This project was somewhat of an unplanned diversion at the end of last year. I was able to participate in a paper mache workshop for a couple of days at my job with Hallmark. We had a department "day away" from the office in October, and I was able to get the armature done. After that, it was weeks of my own time spent at home to complete the sculpture. While fun to work on...paper mache is not my favorite medium, as it takes SO long to dry. I am not so patient with the materials, so this is likely to be my last mache piece!
So how did I end up with THIS goofy animal? It all started a year ago...when I did this sketch of the "Horned Jackalope" at the KU Natural History Museum. When the mache workshop came along, I just thought, "I'll make a prehistoric relative of that critter!" So I added the "Wooly Mammoth" features of the tusks and long fur...and "upgraded" the horns to Moose antlers.
Now I will show you the various phases that this guy went through. Below is the armature that I was able to construct at the workshop. It's made of crunched up newspaper, chicken wire, and a wooden circle at the base of the neckline. I added more wireframe to the antlers, to make them bigger, once I got home. Everything is covered with masking tape...wooden balls were glued on for the eyes.
I decided to use some "mache paper pulp" that I had in the basement for years. Just add water, and the "clay-like" mache allows you to sculpt. It's about the consistency of thick oatmeal.
The next stage of mache was in adding more refined detail. I used some "paper clay" that I had purchased, to sculpt around the eyes, mouth, teeth and tusks.
I then began the process of painting the critter...mostly concerning myself with the areas that would not be covered with "fur".
Here is the final painted Raboose, before the "wooly fur" was added. In some ways I like the "un-furred" version better...a little more fierce looking.
The next step was to add the "fur". I found just what I needed at a fabric store...I liked the reddish gold color...very "mammoth-like". This process was quite time intensive...like making puzzle pieces to conform to the shapes of the head. I also had to consider the direction that the fur would naturally flow. I used some "tacky glue" I got at the fabric store...it held the fur pretty quickly and firmly.
The last component to add was the base...four woodscrews and the project is complete! I had also applied some little squares of "peel and stick" rubber, to keep from scratching the wall.
Behold! The Great Wooly Jack Raboose!
And here is this little critter's new home...on the wall of my studio!