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The Art and Craft of Papier Mache

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The Art and Craft of Papier Mache

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Book Name: The Art and Craft of Papier Mache

Author: Juliet Bawden

Publisher: Grove Weidenfeld

ISBN: 0-8021-1245-5

Cover: Hardcover

# of Pages: 143

Illustrations: Full color photos and sketches

Experience Required: Beginner

Book Review

In the Foreword the author provides us with a brief introduction to what she is going to teach us about papier mache by summarizing the framework of her book.  I like it that she refers to her book as a guide to the techniques of papier mache and that the techniques, while reliable, are not set in stone.  She wants to motivate the reader to get enthused about papier mache and has included a wide variety of projects in the hopes of doing so. Following that, for those who are interested, there are the  Perspectives and Folk Art Traditions sections.  They cover a history of the process of making papier mache over the centuries and in different parts of the world where it has played a significant role in their culture.  Samples of projects are provided here as well so the reader has a representation of the some of the styles she is talking about. 

After exposing the reader to the history of papier mache she gets down to the nitty gritty of the process by providing tan extensive list of materials needed in the Before You Begin section.  In the Papers, Glues and Finishes section, she expands on the products you can use in these areas giving you options depending on your needs and the type of project you are creating.  A glossary of materials, equipment and techniques is also available at the back to explain certain terms used throughout the text.

The author starts to outline the process of making papier mache in the Techniques  section and continues her explanations in the Decorating, Interiors, Fashion, Masks and Dolls and Creations sections.  Each technique is a step toward making a project. 

Displayed throughout this book are the types of projects that could be done and have been done by artists.  A brief description of how it was made is provided.  These particular projects aren't for beginners but are a good source of inspiration as you begin to create your own style.  This book is a good resource for beginners because of the extensive detail the author goes into concerning the whole process of papier mache and the options available within the process.  Advanced examples of projects (i.e. art and sculpture) would be beneficial to artists needing a bit of inspiration.


  • Choosing and using a mold
  • How to layer on an existing mold
  • How to make a lino print
  • How to make a bangle
  • How to make a figure

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