Skip to main content

Paper Mache Fruit: Pulp Method

Lesson 17 from: Paper Crafting: Skills and Technique

Robert Mahar

Paper Mache Fruit: Pulp Method

Lesson 17 from: Paper Crafting: Skills and Technique

Robert Mahar

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

17. Paper Mache Fruit: Pulp Method

Lesson Info

Paper Mache Fruit: Pulp Method

We are now for the next two segments going to be tackling some paper machete projects, and there are two major schools of thought when it comes to paper machine construction. But I first want to show you another pinterest page. We're going to bring this up on the screen here, much like the paper florals that we talked about in the last segment. Pinterest is a great place to go for inspiration, and so what they've pulled up here is my paper machine pinterest page. Want to go check it out? You can see some of the amazing creations that people from around the globe are creating with this very versatile material and posting online, so spend a little time with that it's a lot of fun, but the very first type of paper machine we're be going to be getting into today is the pulp method. There are two primary types there's paper mache, a pope and there's paper michelle strip method, and that we're going to deal with in our next segment. The paper mache. A pulp method there are recipes that you c...

onfined easily online to create your own paper, mushy pulp and it's, not on similar to the pope that we created on day one for our handmade paper making, you would just be adding in the addition of some sort of glue or adhesive. They do also sell it readily. In the art supply store. It comes it's, almost fluffy looking. It almost looks like maybe inspiration are insulation, inspiration, insulation or cotton batting something along those lines. But it does have, ah, the added adhesive in its and that kind of helps it all cling together. This particular varieties called clay crete. It creates a surface that is quite hard and durable. It does take a while to dry, and we'll talk about that when we get to that step in the process. But it ends up with a quite durable and results. Whoa, paper machete is another one of those. Craft traditions with a really long history very popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries because they were almost using it as a building material at the time, if you go back through certain furniture auctions, you can occasionally come across paper machines shares, and it just gives you an idea of how sturdy it can become as a structure most of them do have an armature underneath, which is something that they build, the paper machete up around and that's actually something we're going to be doing in the course of creating this paper mache a fruit. So we're going to start with that now the armature or the mcat two different words for the under structure they both mean the same thing. You can use many different things as an under structure for paper mache, eh? I'm simply using paper, especially for a small scale object like this it's very simple to dio I'm going to be using some unprintable newsprint you could just as easily use recycled newspaper from home or any other paper you might have at home and you can see with the pear shape, we obviously have a large bulbous area on the bottom and then almost like a little smaller ball on top, we're going to be able to create that entire shape with just two sheets of paper in addition to the paper we're going to be using another floral wire stem these air, just like the floral wire stands that we were using in our paper making session. This is just a much thicker gauge on dh it's going to be a little bit sturdier. It's going tio help not only keep the mckay together, but it's also going to form the stem of our pair some masking tape. So there's the three things that we really just need to get started. So just so our ladies in the audience know I'm going to go ahead and build the mcat. Today, I'm going toe mix together the paper mache a pulp and put together the structure, which normally would take a couple of days to dry through the magic of video. Then you all have the lovely dried fruit on your table, and we're going to go from there as faras finishing techniques. So the first thing I typically do you think it needs to pay for wanted up into a ball now, keep in mind with these paper machete is another one of those mediums where if you wanted, you really could sand it down to a fine, smooth finish and come up with a piece of fruit or whatever the object might be, that looks really realistic, I kind of tend to embrace the almost rustic, uneven surfaces that the pulp lends themselves, too, which is kind of how you end up with a lot of these, like crinkles and crevices, which I think are kind of charming. So, again, I've just started with one piece of paper. I've balled it up, I'm taking a second sheets and placing my bald a piece of paper in the center to wrapping this up around kind of pinching it together, and I'm forming a second ball on tops. You kind of see already, we've got a little bit of a pear shape, so what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna tear off a little strip of masking tape just to kind of help me with my basic structure mcats or the armatures do not have to be creepy because all of this is getting covered. You really just want them there to give support to the paper mache a. If I were to create this entire, I'll be in a small pair with just the paper machine pulp and have that dense all the way through. It would take a very, very, very long time to dry. Where is doing this? You save on some of the paper pulp and it speeds up the drying process because you've just gotta thinner layer on the exterior of your mcat. So what I'm going to do next is I'm going to take one of these eighteen inch cloth wired floral stems. You could also use a standard floral wire that comes on a spool. I just happen to like the thickness of this particular stem. I'm going to give it a little a bit of a hook and sliding it down over the center of my pair. I'm goingto twisted around kind of bring it up along the sides here and then at the very top of the pair, I'm just going to begin twisting it together, and while this is obviously much longer than I want the stem for my pair to be until we get to our finishing stages, it's going to act as a little bit of a handle for me, which is a handy thing to be able to use when you're working with a wet medium so you can see very, very simple as faras fruits concerned, you could use this same method to create almost anything, obviously apples and pears and other sort of sphere apples and peaches and oranges. Other sorts of spirit, kal fruits would be really easy to put together in this method, so once you've got that constructed, we're simply going to go ahead and set that to the side, and we're going to start mixing our paper pulp. So with the paper pulp, you obviously just want to pay close attention to the instructions on the package they all read a little bit differently. I'm going to mix up a batch this this is almost two cups of the paper pulp because of the adhesive in it, you might end up with, like, a little cloud of dust coming up from it, but not to worry it's a very small amount of water. In addition to the pope, the goal really is just to make damp you don't want it stopping wet, so we're just going to start drizzling a little bit over the top, just going to use a wooden spoon. At some point, I'm just going to dig in with my hands because it'll be easier. You can see him getting it's almost like a cloud of flower when you're baking, that comes up from this hoof. All right, all right, so I think I've got plenty of water and there at this point, and I can see that it is starting to clump up, and when I squeeze that, I definitely can feel the moisture, so I'm just going to start working it in with my hands, and this would be, as I had mentioned, very similar to the paper pulp that we created yesterday for our handling paper and session one it just obviously we started with it dried squeeze it see if any excess water comes out no, I think we're good so you can see it's it's mushy it sticks together pretty well but it definitely can crumble if prompted so what I'm going to dio is bring my mcat over and we may end up mixing a little bit more of that if I feel like it's just not quite enough to cover up our pair so I'm taking a small amount I would say maybe golf ball size and kind of rolling it between my hands patting it down almost into a patty just to sort of make it a little thinner and I'm really going to go for a thickness of maybe around a quarter of an inch surrounding this another way a typically start when I'm doing these pieces that have a stem is I've kind of formed a little hole in the center of my patty I'm just going to slip my stem right through that so I can start forming it around the top of the pair and you I feel it's really it's moshi and it's malleable you can kind of squish it down to cover a little bit more surface area I'm going to pinch it up a little bit more so it's tighter surrounding the stem at the top all right I'm gonna do that again and I'm going to start covering the sides again, just sort of like working in between your hands a little bit. You want to make sure that all of the moisture is well incorporated into the paper pulp, which he saw as we started with was just powdery, dry and lay this down over the side just kind of start to motion in much like working with clay or even plato, it can just be mushed around and kind of blended up into the upper portion. Covering is much the surface is I can, she can see with just that little bit of managed to cover the top and about half of the bottom of the base, so I've got this portion still remaining, so we'll see if this little bit well still cover it. If not, we may end up mixing up just a little bit more just smooth it out into large patty there, stick it over the edges and then start to work all of those pieces together, they blend quite nicely. I think we're good and again, you do have some control over here. I did talk about sort of embracing the rough surfaces, but if you're working on a piece where you really want it to be a little bit smoother, you can always kind of grab a little bowl of water, wet your fingertips and just kind of start to smooth it down and it responds really well to that little extra bit of moisture you don't want to overly wet it obviously but it's going to kind of help you give it a little bit more finished look on the sides and this is your opportunity to of course to kind of play around with your shape if you feel like it's ending up looking a little bit too much like a bowling pin versus a pair you can you know change those proportions a little bit but you can see how quickly that comes together and so we've got this and typically this will take about one to two days to dry if you depending on the season and where you live if you can set it out in the sunshine that definitely will speed up the drying process I also found in making some of the swap outs that we're going to be working with today that in the evenings they went in front of a fan and that definitely helped speed that up but you know you'll just check on them on a daily basis and kind of see what progress they're making us faras drying up. So have any of you done this the paper pulp method of paper machine before I've just use it in a candy mold to make a form? I love that I versus using plaster completely versatile and that's a really genius idea and I know that people do that especially when building out I've seen people not only do it and candy molds, but in some of the larger cake molds like for the holidays, you might see easter rabbits or snow men or that sort of thing to plaster. It is a nice alternative to plaster, and I think it tends to be sometimes a little bit more manageable than plaster is because with plaster, obviously you're pouring in that liquid. With this, you're able to sort of press it down into all of the crevices in the details of the mold I don't. When you did that, I know you were dealing with a silicon mold. Did you have to use a releasing agent at all in order? It's actually been titch mold and it was a deer head on amount without the florentine. Oh, sure, but I just was collecting deer heads of the time, and I saw this candy mold. I go, well, I gotta have that, so this is it. What? I hadn't worked with plaster, but I wanted to try it with this and yes, I did use the silicone spray. So that is something to keep in mind, as we've been talking about if you're going to be using this in conjunction with the mold on dh it's, not a silicone modern silicone mold, you may want to use a releasing agent, otherwise it could have a tendency to stick, especially if it's a vintage or older mold, and you don't want that to happen, so we're going to set this fella aside, and we all now have at our work stations, lovely little swap outs, and you can see they're super lightweight it's got a little bit of half to it, but you tap it on the sides, you kind of sounds a little hollow, it definitely sounds solid there's nothing moshi about it at this stage of the game, and so what we're going to do is we're going to start working on ways of finishing it, and when I was thinking about this project and kind of my love of all sorts of vintage craft traditions, I don't know if many of you are old enough to remember waxed fruit, but my grandmother used to have a bowl of it and it's the kind of thing where it was used for decorative purposes, and this is just a little bit of a nod to that it's, not an entirely waxed piece of fruit, obviously. But what we're going to do is we're going to paint thes and then we're going to dip them in some paraphernalia kind of give it this beautiful waxy, silky finish and we're going to create a different style of leaf and what we had tackled in our paper making classes before these air almost a little bit more realistic they've got a beautiful chevron pattern and we're also going to be dipping those in the wax and it kind of gives it a nice preserved finish and very malleable as well when it's wet and kind of will hold just about any shape you'd like so I've got some standard acrylic craft pains at each of your tables and I just sort of picked three citrusy green shades and typically when I am painting something along these lines I kind of keep it a little chunky and messy which I think pairs well with sort of this rough exterior if you can see on these pieces of fruit I really I did all of an undercoat in one of the shades and then I sort of started to mix a couple of the shades together and they did a couple of highlighted areas with the yellow justus if it were having the light shine on it from a certain direction and we kind of talk about that as we work through but if you want to go ahead everyone's got paint palettes at their work stations hands what's everybody, they're sealed. Ok? They're fresh paints and it's nice with these six compartments paint pallets you can just pour the straight color in three of them and use the other ones for space to mix doesn't take a lot of pain for these obviously it's a small surface you can see what we're going up got going on here is more of a a citrusy shar true screen, sort of a buttery yellow, and then something that's a little bit more of a celadon or a celery color here, um, for painting with fees because it's a broader area and just using an inexpensive craft brush that you can find it any craft supply store, this is where your stems or handles will come in handy if you just want to hold it by that, and then you can start giving it a nice paints and really painted it in any fashion you'd like. Like I said, I tend to just go over it once in a solid color and then go back and do a little bit of layering to kind of add some added dimension to it like this before this is all new for all of you, robert. Presumably, once you've got this method down, you could really make any type of fruit you want apple very fruit wherever object oil dennis lee, um you'll see on my pinterest board a former colleague of mine makes the most amazing pull toys for children so she would use this method to create little squirrels or elephants or other types of animals that she would then mount on wooden platter from's with wheels that could be pulled around by children they're just adorable eso there's lots of possibilities with this you know once you've got that basic technique down of you've got in the back of your head that you need to build them a cat or some sort of under structure um and then you're just applying a relatively you know thin coat of this wet paper pulp to the exterior the hardest part really is just having the patients while it dries um it's not one of those immediate craft so this is a project that you're probably going to do over the course of a few days um it does create a very stable structure I mean still it's somewhat fragile but it's it's much stronger than perhaps people realize it really is it's pretty tough um you know it's obviously not something you want to be throwing around but if it were to drop on the floor it would not shatter by any stretch so what you can see is I've added a first undercoat of sort of a shark truce color I'm going back in with this sell it on and I'm kind of just sort of very messily brushing it along portions of it um again kind of embracing this chunky method of painting that I think pairs nicely with the really rough surface of the fruit and then I'm going to go back in with just a little bit of this sort of buttery yellow color almost as if we're adding a little bit of highlights to certain portions of the rounded sections of the fruit um again no right or wrong method to do this it is again all about experimentation um and if you end up uh once it's dry and you're not happy with the variation that you've created you can simply paint over it that's the lovely thing about this it's not there's no mistake on there is no sort of step that you can't correct or go back and rework so now you could simply just set this down on your work surface and I think that's what the ladies here in the audience will be doing if you do have a styrofoam block at home you can simply press the stem down into it and gives it a place to dry for a few minutes the critic craft paint really is a quick drying paints it'll probably be dry within the course of the next ten minutes which is fantastic and we'll be able to move on with it how we doing everybody they're looking lovely they're looking at a ball very nice fantastic and it really does help to have that little stem toe hold onto while you're painting, especially with the three dimensional objects. Otherwise, you would end up with a lot more pain on your hands than we do today, which is great.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Robert Mahar - Paper Flower Directions.pdf
Robert Mahar - Paper Garland Directions.pdf
Robert Mahar - Paper Marbling Directions.pdf

free bonus materials

Robert Mahar - Course Supplies List.pdf
Robert Mahar - Syllabus.pdf
Robert Mahar - Letters Sample.PDF

Ratings and Reviews

user 1400000665814257

This class if filled with new and fun ways to use the paper that we have in stock. In addition, the paper technique that utilizes Suminagashi Ink is mind blowing! Anyone who loves to create beautiful things will enjoy this class. Robert is one who is an exceptional instructor, in that when he is demonstrating a new technique, he has an ability to use clear concise language. I have enjoyed the class, and plan to use the gorgeous floral pieces in my studio and home, along with creating a lovely party. Thank you!

a Creativelive Student

Really enjoyed watching this two day Paper Crafting course with Robert Mahar. It was full great paper techniques and inspiration. Roberts has such a calm and positive teaching style. Watching him work through step by step of each project you really pick up lots of wonderful tips and tricks of the trade. Highly recommend it.

Holly Herick

Robert Mahar is an excellent teacher with many great examples on paper crafting. Robert has encouraged me to continue working on my sculpted watercolor paper flowers—now I have a bunch of new tips and tricks to try. This class is well worth the price

Student Work