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Blue Tit

Blue Tit by David Osborne

David demonstrates how to make a realistic, lightweight paper mache blue tit.

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  • Date addedAdded: October 12, 2006
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Introduction

I like the sheer weightlessness that can be achieved with paper sculpture and producing pieces that seem to defy gravity.

One of the challenges I set myself was to make a bird that would seem to sit on the very edge of a shelf, without falling off. Here is how it was done.

The basis for my structure was a turkey egg. Although this meant that the blue tit would be larger than life size, this didn't worry me. If you want to be more accurate, use a bantam's egg.

For details of how to prepare this, read my article on eggs.

You will need...

- Egg
- Wire
- Hot glue gun
- Plasticine
- Cling Film
- Thin cardboard
- Peppercorns (for eyes)
- Paints

Making the Blue Tit

Bend a piece of wire to form two platforms - one will become the base, which protrudes to the back of the bird, the other needs to fit to the egg, holding it at an appropriate angle for the body.

Forming the wire
Forming the wire

Anchoring the footpad in place, hot glue the wire to the egg.

Anchoring the footpad
Anchoring the footpad

With plasticene, model the head shape and then cover the whole with clingfilm.



Plasticine head
Plasticine head



Covering with clingfilm
Covering with clingfilm


Lay at least three layers of paper strips over the head section and allow to dry.

Adding paper strips
Adding paper strips

Pull off the head section and the clingfilm; pull out the plasticene. Refit the now empty head onto the shell and apply two layers of paper strips all over.

You can see that this is now very light – only 14.5 gms.

Refitting the head
Refitting the head

Cut cardboard shapes for the tail and wings and glue them on. Apply paper strips to smooth the joins and to create texture if you want.

Even with these, the weight only goes up to 19.5 gms (about the weight of a blue tit, I reckon).

Cover the base platform with card and paper strips, keeping it as thin as possible.

Adding the tail and wings
Adding the tail and wings

Paint the bird as realistically as you can.

Paint realistically
Paint realistically

Add eyes (I used peppercorns). Create the claws with fine wire, either hot glued or bound to the leg. Paint the platform black to be inconspicuous.

Feed regularly!

Finished Example

Finished example
Finished example

Have fun!

DavidO
(dopapier)