A tutorial (and show & tell)
I made some recycled plastic bottle and papier mache vases as an experiment to see what it would be like to paint onto oddly shaped things.
How make your own recycled plastic bottle & papier mache vase
Cut the tops off some empty and washed plastic coldrink and juice bottles with a sharp, serrated knife. It doesn’t have to be completely straight, as long as it’s not jagged. Trim off any jagged bits with scissors.
Tear newspaper up into strips and place them in a shallow bowl of water.
Mix a large blob of acrylic gel medium (I used Dala brand, keeping it local) with water, to a liquid consistency that still has a bit of gloop to it.
Apply the wet newspaper strips, overlapping the edges, to a section of the bottle. Then paint over them with the acrylic gel medium.
Once that section is dry, apply paper to the next section, paint over it all with acrylic gel medium, being generous with the acyrlic gel medium where the sections meet. Repeat, etc.
Smooth off the raw cut edge at the top of the bottle by folding wet newspaper strips over the edge, overlapping them all the way around. Extend the papier mache about 3-5 cms into the inside of the bottle, and brushed it over thoroughly with acrylic gel medium, inside and out.
Repeat the newspaper adding process until you like the edge, the weight and the thickness of the vase.
Once you’re happy with it and it is dry, give the vase a final once over with full strength acrylic gel medium and let it dry.
I used acrylic paint, graphite pencil and ink on my vases.
I added layers of paint and pencil and ink.
Once you’ve finished the artwork, it’s time to glaze your vase. I used Dala acrylic gloss glaze medium and applied 3 layers to the whole vase, inside down about 5cms.
You don’t get your fingers all sticky with the papier mache method I used in this project. So, if like me you like your papier mache-ing without repeated trips to wash your hands when your nose itches, this method is a god(ess)send. The goddess in question is Cynthia Korzekwa. She uses this method for her recycled artworks, although she uses glue in place of the acrylic gel medium.
Cynthia’s beautifully illustrated book “arte per massaie” (Art for Housewives) is an inspiration to me.
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