiting, joint compound, plaster, wood flour, etc., the more you're filling in the natural gaps that occur in paper, which leads to a smoother surface. Then your challenge is shrinkage and the cracks/gaps that occur naturally with that. I end up making up a thickish plaster paste or just use a thin layer of joint compound for this kind of surface. It also helps that both of these can be wet sanded (smoothed when dry or leather hard, with wet sponge -- again less dust.)
Thanks bmaskmaker Maybe the toilet roll recipe would be the best way to go for my masks, apparently a good finish and very smooth?
Definitely give it a test. Honestly I've found that I prefer a bit of texture on my pieces. Even when I want something shiny, I tend to prefer a bit of texture, so I've stopped trying to get a super smooth finish.
What are you hoping to get from the smooth finish?
For shiny I use Jacquard Pearl-Ex Paints/Pigments painted on and then sealed. These finishes react with the reflected light in a similar way to smooth surfaces ... but don't need a super smooth surface to get the effect. They are hard to photograph tho.
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/- … directlink
This Sooba is intentionally not smooth (wrinkles, etc.) and painted with a couple of different colors of Pearl-Ex Paint, then sealed with a shiny sealant. The colors actually shift slightly when you move around the piece, giving the impression that there's light not only reflecting off it, but also a little coming from within it as well.
My point is, that you can get some of these mirror-smooth effects without needing a mirror-smooth surface. Of course, if want you want is mirror smooth -- well then you've got to go for it. : )
I'm wanting to get the appearance of a dolls face, hence wanting porcelain finish, I'll be using a gesso to cover at the end and tempera or thinned down acrylics to paint the mask so the colours sink into the gesso, giving it the appearance of on glaze painting as in Victorian dolls.
For porcelain-like finish, my final layer consists of pulp made from linted toilet paper, PVA glue, and calcium carbonate/marble dust. Wet pulp only enough to allow for high compression and smooth while wet. Finish with jeweller files, riflers, gravers, and sand paper; high-speed rotary tools may melt or stretch the PVA, and scorch the paper. For a very-hard finish, use rabbit skin glue and calcium carbonate (traditional gesso). Calcium carbonate features the added bonus of being an antacid- helping to stabilize your pulp by neutralizing the PH.
For a face, you do definitely want smooth. Mavio's linted toilet paper option sounds great. (Mavio are you 'linting' the TP by fluffing it in a spice grinder or blender?) And the Gesso will be necessary, I think, even if not for smoothing ... to make your paint colors sink in evenly.
Sounds like a great project.
(Mavio (sic) are you 'linting' the TP by fluffing it in a spice grinder or blender?) And the Gesso will be necessary, I think, even if not for smoothing ... to make your paint colors sink in evenly.
Ya- boil, hit it with a drill mounted mixer, dry, then lint in a grinder.
As to pigment, I add raw powdered mineral pigments directly to the wet pulp- allows for outstanding translucent colour graduations (work in pigment to suit as more pulp is applied) as pigment isn't just on a surface layer, and organic, discovered pigmentation when tooling. I pay for dry pigments by the kilo, dispensed from a street vendor in Istanbul. Inexpensive, too.
"I pay for dry pigments by the kilo, dispensed from a street vendor in Istanbul. Inexpensive, too."
Just for that, I told your spouse about what you're doing with her toothbrush. She said it's better than what she's doing with yours: cleaning out the hamster cage.
well it's a disaster and I need the mask for Saturday. The 'finishing' recipe dried like rough porridge, it has ruined my mask.
If it really is dry, grind down the rough bits and hit it with progressively finer sandpaper until smooth; your thumbs may fall off and knuckles ache- but the cause ain't lost yet. Start now if you want to have time to paint.
What recipe, exactly, did you use? How did you apply the pulp, and over what? Did you burnish the surface as it dried?