Well, it's been about a year or 2 years since I last made a statue out of papercrete . I just started this new female figure. Here's a picture (overexposed).
Amazing detail that you are acheiving.
I have in the past week been looking up information on papercrete so how opportune that you should begin again on your second statue.
Are you making your mix yourself? Or have you found a supplier? I really did just order a CD that talks about papercrete and the porportions, I am excited to see you post this..
What sort of armature do you use and how heavy will a piece that size be once you are done? Do you add color later, or does it remain as is? What does the back look like. How big is it, it appears to be final of over 5ft. Amazing work!!
Thanks! The figure with base is about 6' or so. Of course she doesn't have her head yet so will be taller. I always wait till the end for the head and hands as they require the most detail and I am not as skilled in that area.
My last statue was not too heavy. It was full size as well. I moved it myself to my truck. Getting INTO the bed by myself though was not easy. With this figure, well, I put in in a concrete base so she will be much heavier. It was necessary for balance and safety. I could have used a papercrete base too and she probably would have been fine but I didn't want to take any chances. I can move her around by myself but will have to use a dolly if I am going to transport her somewhere. Still these figures are much lighter than they would be made of solid concrete.
The back is still just flat as I have only worked on the front. I'll take more picts when I have her more developed. I was just excited to finally be working again so wanted to post the front pict now. I like to do some detail work as soon as possible to give the figure "presence". It inspires me to do more.
As to weight, the more paper fibre you use obviously the lighter it will be. I once did a bowl with shredded newspaper and cement and it was VERY light and VERY strong. I can stand on it as a matter of fact.
Answers to some of your other questions are below in something I wrote some time ago.
Cement and Paper Fiber Sculpting
Note: This is not a papercrete recipe used for building. "Traditional" papercrete takes newspaper and other paper, soaks it, shreds it, mixes it into a slurry and pours it into bricks. I tried shredded paper (from a paper shredder, got lots form work). It works too, just soak it. BUT I finally ended up using cellulose insulation. It is a lot less work.
Portland cement (NOT a concrete mix with rocks/sand, just the cement powder)
Paper fiber (I buy the paper insulation (that is used to be blown into attics) I think they call it cellulose insulation. You can get from Lowes. It is already shredded.
Bucket of joint compound
Armature materials if needed
You have to experiment here to get it to the point it feels like clay. Off hand I'd say 3/4 paper fiber to 1/4 part cement. I then just put in a handful of joint compound, add water and mix by hand. If it doesn't feel like clay I add more cement and more joint compound. It is not an exact formula for me so all I can say is try it yourself and vary the balance between fibre, cement and compound.
More paper fibre gives more bulk but less strength, but is fine for roughing out the figure. The higher the paper fiber the longer it will take to dry. Use more cement in the mixture and more compound than paper for the outer finishing layer. It gives a much smoother appearance.
I just do this in a bucket. I've not tried a large scale mixing because a) you can get tired out pretty easily and then you are wasting the rest. I am thinking of mixing a large amount in a wheel barrow as it does not dry quickly so you have time (but not overnight).
IMPORTANT!: Wear a mask and rubber gloves. Cement dust easily goes into the air and it is not a good idea to breathe it. Also, I wear thin rubber gloves. I much prefer no gloves as I like to feel my subject but the reality is that cement will suck all the moisture out of your hands. Also, this mixture gives off an ammonia smell at first. I think from something in the cellulose. It is not strong enough to bother me though.
I've been asked if one can add sand. I've only tried this once. It makes the mixture a lot less claylike and takes longer to dry and will slump easier, but you can do it. The plus side is likely added strength.
I try to avoid anything that will rust as an armature because I just don't know if the paper fibers will wick water all the way through the sculpture. If it does it could cause rust on the armature thus splitting the sculpture.
This may not happen at all. I would say though if using an iron armature to make sure to seal it with paint before applying the cement. This is probably a good idea with any type of cement mixture in any case.
My armatures are made from styrofoam, pvc piping and aluminum piping. If it is a "sqaut" figure, meaning triangular or a column type figure I just use styrofoam but it won't have the strength necessary for limbs. So for my
Greenman figure I used pvc piping.
Build an armature. Don't be hasty with it. Make sure that it is to the proportions you want before applying cement. I've had to do some chiseling because I didn't take into account the extra width added by the cement and threw a piece out of proportion. I know it's common sense but I don't always have common sense so thought I'd give the warning in case there is someone else like me out there.
I coat the armature from the bottom up, when it is completely covered with one layer I let it set for a day IF it has things like "legs", such as with the Greenman. I needed the strength there in the legs before I could build up the "musculature" with more cement. This technique worked great!
Once you can start adding "muscles", and bulking up the figure you pretty quickly learn if you are adding too much at once so it slumps. Be patient. My experience with papercrete is that you can add additional layers after a
piece is dry and it holds nicely. I've even gone back months later and done more work on a piece. I know this isn't conventional wisdom but it works for me.
Make sure and cover the bottom of the armature as well with cement. You don't want bugs getting up inside your armature. It is said that carpenter ants love styrofoam.
How long does it last?
Well, I did a lion that has been in my backyard for 3 years. It is unsealed and it has had no structural damage at all. There is slight crackling in part of it but that is all. I was worried about water wicking and splitting it in winter, never happened. However, if you seal it with paint it will be even safter. I sealed my greenman with paint, then polyurethane. He is has only wintered once but is still going strong.
For my Greenman piece I used a sponge to paint with. This makes sure the figure gets well covered. I did an enamel base and then added acrylics for highlights. I used spray polyurethane but want to try the kind from a can sometime.
You don't have to paint of course but I still think sealing is a good idea with polyurethane or something else.
Thank you so much.
I was wondering about the paperfibers, I was thinking the ones that are available at the craft store, but certainly will look at lowes or home depot.
When you add water, I am assuming the fibers wick up the water very quickly, the joint compound is that already mixed? Do you add any bonding or fortifier?
Your sculpting is great. The greenman looks like a garden thinker, what will the piece you are working on now be for, the garden or inside?
Did you just experiment after seeing something about papercrete or did you have some other input in your recipe, mostly curiosity and happy that you do not have exacts!
Hi, jloppnow ~
I think I've fallen in love...your Greenman is magnificent! May I take him home to meet my mother? Just kidding, but he's truly the most spectacular Greenman I've ever seen. Are you a professional sculptor? WOW!
Can't wait to see how your female figure continues to develop. Hope you'll show more pictures of her. And would it be possible to see pictures of your lion?
& Hi, Dena!
Here is an update of my female figure as of today:
I am trying to play with the drapery to give movement. Eventually I'll change the hangings under her arms as well. My question to you is... I just added the belly to give her a slight appearance of pregnancy, but is the belly too low? I realize the waist would be far to narrow for a pregnancy but will a bit of artistic license. I can't move her breasts down at this point (but think I have them too high) but could add more to lift the belly. What do you think?
Now to Dena's questions: jloppnow,
Thank you so much.
1. Paper Fibres:
Yes, the paper fibre at the craft store would work fine for smaller projects and actually is nicer as it is finer grain. It is not practical for me due to the size of my projects (way too expensive). However if you are doing a smaller project go for it!
2) Adding water - Yes, the paper soaks the water up very quickly and of course "goes down" (as in I'll fill a container full but when add water it goes down 1/2 in volume) I also tend to do it in layers, add paper, then cement, then more paper, the cement... then pour water over the whole mess. And mix by hand, then add more depending on consistency.
3) Joint Compound - I use the big buckets of already mixed joint compound, though I would think you could use the powder kind as well.
I don't add any other type of fortifier. I use the compound to make it have a more claylike consistency. As I am sure you know regular cement tends to slump but this mixture is much more like clay.
I did want to warn again that when I mix the cement with the cellulose insulation material from Lowes I get an ammonia smell. It is easy to avoid breathing in for me, but just want you to be aware that you'll need good ventilation. It has to be the paper. I bet they use ammonia to break it down. You might not get that with craft paper fibre.
4) My Greenman is in the middle of a woods in Arkansas where a space was cleared for him at a camp. Several trails lead to him, very powerful presence and he seems quite happy there. It was too much for my yard in any case.
Now my female figure.. well she will stay here outside. I may donate her to a camp again, not sure. I keep giving away my work. All I have left is my lion and a dwarf.
5) Mixture - I was interested in one point about alternative housing materials and that is where I read about papercrete. I don't know why it dawned on me to try it for sculpting but it did. I tried just cement and paper which was ok but didn't give me the clay like consistency I wanted. So I just started thinking about what might work and arrived at joint compound. I'd like to not have to as it gets a bit pricey for the larger figures after a while.
Hi Eva, I am sure the Greenman would be happy to go home with you. I'll give you his address. : ) And no, I just do this for fun, although the Greemnan was a "free" commission. He was my first full human figure, lots of things not quite right proportionally but for a first try he came out pretty well. This female figure is a bit challenging too and I roughed out a figure first and frankly she's a bit too massive but I have to work with it now. I am going to try and cover the fact the shoulders are too big by creating the illusion of a thick cloak. We shall see. - Jonathan
Again thank you for sharing the information, I will be reviewing it once I try papercrete. I am thinking a small project is what I will be doing so will give the fibers at one of the craft stores a try.
Your female figure, my eperience, the pg bump would be higher just showing under the lower portion of the X drape piece you have on her. You may also be able to show a little more movement in her drape by having a portion of it billowing toward the front and slightly laying over part of the area where the 'low pg bump is'.
Are you able at this point to scrape or carve away at an area that you are wanting to change? Do you have a spray bottle handy, how long do you have to work with the piece? Do you add anything to the original when adding additional papercrete for design application?
Johnathon, who ever receives this is very lucky indeed, great work.
Johnathon, very nice. I remember your green man from before. I will look forward to seeing her done, should be fabulous.
Thanks for the advice. I agree about the pg bump and will proceed accordingly. I am having great fun with the drapery. I am working my way up. I'll be changing the drapery on the chest and down the arms as well. Originally this was to be a very simply figure with no life to the drapery, then I got inspired and there you go... As to changes, I have about a day, maybe a day and a half to make changes. Cement is not like clay so spraying does not help. Cement uses water to harden and in fact it very good for giving the figure strength. I should have mentioned that. The more paper you use the longer you have to work but also the less strength you get. Soooo, how I make changes at this point is hack it off, which is fairly easy with this mixture; just chisel away.
As to adding, that is the great thing about it. I can add layers at any time, however it is best to try and rough it up a bit to give the cement something to hold onto. I have gone back a year later and made changes.
It is inspiring to see art in the developing stages through to the final product. Thanks for the pictures. You are quite good for a (to your admission) an amateur. Doesn't it make you feel good to hear someone ask "Are you a pro?"
I like your sculptures. Please keep it up and keep us up to date.
Tango88 has some recipes for final coats to make extreme detail. Are you satisfied with the papercrete finish or would a layer of one of Tango's mixes help? (Your work looks great in your pictures. This is a question for dialogue and exploration. I cannot think of attaining to your skill in sculpture so please don't take this question as insulting. I am just wondering if the papercrete has as fine a finish as you want.)
Not to worry, I always appreciate advice and exploration. As a matter of fact, I always do a final layer for detail and it is often difficult to get the right mixture for that. I will have to look up Tango88's recipe. I am having a lot of fun with this one since it is not on a timetable. Any other suggestions are welcome.
Here is my female figure as of 10/22/06. I worked on the drapery of her left arm. It is supposed to be a heavy cloak so does not blow the same as the dress, however not quite sure I got the lower part looking right, a bit too busy perhaps? I filled out the thigh and tried to even the breasts. Moved the belly up a bit and made it fuller. Over all I like her "presence". Next I'll start on her right side.
I really like her, I marvel at how a person sculpts and love to watch as the piece matures and becomes.
Your work is really awesome.
The cape/cloak looks like a fine piece of velvet, I really like how it catches the wind.
Do you draw out your piece first? Do you have an idea of how the head, face hair will be?
Please keep sharing this work.
Thanks! I can't tell you how much I am enjoying this figure. My last one was on a deadline and eventually it was a burden. The only deadline here is the onset of winter (not too far now). Wow, you caught what I wanted for the cloak, a heavy fabric like velvet. I am redoing the left hanging piece as I am afraid that the movement of the dress gets lost with all the waviness of the cloak so am going to simplify it. I want to emphasize the dress/body so am taking liberties with the cloak.
As to the planning process; I first get the idea (female figure and wanting to play with drapery). I sketch it out, then plan the armature. I then study pictures of different statues on the Internet, in this case looking at how movement of fabric is portrayed and how the female body might show through it.
It's funny you ask about the head/face/hair. I am in the planning stages for those features. I am torn between wanting longer hair that blows back/sideways... but this is far less classical of a look... so I could do the hair up... or even do some type of hood on her head but I am not inclined toward that. What do you all think?
The face... well, not sure about that either. I may do a stoic look but frankly I want her to appear welcoming and yet powerful. Actually I'll be lucky on this feature if I get her to look realistic. I am not skilled at faces yet, nor hands or feet...that is why I let them go till last; that and I can work on them indoors as I join them up to the body later (there are wires sticking out of the body's neck just for this but I bent them back so you can't see them, sort of interferes with the look if you know what i mean).
I can almost feel the wind billowing out her clothing, Jonathon! You've done a wonderful job draping the cloak and dress on her and placing the "fabric" crinkles/wrinkles.
Oh, I hope you'll do longer, blowing hair to go along with the freer feeling of her wind blown clothing. Or maybe even have her hair flowing out of the hood if you want to do a hood. Actually, Jonathon, however you decide to go with her hair will be a fascinating process to watch.
Your draped, mystery woman is shaping up beautifully. Thanks for showing us the updates.
P.S. If you have a chance, would you mind posting a picture of your lion? I'd love to see it.
Sorry, Jonathan, didn't mean to misspell your name.
Her shoulders currently present a woman walking boldly into the wind. I initially thought her head slightly downward eyes almost closed, but when I did that my shoulders went slightly forward, and my arms could not open as easily. Since the cloak is folding slightly forward you have an opportunity to have her head either straight or as thought she has just caught the wind with her face, as it is changing direction. So with her catching and holding the wind I think she could have her head slightly back, perhaps her looking upward, or turing her head to escape the wind, hood falling off, hair wisping around the corners of the hood, eyes open or closed, lips closed slight smile or a wide smile. Oh the wind is wonderful, I can see the leaves falling all around!!!
Thanks Jonathan for sharing all that you are doing.
Here is my female figure as of today. I finished worked on the drapery on the upper right side and on both of the lower sides. I believe the lower sides convey movement without overwhelming the dress. You'll note that the figure tends to lose a bit of detail once it is dry but this will be remedied when I paint and/or seal it. I now am starting on the back BUT it's going to be get cold now. I hope there will be a few good days so I don't have to wait until spring. Keep your fingers crossed!
WOW! WOW! WOW! Jonathan, I hope your weather holds out, so you can do more sculpting. Your headless mystery woman is wonderful!
Thanks Eva! I appreciate the encouragement. I am really enjoying this but I tend to ruin that feeling by obsessing and becoming a perfectionist. I know no one else ever does this here! : ) And, not to worry, she will have a head one day (and hands and feet). I want to work on the back first. And this brings to mind a confession of sorts which I am sharing to help others. I made the armature too big. I made it the actual size of the piece I wanted (meaning the full body size); so when I applied cement she became far too massive. I have no idea why I didn't think this through, call it a brain lapse.
I chiseled her down on the front and now have to do the back. The arms are far too big, and it is very noticeable in back. So, I am basically going to remove the entire back portion (and pray pray pray it does not split the front, if it does I will fall into a heap, never to recover). I have thought about leaving it and just having it be a piece that is meant to be viewed from the front... but I really want her in the round. So, consider it a challenge. : )
Jonathan, I really hope your sculpting "surgery" on her back goes well. That's got to be a pretty scary step to take on a marvelous piece of sculpture that's taking shape so beautifully.
And I really appreciate your honesty about your armature. You have such immense talent for sculpting, Jonathan, so if you can have this kind of "oops" on one of your armatures, then there's hope for the rest of us.
Even without her head, your cloaked female is a striking work of art.
This is really wonderful. You haven't been back for a couple of weeks now, so I hope everything went well with her back operation.
Next time you do one of these projects, I would love it if you posted pictures of your armature. I know NOTHING about making them, so have been reading up, trying to figure it all out. With the papercrete, you don't have to wrap it in chicken wire or hardware cloth?
Would papercrete work for planters?
Hope to see you back here soon-- looking forward to seeing your progress on this or any other projects you take on.
Yes, I haven't posted because I have been a slug. She has stood out there waiting and I have done nothing, then Thanksgiving hit so that was a bust too. The cold hits us tomorrow so there may be no progress till spring. When there is I will post : )
Armature: To answer your question about armature. I have not used chicken wire/hardware cloth. I avoided chicken wire because I was worried it might rust and break the figure apart. Other than that concern there is no reason you couldn't use it. You don't need it as much as with regular cement because the paperfibres give more plasticity to the cement, making it easier to mold a shape. On the other hand a wire armature might give the figure greater strength.
I do have a picture of this female figure with just the styrofoam base so I'll post that later.
Now, to the planter question. Even though papercrete might absorb some moisture I am inclined to think it would work as a planter but not having tried it I don't know. I have made a fountain from it though and it has not molded or become structurally weak. If you do it as an experiment I'd be interested in your results. -Jonathan
Jonathan, you came back-- yay! Taking some slug time is cool; sometimes we need the downtime to gain perspective on a project. Do other things over the winter, then get back to her.
Thank you for the information and your thoughts about using the wire. I admit I hadn't thought about rusting (just one of many things I don't know about this stuff). It's good to know that the papercrete will stick without it.
Oh yes, please do post that picture of the styrofoam base when you can-- any others if you've got them. Images like those help so much in trying to figure out this whole concept.
Seems to me that if you've used this mixture for a fountain, it would certainly work for a planter. Amazing when you think about it, eh? I love the idea of using paper like this, on so many levels. Weight being the biggie, but the fact that I was a papermaker in the past is another. Paper fibers are simply amazing.
Well, spring has come and gone and I just now got to work giving my female figure a head. I am still working on her hair (needs a LOT more work there) but my question is, do I go with this face or chisel it off and start over. She has a certain character but not sure if this is what I want. What do you think?
The good news is that the new cement is adhering just fine to the "older" piece, which is unusual for cement as I understand.
I think she is wonderful! I see her walking briskly in the summer breezes, but she looks like she's leary of something and ready to 'shoot to kill'.....how about a hint of a smile? Maybe a look of enjoying her walk.
Incredible, you do amazing work! As for her face, I agree with Marcia. She looks like she is really PO'd at someone. How about a secret smile, like she is imaging holding her babe, hasn't told anyone, and is going to keep the secret to herself for a few more days! Sort of like a Madonna smile. I hope I am expressing myself clearly here.
Can't wait to see her finished, Dena
Hi, Jonathan ~
She's incredible just the way you have her now. I see both a mother's calm love and a mother's protective fierceness in her face. And I happen to really like her hair, too.
Jonathan, go with your artistic instinct in sculpting any changes. You have a great eye and feel for creating some amazing sculpture works.
Looking forward to seeing how you finish her. Beautiful!
Hi, I think it's really amazing what you have created here, such talented patience you have!! I'm no professionally here by any means, just a sometimes lurker these days, learning the "trade" so to speak. anyways, I really-really like the expressiveness of her mouth, and as I study her face I feel if you do plan to change anything here, if possible I myself would open up the eyes (more rounded)..I believe this would give the whole face a more friendly look-just my 2 cents worth.
Like the others I'll be looking forward to seeing your finished project! Wendy
She is wonderful!!!!!!
Thanks for the pictures.
Beautiful work, Jonathan. She looks like a young woman warrior to me. I love the draping and the movement affect you've created. I'd love to see pics from the back and side view, also. Can't say much more than Wow! Very impressive.
Her arms are open but her head is down and apprehensive. Is this what you are going for? She looks young, very young. If it were me, which it isn't so don't feel like you need to take my advice I'm just throwing it out there, I would tilt her chin up hair blowing in the breeze with a confident look and a bit older. I'm thinking "Goddess Nike." But of course you may do whatever you like, you are the artist! Great work!
Oh my gosh! What wonderful work! I'm amazed at your craftsmanship!
If I dare critique, the one and only thing that detracts for me is the eyebrows. But I won't dare say a thing. She's lovely as she is.
Thank you all for your honest input. I removed her face and redid it. I also raised her head. I gave her pupils this time around. I had been trying for a more classical look but in the end thought perhaps something more expressive would be better. Now I am happy with her eyes but not her nose or mouth. It may be I'll just have to live with it. My therapist tells me that sometimes it is a good thing to let go (can't be true can it?). I am now working on her hands, feet and back.
Again, thank you for your input.
I think she's wonderful! Her expression is so much better.......the changes must make her feel young again! She seems to be happy!
Incredible work. Thank you so much for posting all the pictures.
I love her new face. I do like it a lot better than the old face. I think the old face was hard and tough. The new face reflects a strength in softness. I Don't know, but it is a face that draws me in. I just could not write and say "nice face, nice overall work" so I took a stab at trying to explain why I just love this piece.I am so inspired to try to create something. Thank you and please keep us posted!
Yes, I also like the gentle softness of her new face, it appears you smoothed the puffiness from under the eyes? she looks even younger now.
Thank you so much for letting us once again see the changes you've made. Yes please keep us posted! Wendy
Some say that art is never complete as much as abandoned. They are beautiful.
Thanks so much for updating us on this piece. I like the redux much better. I think she looks a lot like Ren Zellweger!
Well, wasn't happy so redid her face again. I like it a lot better.
Think I'll need to file the eyelid on the right eye but I think I'm done with her face folks, lol. I like that saying about art not being finished but abandoned! So, now onto her hair, hands, feet and back.
quote "The good news is that the new cement is adhering just fine to the "older" piece, which is unusual for cement as I understand." This isn't true about new cement not adhereing to old cement. With the right prep work and cement mix repairs or additions can be made.
I liked her old face and the latest face. Makes me think that she's walking and in a thoughtful mood. I too thought she looked warrior like and there's nothing wrong with a strong woman. The statue of Liberty isn't smiling but people are warmed and welcomed by her. You're doing a great job and thanks for posting her. Billie
Johnathan, yes the new face is softer and more attractive. You do very nice work.
Billie Ann, you wrote: "With the right prep work and cement mix repairs or additions can be made."
Can you expand on this? What is the right prep work? Thanks!
Jonathan, she still looks like Renée (that's a good thing!), but she's way more refined now. You've done a great job on this piece and love that you didn't forget to share with us.
Hi! I have been lurking for a few weeks. I am big fan of your work! My name is Terry. I tried this method for making a bear on top of a stump left in my backyard from a recently cut tree. I am posting a link to a photo below . . . if it works you will be able to see what I did. Anyway . . .I was somewhat happy with the outcome of my first attempt and decided to try a second bear. Unfortunately, I made the armature (chickenwire) too short in the neck. I didn't realize the problem until too late and the result is a bear that is almost finished but that I am not happy with. I was considering cutting off his head, attaching more wire for a longer neck, and then re-attaching the head. I am afraid that the new neck may not support the head well enough for reattachment. LOL Anyway . . . Do you have any suggestions?
Here is a link that might be useful:
I think your bear looks VERY nice!
any idea what he weighs?
Mad, I'm fairly sure it's about bonding agents.
Terry, that Bear is awesome! what paper product did you use?
Actually that is exactly what happened with my statue. I had to raise her head. Here is what I did. I cut her head off, hammed a steel rod in the neck of her head, jammed the head onto the body but kept it high, stuffed styrofoam in the empty space around the rod to hold the head up and then cemented over all of that. It was a little risky as the head could have fallen but it didn't.
Terry your work is great! I love that bear. I am glad the papercrete worked for you.
Thanks all for the compliments and the advice about the head. To answer the questions: I used the same formula that Johnathon wrote about and followed the instructions here (except that I used chicken wire for armature). I used the shredded paper insulation that they sell at Home Depot for $10 a bag. Then I added water, portland cement, and some joint compound. As to the weight . . . since I built this on the stump . . . I have no idea. I built the second bear on a work table so when it dries, I will have a better idea about the weight. Right now it's VERY heavy! I tried to move it to make room for my next project and couldn't quite manage it. I think it takes them a long time to dry completely too and I am not patient so I painted this one before it had completely cured. Tomorrow my husband is going to help me move it to a more permanant spot. Here is a picture of the second bear:
Here is a link that might be useful:
Terry, I love the 2nd bear too. It looks like it is carved out of wood even. How did you do the eyes? You could sell these babies!
you should start a new thread. your bears deserve it! :-))and so we can all follow your bears! I just love them both
Thanks for the kudos all! The eyes are glass. I got them from a taxidery supply called Van Dikes. Tomorrow I will take some photos of my new project so you can see how it looks before I apply the papercrete. I am using a styrofoam base for the latest one . . . haven't tried that yet! We moved the second bear off the work table this morning and it was quite heavy . . I would guess around 70 pounds. I think it will get lighter when it is fully cured but I'm not sure. Here is one more photo of the 2nd bear.
I started a new thread about the bears. I included a bunch of pictures of the bears that I made and the work in progress. I also posted some shots of my new project that show how the armature looks before applying the papercrete. If there are any more questions please take them there. Thanks, Terry
She's wonderful Jonathan, thanks so much for sharing so many details about the process of her creation! I've been wanting to do a large piece in concrete, but not looking forward to all the weight of the 'crete and a heavy armature.
Using papercrete sounds like the perfect solution - so, I guess I have no excuses now! thanks again, and keep posting!
i saw your greenman on another site...and i was showing it to a friend when it came up here....the lady is nice...i really like your stuff...so much that i went out and bought me some materials too...i dont really have anything to show off...but...i was on a job and they were using stucco...so they had some of the wire mesh around they use to adhere it to walls and i bummed a sheet of it from em...it seems to be perfect for the material...didnt know if you tried that or not...oh...dont forget the gloves when you work with it...it ll cut you six ways before you can bat an eye
thanks for the inspiration and the instruction...i liked the gargoyles too
Hi howlingmelon, I haven't tried mesh yet for a figure, that should be interesting. I haven't done chicken wire even. I have been afraid that water would wick in and split the figure, but a) if it is sealed that won't happen and b) I actually think this stuff is tougher than regular cement. The strands of paper fibre seem to do a good job of making it tough.
BTW just a warning, which I have in my directions as well, when the cellulose insulation is mixed with the cement and water there is a distinct ammonia smell which can't be good for you so be sure and do it in a well ventilated area.
she is amazing!!!!!!!
I have been wanting to try to make rocks and troughs for my flower gardens so I have been reading the many ways you
guys make things and was wondering if you could use papercrete to make the rocks I was mastly worried that If it was outside it would fall apart,how long does papercrete last out in the weather?
where in Arkansas is your greenman I would love to see him
and I live in Arkansas so I could take my family on a short outing to see him you can e-mail if you wish
Hi nosnod, I have 2 figures unsealed that have been sitting there for about 3 years, one of them has a bit of green tint around some of the corners, the other has nothing like that... So truthfully it looks to me like you can use it for rocks with no problem, and it is very strong in my experience. The only problem would have been paper fibres wicking but so far it appears that is an unfounded fear, at least with my figures. I need to post pictures of those other pieces some time.
jloppnow,thank you so very much for your answer and again WOW!and please post the other pictures I would love to see
more of your work.
Well folks my statue is just about done. She has gone through a lot of changes. I am glad I took pictures along the way. I am not quite happy with her from every angle but it's time to let her be I think.
I did her hands and feet finally and then painted her. All that is left now is sealing her in polyurethane and then putting a cement pad on the bottom of the statue.
I had the hardest time with her feet, they came out too masculine so I have her walking in water to cover them up some. I think the effect came out ok.
Sadly, winter is knocking at the door and I won't be able to start anything large (maybe that is a good thing).
Also, I know this is offtopic but I now have a lot of joint pain; am waiting on tests to see if it Uncle Arthur Itis. I hope not but sure does make it hard to mix the cement, and lifting is a problem. I can deal with the pain but I am somewhat upset about the idea of losing my ability to sculpt. Still I am jumping the gun as I don't know what it is yet : ) Do any of you have an ointment you use for this that helps?
BTW here is an old piece of mine. He has been unsealed/unpainted for about 3 or 4 years (easily) and has held up well, just thought I'd show him as an example of the fact papercrete does seem to hold up.
And this is my poor dwarf figure who only gets worked on when there is left over cement. His name is "Oy Vey!"
Gorgeous work, All your projects are great. I've had arthritis and sore hands for a few years now. I still manage to sculpt so don't give up hope. What I have found very helpful are hot and cold water, fill two sinks or containers with as hot and as cold as you can manage. Plunge your hands into them and leave them for 30-60 seconds and go back and forth several times. It will not be pleasant when you do it , but it sure helps get the circulation going and really helps ease up on a lot of pain. I do this half way through a large project and for sure at the end of working with my hands,hope this will help you,
I have just loved watching your progress on this piece! She turned out just wonderful!
I have been so inspired by you and others on here that I have attempted my first armature construction of a fish! It seemed like an easy form to make. I am sure learning a lot from this project!
I am so sorry to hear about your joint pain. Something I have found to work very well is a natural product called Phenocane. It is a little spendy but I prefer to go the natural route and it really is effective. I even use it for headaches! My father in law has had severe joint pain caused by gout. He wont take any medication for it but he tried this and he say's it works great...like nothing else he has ever tried.
I've attached a link to the product via amazon but you can also find it at your local healthfood store.
I hope this helps! We want to continue to see your wonderful works of art! :)
Here is a link that might be useful: Phenocane
Thank you for sharing this whole wonderful process. It is very inspiring!
As far as joint pain, do you drink coffee? I find many of my aches and pains go away when I quit and I am not a heavy drinker either - just a couple of cups in the morning. And that includes decaf as well - no coffee at all.
Jonathon your work is fabulous, just love her!!! As for your arthuritus, here is something you should check out. www.essentiallysoy.com and look under moisturizing oils, emu oil. I use these body tarts in the melted form and they are simply wonderful!
Holy cramolly! I can't believe how fabulous your work is! Absolutely beautiful! How did her backside turn out? Can you post a picture of that?
ps-I am new to this forum!