The origins of paper/papier-mache DO NOT include strips of newspaper glued onto a balloon.

It was used in ancient times by the Chinese and Tibetans, but really gained widespread use between 1720 and 1900. The basic mixture was paper pulp, water and glue. This papier-mache (French for ``chewed paper``) mixture was formed around objects and pressed into molds to make mostly decorative items like tea trays, boxes, figurines and such. Later, a process was perfected to steam pieces of paper board to soften it and, using hydraulic presses, form it into metal molds under high pressure. The pieces were cast as a thin half-shell pieces which were then glued together to make a hollow papier-mache piece. They even manufactured furniture out of papier-mache and one man invented a way to make strong paper wall boards for building walls.


My papier-mache mixture is made from newspapers, shredded into wet pulp, with glue added. I almost never add anything to my recipe, but it has happened.
I use my papier mixture to hand-sculpt some figures, and, sometimes, I press it into my handmade molds. For the most part, my figurines are not hollow, though I have made some larger pieces hollow, which is a tedious task. I do not have the big machinery to make hollow pieces. My pieces are mostly solid papier-mache pulp.

My Papier-Mache Example

I have been making Papier-Mache Figurines for 34 years.I recently began sculpting my papier-mache pulp onto pieces of driftwood and other unusual base materials to make Santa faces and sometimes full figures.
The designs are all my own. I get my inspiration from antique figurines, decorations, greeting cards and a bit of my own imagination.
I use papier-mache pulp, made from paper, water and glue, much like they did in Victorian times.
My pieces are entirely hand made by me without machinery.

Randy Thompson making Santas

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