So this is all looking very familiar. No surprises in my paper mache world. Still, here goes. I did my usual twisting of paper around pieces of wire clothes hanger for the toes and fingers. As I've said before, I like to use phone book paper for this. It has a nice way of compressing. I swear, this is the last possible use for phone books. I've tried doing the paper mache with phone book paper. It didn't really work. It seemed like it didn't shrink uniformly. This could be my imagination. Let me know if you've used this paper for paper mache. I'm curious about how it went for others. I used phone book paper on the eggs I made for the last baby dragon. While they were wet they were perfectly symmetrical and egg like. However, when they dried, they became all misshapen. So, as far as phone books go, paper mache no, fingers and toes, go. (With all the problems in the world, isn't it nice to have such a simple one to solve?) (Speaking of simple problems, see the end of this post.)
So below are the fingers and toes. As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted this laughing Buddha to be essentially full sized. So I used my own hands and feet as a guide. I made the wads of paper about the size of my own foot.
As you can see, once I added the toes, the foot got a little bigger. That's okay though. My feet are a little small. Besides, the belly will certainly be bigger than mine. In the photo on the right (below) I've assembled the parts for the calves and thighs. I usually make legs by making a figure eight out of a clothes hanger. I put wads of paper in the upper and lower halves of the figure eight and paper mache. Obviously, this wouldn't work for my Buddha. The legs would be way too small. For this project I just stuck thigh and calf sized wads of paper into their own hangers and then applied the paper mache. I'm going to say this again. I love wire clothes hangers. I know many of you like different kinds of wire. That's okay. Some of you tell me you can't find wire clothes hangers any more. But you can if you look online. I was worried about it a while back, so I went on a wire clothes hanger buying spree. By the time I was finished, I had 1200 of them. My wife thought I was nuts. (She's right. But not because of the clothes hangers.) Hmmm. It occurs to me that people started saying they couldn't find hangers about the time I was buying these....sorry. Look, if you really some and can't find them, let me know. I'll send you some for the price of shipping.
Speaking of hangers, I cut off the end of the loop and stuck the wire into the foot. I filled in the back of ankle with crumpled newspaper.
I wadded up a ball and wrapped it with tape. I used this for the ankle. I cut an extra, small paper mache ball in half to use for the calf muscle. The mache ball was elongated, perfect for this application. I like having a lot of extra paper mache balls around. I have a big pile of them. If you are obsessive and have nothing elso to do, you can take the virtual tour of my studio and see the pile of pre-paper mached balls. You can do this on the home page of GourmetPaperMache. Some of these paper mache balls are years old before I decide to use them.
I stuck the lower half of the leg and the thigh together. Then I added another piece of wadded paper for a knee cap. The assembled leg looked pretty good at this point I think.
I made the hands in a similar fashion. I started with a hand sized wad of paper. I added the four fingers on top. I always put the thumb almost on the other side of the wad. It looks much more like a thumb that way. Again, I used my own hand as a reference for size.
I cut two holes in the sides of the giant paper mache Buddha body for the legs. I pushed the legs into the holes and added a lot of masking tape. I'll tell you a little secret here. This was not as easy as it sounds. I had a terrible time getting these legs positioned correctly. But, in the end, they turned out all right. It's a lesson in life. Sometimes you just have to wrestle with the Buddha.
Till next time....meanwhile...
You probably know that I'm a math teacher during the school year. As a little side note, I'm going to pose a little math problem. This has absolutely nothing to do with paper mache. But it is fun. You don't have to work on it. You can just wait for the answer on my next post. Trust me. It will surprise you. Here's the question:
Say you wrap a piece of rope around the Earth at the equator. The rope is very tight. It doesn't stretch. So you have a length of rope that is essentially the circumference of the planet which happens to be 25,000 miles (it's actually 24,901.55 miles, but just use 25 thousand). The question is, if you added 50 feet of length to the rope, would it give you enough slack for you to stick your fingers underneath it? That is, would the additional 50 feet be enough for you to get your fingers under that giant piece of rope? Or would it still be too tight?
Answer next time (unless you want to post it.)
PS. No, this isn't some silly trick to get you to come back. You don't have to come back if you don't want to. This is just for fun. And this is the last math problem I'll pose on this blog, I promise.
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