I had to snorkel the craft room to find a Halloween crow to use as the model for the head of the dress form since I’d looked carefully at several pictures and none gave me the confidence to go three-dimensional. With three styrofoam heads, I’m taking my chances with two of them. If neither works out, I’ll have one left to try again.
The first thing was to cut away the forehead and chin, neither of which my crow has, and then tape on some foundation for the beak. I calculated it to be more than half the crows head size. The back was the left-over cardboard from the beak, and I haven’t decided whether to use real feathers or crepe paper cut to look like feathers. Probably the latter, since it will invariably be cheaper. I used shipping tape which is very strong and can be pulled off and adjusted if you do so quickly. At the moment, there is a strong resemblance to an eagle and Darth Vader, but I’ll carve some of the beak down as things progress and frankly I’m not real sure how the back will turn out. My paste is highly technical: any amount of flour and water, and a pinch of salt to keep the bugs out. Also I never use sugar just for that reason. The bugs love it and will eat through anything to get to it. I normally put about four coats on my projects. The first is the wettest and thickest.
Then I tweak things with add bunches of paper and lighter layers, or I’ll start carving out mistakes and covering the holes. I sand the last layer and spray with acrylic primer before I paint. I’ll keep the photos coming on this and you can watch the transformation to either a work of art, or a big mess.
I am adding a photo of a large collage I did about two years ago that had a three-dimensional papier mache wolf sticking through the canvas. (That wasn’t easy!)
The model was a brass door knocker. I made three wolves and used one other in an “exquisite corpse” project for an art class. This collage is called “Waiting for Red” and though it’s rife with magazine images, it also contains fabrics, metal screens, painting, and molding paste. Not really for a child’s room, but I created this toward the end of the darkest time in my life, a time when art was saving my soul and healing my heart. And it worked. Click on photo for detailed view.