Category Archives: papier maché

A bit of PMT

No, it’s not what you might think.  Thank goodness.

In my case, it means Papier Maché Therapy.

I just got the urge yesterday afternoon to mess around with paper and glue and water.  It had absolutely nothing to do with the editing deadline looming over me, or the washing-up that needed doing, or the weeds growing like triffids in the garden.

I love that you can make something out of almost nothing, and that it can be as durable as ceramics or wood by the time you finish.  I made these hearts a while ago, with many layers of different paper and then many coats of varnish, and they are as hard as rocks – but still as light as anything.

Many years ago I took a course at UCT’s summer school.  While everyone else was registering for Post Modern Theories of Victorian Literature or The Discourse of Feminism in South African Poetry, I did Paper Maché 101 with Jill Joubert, who ran St Cyprian’s Art Department and subsequently headed up the Frank Joubert School of Art and Design.  She was an incredible teacher, and of course we had masses of fun making the biggest mess you can imagine in one of the tutorial rooms on Middle Campus.

My project for that week was a large mirror framed with paper mush and embellished with shells. I know it was rather basic and certainly not very well executed, but it got me going.  (It got thrown out with my last move, which is no doubt just as well.)

Yesterday I decided to make another heart and a bowl, and once I’d done that I had the idea to stick buttons all over two previously-made paper hearts.  They might end up in the bin – but, hey, at least it took my mind off the weeds.

To be continued…