Tuesday, November 4, 2008


This is Vinnie, a 20lb papier mache vulture created by Mary, a Halloween enthusiast in Indiana.
Vinnie was an ongoing project that was finished this October. I have been following his progress over the months and think he turned out great. I'm thinking I want a vulture in my display next year, thanks for the inspiration Mary!

To see more of Mary's wonderful papier mache work visit her page on Hauntspace.

Caroline's Pumpkins

This year I've been honored to recieve photographs and links to various sites featuring papier mache works by others that have been inspired by projects on www.stolloween.com/.
These are Caroline's pumpkins which she finished just in time for her party. They look great, thanks for sharing!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Post Halloween

Halloween 2008 has come and gone, overall a very successful display and much fun. The past couple of weeks I've sort of neglected this blog but have a lot of things to post over the next month. One of the best things about this past year is the amount of incredible photos sent to me by people that have been inspired by the projects on www.stolloween.com, photos I hope to share in the coming weeks.

After I finish packing everything away and doing some much needed organization I will get back to regular posting and updating...plans are already in the works for next year and a couple of projects will get started next week.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Papier Pumpkin Palooza

Just got word that both of my papier mache pumpkin classes have filled to capacity at Space Studios. Guess a lot of folks want to make pumpkins this year.The evenings of October 17th, 18th, 19th and October 24th, 25th, 26th will be filled with papier mache making fun.

My last class was a ton of fun, I can't wait to see what the new students come up with...pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

Inspiration: Swamp

Swamps are facinating...dense, filled with life but at the same time ominous and filled with death. These photos were taken at The Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, MI during a summer hike.

The photos strike a chord with me, the colors, the textures, the light...something evil is lurking beneath those waters.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Three Spiders

Completed three new papier mache spiders for the 2008 display. Need to do some modifications of the paint such as toning down the white drybrush and adding red to the eyes.

The spiders were created with plastic grocery bags, water bottles, wire, newspaper, cardboard and broom bristles.

Latin Names For Tombstones

Need some creative words to put on tombstones?

Use Latin words such as "indomitus" for fierce, "formidinis" for terror, "mortis" for death and so forth.
They look great on tombstones and sound very ancient and evil.
Don't know Latin..no problem, use this English to Latin online translator to get whatever you want.

Granted you will probably be the only one that knows what the words mean but the effect is sort of chilling.

English To Latin Translator

Simply input words like demon, fear, death, torture, etc and you will get numerous Latin variations..pick the best sounding or looking word and put it on your tombstone.
Roman numerals also look great on tombstones, especially the year you built the tombstone.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 2008

Welcome to the first day of October, my favorite month of the year.

The above photo is the view from our kitchen window, a large maple tree advertising the fact that autumn has arrived.

Much to do and the clock is ticking very loudly.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tree Faces

Don’t go into the woods! The faces were made from papier mache formed over a wood base then attached via screws to the trunk of a tree, a relatively simple process that yields some rather disturbing results.

The first step involved designing the eyes, nose and mouth. A pattern or template was cut from poster board, then placed on the tree to confirm proper sizing.

The pattern was then transferred to some scrap paneling and cut with a scroll saw.

Homemade papier mache clay was used to sculpt the eye, nose and mouth designs onto the wood cut-outs. The eyeballs were made by molding the shapes from large plastic Easter eggs.

Once the papier mache has dried, the pieces were painted with flat black latex the colorized with diluted acrylics. A light oak stain was also added to “warm up” the colors.

The pieces were attached to the tree with large screws. A pretty simple prop that adds a boost to a yard or would have great potential in a haunted forest or trail.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scarecrow Skulls

This project started as an attempt to develop a papier mache skull making class, after a few snags and some unsatisfactory results the project was scrapped but later resurrected after some experimentation with different techniques, materials and textures.

The base form for the skull was created by stuffing a plastic grocery bag with crumpled newspaper. A poster board face template and jaw were created using the same techniques as the Demon Reaper Skulls. The only difference in the process was that the plastic grocery bag was used instead of an inflated balloon.

The eye sockets were created by filling with paper towels soaked in papier mache paste, papier mache clay was used to create the facial features. Sections of a recycled plastic milk jug were used to create the teeth.

After the papier mache skull had been created I experimented with creating a texture by coating the prop with a thick mixture of flour and water (no glue or other additives) then blasting the paste with a heat gun to form a bubbled and cracked texture. The result was interesting but it still needed to go a step further.

In my mind I was picturing something more like an archeological relic, so I took the skulls (after I had already painted them) and smashed holes in the skull with a hammer. The result was broken and fragmented skulls. Papier mache clay was added to reinforce the shattered mache.

After some experimentation I came up with a clay recipe that cracked during drying. The recipe stills needs some experimentation before I will publish it, but it looks like a promising technique for achieving a very natural looking cracked pattern.

The skulls were then base coated with flat black latex paint and dry brushed with white primer. A combination of diluted acrylics were used for the final color then a coat of light oak stain.


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