Paper mache is a fun, engaging media for art making. In June, art instructor Celine taught a three-part series on how to create a paper mache mask and design it to reflect your cultural identity. This online workshop was a great way to explore new art materials and creatively express yourself.
During the first class, Celine briefly explained the history of paper mache. She then walked participants through the steps to begin creating their paper mache mixture. Celine recommended three different methods to create this mixture:
1. Warm water with flour until a pancake like consistency
2. White glue or Modge Podge diluted with warm water
3. Liquid fabric starch
The participants also learned the best way to uniformly tear paper is to find the grain of the paper and tear with it. Participants used a wide variety of recycled paper products from newspaper to phone books to brown paper bags.
At the end of day one, all participants had two layers of paper mache started on their masks and were encouraged to finish adding more layers throughout the week.
In the second class, the following week, the Celine discussed the concept of culture with participants. How your culture come from your heritage, you family and traditions, and your personal identity. Participants then discussed shapes, motifs, and how to add a third dimension to their mask with recycled cardboard from items like cereal boxes.
The final class, Celine taught color theory. She introduced participants to paint mixing with primary, secondary, and tertiary colors and well how to make a variety or browns and blacks. Participants worked with Celine to plan their colors, paint the masks, and finally finish their paper mache projects.
Art instructor Celine kept a jovial atmosphere in her online workshops and all participants engaged with each other, asking and answering questions, and providing positive feedback.
Sydney Davis-Campos is the Virtual Learning Coordinator at Able ARTS Work, Learn for Life. She has a B.A. in Studio Art and Art History. Sydney has worked at Able ARTS Work for almost 5 years where she has also held the positions of Art Instructor and an Assistant Program Manager.