My first introduction to paper maché art was in my sixth grade class at Roosevelt school in Tacoma, Washington. We were given a balloon to cover with paper dipped in wallpaper paste then applied to a balloon. The balloon was then popped, painted and cut to resemble a mask. That was the only time I ever used a balloon for paper mache art.
Prior to this art project I had been making heart shapes out of mud-pies. I would dig a heart-shaped hole into the earth and pour a heavy mud into it. I also made gingerbread-type people and simply-shaped animals. Nothing lasted long because it would crack and break before the next day.
Back to the classroom at Roosevelt, the entire time I was covering that balloon, my mind was on the heart-shape in the mold at home. After school that day I recovered the heart from the ground and covered it with paper strips dipped in flour and water. (We did not have wallpaper paste at home). When it dried I embellished it and thus became addicted to this wonderful medium of papier-maché. I did not know it at the time but I had just made my first positive mold and started a fifty-three year love affair with Papier maché.
Over the years I have developed several types of armatures that begin most all of my shapes. I have learned how to tear and manipulate paper into smooth contoured shapes used for muscles and form. My art ranges from very small to very large pieces. I use standard woodworking tools for most finishes. I personally do not wish to paint my work because I so love to look at what I've created from paper. This art is very durable as well and there are no supplies to buy. I have pieces that are almost forty years old. It is my hope that someday papier-maché become recognized as one of the major mediums used for sculpture.