My name is Dan Reeder. I live in Seattle, Washingmachine. I've been making paper mache sculpture for many years. Actually, I was thinking of adding a second "many" to that sentence because of how long it truly has been since I started this. I made my first dragon when I was twenty-two years old. I'm now sixty-two! (I'll bet you thought I was only fifty-nine by my picture.) You can see the face of that first little dragon in the upper left hand corner of this site. I have a full size image of it in my art gallery. I developed my unique variation of paper machecombined with cloth and glue in an attempt to make my projects stronger. The cloth dipped in glue certainly did add strength. Note the size of some of the pieces on this website. The cloth also opened possibilities for detail not afforded by traditional paper mache. The bottom line is that most paper mache artists sculpt with some armature material like chicken wire and then put a "skin" of paper mache over it. I actually sculpt with paper mache balls and then put a skin of cloth dipped in glue over it. I think this process is pretty clearly seen in my videos. I coined the phrase "paper and cloth mache" when I first wrote about it in my book, The Simple Screamer: A Guide to the Art of Paper and Cloth Mâché(1984, Gibbs-Smith Publishers,
Layton, Utah). That book, and the sequel, Make Something Ugly for a Change:The Definitive Guide to Paper and Cloth Mâché (1999) both went out of print in 2006. I finished the comprehensive sequel to the sequel of the Screamer book, Papier Mâché Monsters: Turning Trinkets and Trash into Magnificent Monstrosities(again, Gibbs-Smith Publishers). It is truly a "tell all" book. It tells everything I know about this medium.
Okay, before you leave, come and visit my Virtual Reality Studio!!! It's amazing. (This is the work of renowned VR photographer, Bradford Bohonus.) Click on the photo. Then scroll down the page to find me. Check out other local artist's studios while you are there.
Before I'm done, I have to say that I know that paper mache is supposed to be spelled, "papier mâché."
But what your third grade teacher taught you , and certainly what I do,
is nothing like the "mashed paper" methods employed by the French. So why pretend there is anything French about this.
Please note that there are other great sites out there dealing with paper mache. I've listed some links below to some of friends and fellow paper mache artists. One thing you'll notice as you look around, that there are as many paper mache methods as there are paper mache artists. I love my technique because that's the one I use. My artist friends will undoubtedly say the same for their methods. I also have a couple links to non paper mache artists I like and to some groups with whom I associate. Check them out.
My friend Lori has a wonderful site. Check out Make Craft Projects.
Check out these "Walking Heads" (perfect for Mardi-Gras) from WillowMoonDesigns!
Please look at Seditious, a wonderfully creative blog. Stella does paper mache with great skill, and much more!
Here is my friend Carlos' Facebook page. He is a great paper mache artist!
Check out the great paper and cloth mache of James Osterberg! His site, and his blog.