Friday, August 29, 2008

Spiders In The Works

Here is my inspiration for some large papier mache spiders.

A small plastic spider toy I have had for many, many years:

And here is a a partially completed papier mache version:

These spiders were designed for a papier mache class I was going to teach, but due to multiple problems with their creation I nixed the class because I felt it would be more frustrating than fun. The spider technique I’m using is still a good solid approach, it just would not work in a classroom setting.

Very quickly here are the steps. First a small plastic grocery bag was filled with crumpled newspaper until it was the desired size for the spider’s abdomen. In this case the circumference of the abdomen was 23 inches.

A full sheet of newspaper was wrapped around the plastic bag and wrapped further with masking tape. The paper and tape helped create a nice round circular shape.


A piece of heavy duty utility wire was wrapped around the paper abdomen form, a loop was formed in the wire to accommodate hanging the prop for display and for the building process.

(Note that in the photo I’ve already attached the legs, but this step should be done after the plastic bag has been stuffed with newspaper, I’m making this up as I go along so I’ve made a few mistakes.)


Next the top half of a plastic water bottle (.5L) was hot glued to the abdomen. The bottle was filled with crumpled newspaper for strength.


Additional newspaper was taped to the water bottle to “bulk up” and create the head form.


Next, long sections of 16 gauge utility wire were passed through holes created in the newspaper/waterbottle using a large awl.

The wire will form the skeleton for the spider’s legs.


The legs were wrapped in newspaper and masking tape to give them shape. Some plastic strips cut from recycled milk jugs were hot glued onto the body and legs for support. Finally the entire body was covered with strip mache.


The last step featured here was the addition of papier mache clay giving the top of the abdomen some design/texture, more clay on the head and the addition of some eyes and hair (broom bristles)


Just realized the photos don’t show the eyes, no biggie because I didn’t really like the eyes anyway, they were too small.

Here’s the eyes:


The next steps:

Fix the legs, they are still weak and very rough looking. May add some hair bristles to the legs as well.

Fix the eyes, the spider pictured above used garbanzo beans (cue laughs now) but they really need to be bigger and smoother.

Add some detailing to the bottom of the abdomen and head. Also further define the fangs which were simply created by attaching corrugated cardboard cut-outs and defining with clay.

There was quite a bit with this project that didn’t go well, but I think the spiders have potential to be pretty cool.

It’s been a couple days since I have last worked on them so I think I can approach them with a fresh outlook and some fresh ideas.

Stay tuned.


Ghostess said...

Oh wow... those are gonna be awesomely creepy!


Been done for a few days..just need to get them painted...thinking they will look good with some cheesecloth webs...

Dawn said...

Can't wait to see what they look like!


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