Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sculpting a paper mache chair

If you remember last time I blogged about the elephant foot stool, it didn't really look like an elephant's foot at all.  That's because what I showed you last time was the internal structure.  Once I had that structure I sculpted skin and toenails over top.  It looks a lot more like a foot now, see?  I told you it would look better soon.







The toenails were made separately, and glued in place.  They're made from corrugated cardboard with paper clay on top.  After that I smoothed the clay around the toenails and sculpted wrinkles in the skin.  Elephants have very thick skin around their feet, and it forms lots of folds and wrinkles.  As a sculptor I find this texture very interesting, which is why I wanted to do this project.  Elephants' feet are fascinating.  They're digitigrade, meaning they walk on their toes like a cat or dog, but they have an enormous "platform sole" arrangement made of fat to cushion their feet.

The bottom of the stool got textured as well, to make it look like the sole of an elephant's foot.




The final layer of skin is made from crumpled paper towels, pressed tightly against the foot so that the bumps and texture of the paper clay comes through.  This makes a roughened, pebbly texture that works quite well for elephant skin.