paper and paint

a dictionary and a mixing bowl form mending the crack {paper mache bowl project} (2) mending the crack {paper mache bowl project} (1)

Before Thanksgiving I started making the large paper mâché bowl pictured above.  I set it aside to work on a smaller paper mâché bowl I wanted to give as a wedding gift, then took some time off before revisiting the original.  The three photos above offer a brief recap of how the process began:

1. Flour-and-water paste on blank newspaper formed the structural base, which was too snugly molded to remove from its mixing-bowl form.

2. I had to slice my beautiful bowl to pry it loose.

3. Duct tape is the answer to half my problems.  (The answer to the other half is WD 40.)

4. (not pictured) I added a layer of dictionary clippings, brushed into place with DIY Mod Podge, which is half school glue & half water.  Thank you, Pinterest people.  (Original source seems to be Life in Rehab, but I found it via Pinterest.)

Which brings us to the present.  May I present the effect of a paper bowl meeting a gold-dipped paintbrush?

gold inside, paper outside

From the rim downward, the whole inside is gold, while the outside remains a hodgepodge of dictionary words.  Those words are carefully selected to give clues to, if not outright tell the story of, my history with Lovey.  “Dandelion,” “beaker,” “starry,” and “mailbox” are references to a bouquet he gave me, his chemistry degree, our first date (and many subsequent ones), and our long-distance summer.  “Matrimony,” “kiss,” “lover,” and “marvel” are more about now.

gold inside, paper outside  (2)

Here’s a glimpse of how the paper and paint textures play against each other.  I love the contrast of gloss and matte, just one way to bring the high-low concept into a room.  I also have to show you how gold paint became to this bowl what a topographic map is to a landscape:

empty bowl gold inside

So, full of oranges as I imagined from the very beginning, or empty with its silver gold lining agleam, I love this practical craft project!  It was time-consuming but worth every minute.  What’s the last thing you made out of paper mâché?  Are you ready to reimagine the medium?!

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