Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fake Taxidermy

So I am in love with these papier maché animal busts and want to make one. Not buy one, though I suppose that would be simpler. But I'm a DIYer at heart and love customizing. Why buy something that's only 70% what you want when you can make it yourself and get exactly what you were going for in the first place? (Unfortunately, I still need to learn little skills like patience and precision for the latter to happen on a regular basis!)

The rhino above costs $68 at Anthropologie, arguably my favorite inspiration store ever. We received a gift certificate for a wedding present and if these had been on the website, I might have had a hard time deciding between this and the bowls and table runner I ended up with (for the same price).*

What I love about these is the juxtaposition of printed material with the familiar patterns and shape of the animals. It appeals to the bookish vintage junkie in me. But I'd love it even more if I could choose the text. So I found this tutorial, of sorts, as well as a basic site on papier maché.

I'm thinking that the form can be made with coat hanger and floral wire. A mesh would be best for the base, and I'm pondering plastic "entretela" as a support for the paper strips. It's sort of like large-holed cheesecloth. I'm not sure I can tackle this project in Brazil, because it might never dry. But who knows? If anyone out there ends up making one, do tell me how it turns out!

* The mini latte bowls have gotten so much use at our house. I use them as prep bowls, serving dishes for nuts and dried fruit, portion-controlled desserts and so much more. Who would have thought something so small would be so utilitarian?


Daphne said...

i love the paper mache taxidermy! what color bowls did you choose? i cant decide between the white and green motif...or maybe the blue!

Catherine Denton said...

What an awesome thought--text you love in your favorite animal! If you make one, please show us your pics.
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--jenna said...

My bowls, and I don't know if they're still available, are green/blue colors. Love 'em!

If I ever get up the courage to destroy the kitchen table with glue and paper scraps for a few days, I promise to post photos!

Anonymous said...

If you could find a stuffed or plastic animal, you could use it for your model. Put paper and glue all over it, let it dry, split the mold down the middle and reassemble it with some more paper mache. Cool looking rhino, however. What text would you use? -Mom

Ellen said...

LOVE the fake taxidermy!!!
You could use flyers or colored newsprint to make it more festive, or you could use poetry pages to make an artsy bird.
So inspired by this!

Rona Gregory said...

Oh wow! That is so neat! I love it! I am just beginning to experiment with book sculpture and was just given a paper mache clay recipe, to make models to display on the books. check out the link below

You could 'sculpt' your animal head using this then put a final layer of print in the traditional method to finish!

anne said...

I think the print doesn't look like it's been heavily "wet" , so some wet and messy flour/glue stuff underneath and the a gentle moistening w/clear water for a "full sheet" for the top/outer layer, and then a clear "shellac" over it to seal.....

REALLY COOL LOOKING! One presumes you could print out your own verbiage onto nice weight paper, if you didn't have what you wanted in a regular newspaper or magazine.