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How popular is papier mache' in the U.K. and what are its applications in the economy? Theatrical, recreational, educational? Renaissance faires, other????
Papier Mache is not used as extensively in the UK as it is in a lot of other countries. It is used for stage props of course, but not so much for outdoor events. We don't have as many celebrations as they do, say in the US. Our roads are much narrower and more twisty and the most important reason of all (what us Brits are renowned for always talking out) is the weather! We can get all four seasons in one day here, making planning outside events a little tricky! )
I'd like to second what Jackie has just said, and add that papier mache here is seen as very much a child's activity. It is one of the things you do at junior school, but hardly ever afterwards. I have thought, though, that it is rather like doughcraft, which was until relatively recently, always seen as a children's activity. Nowadays, it is recognised as a craft, if not an art, and is a legitimate adult pastime, with books galore written about it. Let's hope that papier mache will be able to make that leap!
Thanks for your replies.
It is no different in the United States. Many see papier mache as a craft. Gift shops are more open to selling paper mache art than are galleries. In fact, most galleries are rather snobbish about it. Perhaps there's a misconception about it's durability or lack thereof. Perhaps we should start some sort of campaign to enlighten galleries. What say you Jackie? Sue?
I don't know about the durability of the items being a problem - i suppose it is an issue if you are charging high (gallery) prices. I rather like the fact that paper items are ephemeral..... I think it is part of their attraction! is it only me?
I agree that for the most part, our art form is seen as more of a craft in many parts of the world. However, the folks at many of the beach resorts may not know this. There's lots of neat and far out stuff like yours out there in smaller galleries such as "The Zoo Gallery" in Destin, Florida.
Most states that have been influenced by the Spanish, French or iItalian usually have papier mache' in some form or another. It is definitely catching on, thanks to tourism. I agree that the word needs to get out to galleries but also to the arts community in general.
I also believe, like Sue that the ephemeral aspect of papier mache' is part of the attraction. I know that some people are afraid to have customers handle it. However, gallery owners or exibitors can provide a proper means for display or mounting. I prefer that people touch my work because they react to it in fascination while trying to figure out what it's made of. I like to see their reactions.
No, it's not just YOU, Sue. I too love the ephemeral qualities of mache, equally the incredible flexibility to render almost anything one's imagination can produce.
I believe I've been temporarily jaded, Rozani. I'm now living in an area that's rather staunch and socially conservative (Not all parts of America's "south" are like this. This just happens to be one.) I've had one helluva time tyring to place my art here. Continue to look outside of this area for funky shops -- such as The Zoo Gallery -- to further the cause:-)
This commaraderie is wonderful. Thank YOU!