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Mark Patraw

Mark Patraw

Welcome to Mark's gallery! Simply click on the item that you are interested in below to see an enlarged picture and information.

  • United States Location: United States
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Welcome to my papier mache gallery; thank you for taking the time to view the fruits of my labors!

The bulk of my work consists of video game characters, and creatures/monsters in particular. Generally, the more hideous something is, the better I like it. Skeletons, ghosts, goblins, beasts, demons, you name it, I'm into it. I'm the kind of person that finds Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manuals exciting recreational reading material. Any video game that lets you collect/catalog critters, ideally in a digital bestiary, is like crack cocaine to me. Toys are also a lifelong passion of mine, indeed, I would say my view of sculpting/modeling is very toy-centric--this manifests itself in my work in several ways, most notably in regards to scale and articulation.

I'm largely self-taught when it comes to sculpting. I learned the most basic techniques in elementary school art classes (pinch pots, snakes, etc.), the bulk of the rest I picked up through experimentation and practice, with the occasional trick from a book, fellow artist, or online resource mixed in.

The primary material components of my figures are newsprint, tissue paper, and white glue. I also use plastic, metal, and other items on occasion, but I generally try to keep things "pure" by crafting things out of paper products whenever possible. I also make extensive use of a woodburner as a sculpting/smoothing/drying tool. When I make articulated figures, the joints are usually wire twist ties.

While the size of the figures I make tends to fluctuate over time (ranging anywhere from 17 inches/43 centimeters in height to less than an inch/2.54 centimeters), for the last few years I've mostly chosen to make things on the miniature scale. I do this for several reasons: They take up significantly less space, consume less materials/paint (which obviously saves money), and I find it more challenging. I've read more than one papier mache "how-to" book where the author claimed that one can't make tiny things of do fine details with papier mache, but I'm living proof that it can be done.

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