Monday, 21 October 2013

Paper mache devil horns: getting the right texture

This horn hasn't been painted yet, but you can see the texture already.

Texture is very important in sculpture.  Getting the overall shape how you want it is obviously important, but it's the texture that makes the difference between a result you're proud of and something that just isn't quite right.  However, you probably don't want to spend hours and hours getting exactly the right texture on something intended to be a quick and easy Halloween costume component.  I know I don't!  fortunately, this isn't a problem.  There's an easy and quick way of getting a decent texture on horns using paper mache, and today I'm going to show you how it's done.

You start by getting a toilet roll and wrapping it from one end of the horn armature to the other.  The coils of bog paper can be uneven and scruffy; this is fine.  As I explained in the last post, the horn armature is simply a length of kitchen tinfoil twisted into shape, with a bit of glued paper over top.

Wrapping the horn in paper.

Next, you want to spread thin glue all over the coiled paper.  I've used watered down PVA, which is what I always use.  Wrap a layer of toilet paper or tissues around the coils, and spread a nice thick layer of paste over that too.  Et voila!  You now have a nicely textured horn.  The picture at the top of the post shows you the ridged texture you get with this method.  The whole process takes about ten minutes from beginning to end, though of course you'll also need to factor in drying time before you can paint it.

Adding a final layer of tissue to the horn.

You can use other tissue or paper instead of toilet roll, but toilet roll of course has the benefit of being already in a long thin length.