Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mâché Creations

There is something beautiful about discarded paper -- newspapers, old memos and reports, magazines, doesn't really matter. I see things there that most people probably don't see -- dragons, turtles, giraffes, fish, castles, and characters of all sorts. It is my job to bring them to life so others can see them. I have named my studio (a loose term given to describe any place where I happen to be creating) Mâché Creations.

Here is a sampling of what's going on in the studio these days: from the magic of chips of paper, to the creatures arising out of them.

It all begins here...with paper. Big sheets torn repeatedly, or cut into tiny pieces with scissors, until I have the raw material to begin shaping into what my head visualizes (but not entirely...the paper has a will of its own and comprimises must continually be made).

This is tedious work, but the results are even beautiful before the process of gluing pieces of paper together begins. Shapes and sizes and colors yield an appealing texture that never ceases to thrill and fascinate me.
I need a variety of sizes. The smallest pieces -- about 1/8 of an inch -- are for forming more precise shapes. I have returned to a process of gluing pieces of paper together, one by one, and working the shape as I go. Everything I do is freehand. I go from the paper chips you see to the eventual shapes using only the air for an armature. The only exceptions are the occasional rolled tube that establishes the form of a leg or arm on a creature. Dragons are my favorite subjects, and I have a variety of characters in the works.

In the rising menagerie are fish and turtles, giraffes (not pictured), and a variety of dragons. There are many other creatures abiding in my mind waiting to get out and express themselves into form.
I love the graceful curves of dragons' necks. Just wait until you see them with wings and ears. After I have them basically formed in this manner, I will take paper pulp made in the blender and kneaded together with glue, and with it cover the figures and sculpt the fine detail work. Previous work can be seen in an earlier blog post.
Stay tuned! I will be sharing more as the work on these projects progresses.
[Photos by Cris Bohannon]