Arts & Crafts Magazine

Paper Mache Naga- Dragon Queen of Snakes, Mache

By Danmonsterman @danmonsterman
Just a quick post from where I left off.   This is where I add the paper mache to the snake.   I'm not going to explain the entire process here.   But I will state my strong preference about applying the paper strips.   I never put the paper in the paste.  Only my hands.  
Paper Mache Naga- Dragon Queen of Snakes, mache
When you put strips of paper in the paste it disintegrates.  It gets gooey.   And it's really impossible to evenly distribute the paste no matter how hard you try with your fingers.  So you get globs of paste that don't dry and air pockets between the layers of paper.   Just get your hands really wet with paste.   Then touch the stack of paper strips and one will stick to your fingers.   Use only one sheet at a time.   If two stick to your hand shake one loose.  Put the strip on the project and use your wet hands to soak it.   Use your hands to push out the air bubbles and smooth the project.   I started at the neck.   I wrapped the paper strips around the snake at an angle putting on a few layers.
Paper Mache Naga- Dragon Queen of Snakes, mache
With the strips at an angle everything naturally worked downward.  I worked my along the length of the snake squeezing out the excess paste as I went.
Paper Mache Naga- Dragon Queen of Snakes, mache
I added more layers where I thought it needed it for bulk and symmetry.   This step doesn't have to be done perfectly.   The details are added later with the cloth and glue.  
Paper Mache Naga- Dragon Queen of Snakes, mache
This took a few days to dry completely.   As an aside, I can't tell you how many people have asked me how to get their projects to dry faster.   They are under some crazy deadline ("I'm helping my kid make a paper mache dog for school!   It's due in two days!  What can I do?")    Some go to elaborate lengths to accelerate the drying, including using a microwave oven.   My advice?  Plan ahead next time.  And don't do your kid's homework.  
More soon.  Thank you for stopping by.

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