FAQ about Paper Mache

I get a dillion questions each day about my art by email, on Facebook, and Youtube. (Okay, maybe it’s only half a dillion.  I answer as many as I can, but I just can’t get to them all.  I thought a page like that might help me keep up.   Below are actual questions that have been posed, along with my answer.   If you came to this page with a question but don’t see an answer, feel free to contact me.    Note that this page is still under construction.  I will add a few questions and answers each day.

Question: “What is the white stuff you are using at the end of your videos?”  Answer:  After sculpting with paper mache I add a “skin” of cloth (old bed sheets) dipped in white glue (Elmer’s).  I call dubbed this process “cloth mache” back in 1984.  This cloth mache skin makes the project very strong and allows for details you can’t get with paper alone.

Question:  “What do you use the make the teeth? ”  Answer:  I use polymer clay like Fimo or Sculpy.

Question:  “dude where do you get one of those”  Answer:  People who call by dude don’t.  For more information about what I sell, see my “Art for Sale” page.

Question:  “Can you weatherproof these? ”  Answer: see my “Outdoor Paper Mache Dragon” post.

Question:  “Will you make me Toothless? ”  Answer:  No

Question:   How long does it take to make one of those?   Answer:  I don’t know.  I really don’t.   I’ve tried to time myself on a project just to get a rough idea for myself.  I keep a log for a day or two, then forget.   And I’m usually making more than one project at a time.   Or a project will sit for a long time at some stage.   And I’m usually shooting video and taking photos in case I want them for a video or blog entry.    And there is drying time.   It all conspires to keep me from knowing how much time I am putting into these.   Generally, I would say, “It takes a long time” if there are many details like fulling scaling or and extra set of arms (like for Ganesh).   One last thing…..if you are asking because you are planning to turn your art into a career and you want to know in advance how much time you’ll spend on a dragon…..then I should tell you that my answer, if I had one, would not help you anyway because I’ve been doing this a very long time.   My moves are efficient.   It will take you longer than me to make a dragon, at least for the first few.  Just sayin


Question:  “Your videos are too fast!  Can you send me the slower versions? ”  Answer:  There are no slower versions.   I am not speeding up the video I shoot.   I use a time-lapse setting.   My camera shoots one frame per second.  Some of my projects take 80+ hours to make.   Imagine the memory requirements for 80 hours of High Definition video.    I also have to render the video to edit it.  That takes a very long time if the video is full speed.  Using time-lapse I can shoot the entire process using a reasonable amount of memory.   My time-lapse  videos are meant for entertainment.  They are not meant to be instructional.   If you want to learn these techniques then watch my mask-making instructional videos on Youtube.  Or look at the projects I show being made, step-by-step on my blog.  Or read my books.   It’s all there for anyone who is interested in learning what I do.  By the way, once you’ve done any of those things and you acquire a minimal amount of understanding of what I do, then the time-lapse videos also ecome instructional.   You see things in them you didn’t notice before.  Trust me on this.


Question:  “How can I get a hold of you? ”  Answer:  dan@gourmetpapermache.com