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My Top Secret Posh Paper Mache Recipe! £15.

Updated: Jul 1

Free for sculpture workshop attendees. Aimed at more advanced learners.

Paper Mache as an art material and art form appear to be much more highly regarded in cultures such France, America and Mexico and whilst everybody seems to have had a go at it and a few paper mache artist pop up here and there in the U.K., it's versatility as a medium is sadly overlooked. Aside from it's cheapness, accessibility and versatility, which I love, one of the things that attracts me to it is the challenge of having paper mache art taken seriously!

A pile of paper mache birds being crafted
Paper Mache Birds in progress

You will be able to find similar recipies out there which are freely available with a little research and if you are a serious sculptor I recommend looking into them to see if they are more suited to your project. My recipe is not a copy but has been arrived at through my own research plus trial and error with the emphasis on my customers satisfaction. I have experimented over a number of years and developed the best combination of materials that are readily available in the U.K. in order to give me the following properties that I require to make my own work as durable as possible.

  1. Waterproofing. Customers always ask if my work can be placed outside. The mix is inherently water resistant and with a final coat of varnish sculptures will last for years outside.

  2. Flexibility. I add in materials which are used in the building trade to knit concrete together and make it more pliable which helps to prevent cracking in frosts or in excessive heat, such as the 40 degree heatwave we experienced in recent years. This is my solution to help combat, if not completely resolve these sorts of problems and minimise repairs or complaints.

  3. Mould resistance. If you use a traditional flour mix instead of my recipe, your work may take a long time to dry out and subsequently, because flour is an organic foodstuff, can become mouldy, which is highly unpleasant. My Posh Paper Mache Mix goes off or cures (becomes chemically solid) in a short period of time before drying out completely and will not go mouldy.

  4. Strength. Once the Posh Paper Mache Mix has cured, the sculpture becomes increasingly strong as it dries out, forming a hard shell.

  5. Smooth Texture. My combination of materials makes a smoother mix whereas a traditional mix including flour can be quite lumpy and gooey. The finished product can be sanded and sealed to achieve an even smoother surface.

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